Maine Coast partners with Seasoft for business software solution
Maine Coast, a lobster processor with facilities in York, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts, has announced that the company selected Seasoft for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software needs.
Seasoft, a software suite developed by CAI Software – based in Rhode Island – is a complete ERP solution that has been designed specifically with seafood processors in mind. Seasoft has partnered with a number of seafood businesses, including nearby Ready Seafood, which is based in Portland, Maine.
In fact, Maine Coast caught wind of Seasoft because of Ready Seafood’s prior success with the program, according to Jim Levy, senior account manager for Seasoft. In an interview with SeafoodSource, he said that a conversation between the two led to Ready recommending Seasoft to Maine Coast.
“So their experience was, I hope, positive!” Levy said.
Levy, prior to his tenure at Seasoft, spent 25 years in the wholesale seafood industry. His knowledge of lobster paired with Seasoft's understanding of the needs of a seafood processor is what helped the company reach an agreement with Maine Coast.
“We can talk lobster, we know the industry very well, and I think that was very reassuring for Maine Coast,” Levy said. “We came in understanding what they do, knowing what they do, and we could tweak and customize it for them.”
Maine Coast, founded in 2011, has grown quickly from a small processor to a major player in live-lobster shipments, with a 30,000 square-foot facility at its headquarters in York, Maine and an additional 5,000 square-foot facility on the Boston Fish Pier.
Prior to utilizing Seasoft, the rapidly growing company had been using ERP software that’s typically utilized by smaller businesses with less stringent organizational needs, limited to QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel, and other more basic programs.
“We went as long as we could with our legacy software and we knew that we needed industry specific software that could meet the specific needs of a large seafood processor,” Maine Coast Chief Financial Officer Mike Delahanty said. “We evaluated several options and spoke to others around the industry. After speaking with the folks at CAI Software and evaluating the system up close, we knew Seasoft was the right decision for our company.”
The issue that many companies like Maine Coast run into, Levy said, is facing an ever-increasing amount of data that becomes more and more difficult to manage. Seafood companies in particular have unique challenges related to inventory and supply that a simple spreadsheet can’t handle.
“Sticking with the shellfish theme, you get down to a distributor like I’m working with in Philadelphia, and they're going to do well over a million pieces of oysters,” he said. “When you sell oysters to a restaurant, you’ve got to show the restaurant on that invoice this oyster was harvested from this place on this date.”
That level of traceability is cumbersome with a few spreadsheets and QuickBooks, but Seasoft has been designed to have traceability built in.
The software also allows for easy analysis of data, allowing for a company to find efficiencies and enhance productivity. One piece of the software that has been developed that works well with the lobster industry is what’s called a “whiteboard,” which displays real-time information on inventory.
“We have a whiteboard, which is really a board that indicates ‘we’ve got 1,000 pounds of chix, 2,500 pounds of quarters, etc.,’” Levy said. “As soon as you enter a sales order, you can see the white-board change. It keeps them up to date on what’s available to sell and allows them to fulfill orders on the promises they make.”
That has been hugely beneficial for Maine Coast, Delahanty said.
"Seasoft’s digital whiteboard has been a real game-changer,” Delahanty said. “The digital whiteboard shows everyone the daily total number of pounds of lobster and the specific lobster sizes on-hand at each site, so we always know what’s available for sale. We also get a snapshot of incoming and allocated inventory over any defined period of time, and because everyone is working with the same, real-time information, our sales team can confidently fill the orders they are taking.”
Maine Coast has been using the software for just over two years, and Delahunty said the software has been well worth it.
“Since our go-live on Seasoft just over 25 months ago, the software has paid for itself in enhanced productivity and cost savings," Delahanty said. "By working with the team at Seasoft during the implementation process, we were able to configure a software system that feels like it was designed specifically for our business model.”