One of Paramount's key goals is to find ways to augment and support its relationships with its more than 350 grower partners. Paramount's objective for the first harvest with the new receiving solution was to make the entire process transparent to growers at each touch point. However, its long-term plan is to enhance the existing system to increase the ease and frequency of partner communications with tools such as secure self-service Internet access, reports and other information. Not only will this strengthen relationships, but also continue to impact the bottom line by driving down costs and reducing communication transaction times, as well as the number of open issues and discrepancies encountered during harvesting and receiving.
"The ability to quickly share reliable and accurate receivables and payables information with our grower partners is essential, " says Anzaldo. "Given the improvements we have already seen this year with the new tools, we expect to realize a 50 percent decrease in the number of requests for information. With the implementation of a self-service Web site growers can access key reports and information to manage their harvest more efficiently and cost-effectively.''
In the near future, Paramount and MagTech plan to enhance the process and supporting tools to get closer to a paperfree system. This should allow Paramount to reduce possible points of failure in the grower receiving system by reducing its dependence on paper labels and tags, which are prone to being lost or damaged in any manufacturing environment. At the same time, Paramount will continue to adhere to state-regulated guidelines for information and certification documents.
Paramount plans to extend the reach of its receiving system beyond the arrival of delivery trucks. Real-time access to tracking data over a valley-wide wireless network will allow the processor to better manage harvesting and delivery schedules and move towards more of a just-in-time process to ensure the quality of the pistachio crop. Paramount's vision is to deliver the grower receiving information to its personnel via a Web-based operations portal.
Like many processors, Paramount is striving to apply consistency throughout its process to ensure uniformly high-quality end-products. Accordingly, Paramount intends to achieve tighter integration with its existing process management system, MagTech's SPC Enterprise suite of products. In a check-and-balance relationship, the grower receiving system will check and track the quality of product entering Paramount's storage silos while the SPC products will track the quality of those same nuts as they are being processed for final shipment.
California pistachios, which accounts for 98 percent of the total U.S.crop, have seen huge rises in volume recently, with 2002's final harvest estimated at 300 million (dry) pounds --- a 33 percent increase over the average for the previous two years. Supply of U.S. almonds has also grown substantially, doubling over the past 10 years. California almond production is expected to reach nearly 1 billion pounds this year, making up 75 percent of the worldwide supply.