Nice excerpt from an Inc. article :Future Beef’s real albatross, says Darrell Wilkes, was an expensive computer system that ran enormously complex software from J.D. Edwards. “We were pouring all this data in, but we could never get the data out,” says Wilkes, whose job, as the company’s cattle and supply expert, was to monitor the progress of about 300,000 head of cattle. And these weren’t just any cattle. These were Future Beef cattle, raised by ranchers who met its standards for feeding and monitoring their herds. Wilkes had to keep track of which steers had been given certain region-specific mineral supplements, which had been fed their necessary doses of vitamin E, which had been measured for yields of particular tissues and fats, and what the optimum dates were for shipping each steer off to the slaughterhouse.
When Wilkes asked his staff for the numbers, they didn’t have a clue. They had not been able to retrieve the data from the computer system.
“I swore a lot, and jumped up and down a lot, but it didn’t do a lot of good,” he says. “We would have been better off going in there with a very simple system. At least the simple systems give you your damn yield report.”Click here to read the whole article.