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3 minute read • published in partnership with NexSys

Platts Agriculture invests in digital transformation to support growth

Platts Agriculture is celebrating its 50th anniversary and investing in a digital transformation to help secure its next stage of growth. The North Wales SME recognised the need to upgrade its digital infrastructure to build resilience in a challenging business climate. It has selected NexSys as its ERP provider and will look to use SYSPRO and the supporting NexSys solution suite to bolster strategic decision making with access to accurate real-time data.

Established in 1973, Platts Agriculture has been making quality, sustainable products for the animal bedding industry for half a century. It has built a strong customer base across the UK and Ireland and even holds the Royal Warrant to supply to the Royal Farms in Windsor.

Located in Wrexham, the business employs 65 people across three sites. On the back of strong demand for its quality products, it has been on an impressive growth trajectory and, in 2022, Platts won Family Business of the Year and the Sustainability/Environmental Award at the FSB Wales Awards. It now plans to accelerate that growth and increase its turnover from £8m to £20m over the next three years.

Animal bedding manufacturer has invested in a digital transformation programme to help secure its next stage of growth / Picture: Getty/iStock

Meeting that goal will require investment in a robust digital infrastructure. Managing Director Caroline Platt said: “We believe digitalisation will be the real catalyst for our future growth. Over time we have accumulated lots of bits of software that aren’t properly connected. People are working with bits of paper, numerous spreadsheets and dashboards and getting the information you need can be very time consuming.”

She added: “If we are to hit our KPIs, we need accurate data, so we know whether we are on track and where we need to flex and pivot. It is important that information is accurate and can be accessed from anywhere at any time.”

In recent years, the SME has diversified from producing animal bedding and has incorporated two sister companies, Platts Commercial Services, offering HGV maintenance and repair services, together with haulage services provider Platts Transport.

Twelve months ago, Platts began its search for a centralised ERP system to support the delivery of its ambitious growth strategy. Its server, CRM and telephone system had come to the end of their lives and its disparate legacy systems were holding back the business.

The business selected NexSys as a long-term partner to support its digital journey. Platts said: “NexSys shares our vision and values and took the time to understand our business. They have the expertise and agility to help us deliver our plans and we are very glad to have them at our side.”

Platts recognises the need to build digital resilience to confront the challenges of the next 50 years. It will use its new ERP system to support new initiatives including predictive maintenance, and the use of production data to help identify constraints and growth opportunities.

Access to real-time data will also support more effective inventory management and financial reporting and exploiting improved visibility for effective sustainability reporting. At the same time, the business is also working with SYSPRO to develop a traffic management system to optimise driver routes.

Platts said: “There is quite a bit of integration required to meet our needs but the team at NexSys have really embraced the challenge. They are experienced problem solvers and will be key to taking us to our next stage of growth.”

UK manufacturers have always exploited innovation to gain competitive advantage. For Platts Agriculture, building a digital backbone is critical in delivering its ambitious growth plans, driving efficiencies and reducing its carbon footprint. By appointing NexSys as its ERP solutions provider, the business is embracing digital transformation to future proof its operation.