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Tomas Vera - Ask an Expert
3 min read

Expert advice on digital transformation of the dairy sector

Tomas Vera is an expert in digital transformation and innovation. With over a decade spent working for dairy giant Nestlé and many others within his twenty-plus year career working for other market leaders. Tomas brings a unique perspective on the dairy industry and its need to adopt and embrace digital innovation. At Nestle, Tomas was the Global IS/IT Program and Project Manager for a 10+ million-dollar program to deliver a  solution to manage milk sourcing in Nestlé across 25 countries. It was recognized with a CIO Award for its faultless go-lives and speed of delivery. 

We sat down with Tomas to ask some quick-fire questions about digitalization and transformation and the importance of it for the future of the dairy industry.

What are the key issues facing the dairy industry?

Consumers today want to know what they're eating from a nutritional point of view; they want to see where the food they are eating is coming from; transparency and traceability are critical to this. And they also want to know if it is sustainable, how it's grown, manufactured, and packaged, and if it's sustainable for the future.

Why is digitization of the milk supply chain important?

To respond to consumer expectations in terms of sustainability, nutrition, and traceability- the origin of the food in the dairy and milk supply chain is very complicated, given the significant number of actors involved. The only way to achieve this economically is via digitization, and solutions like MADCAP achieve this with an incredible return on investment.

What would you say to companies that haven't embraced digitalization?

Many dairy companies today are still running on disparate systems, even spreadsheets. By bringing this together, you save on operational costs and ways to communicate value to your consumers.

How does capturing data aid better decision making?

Milk is such a perishable product that you need to be able to act quickly to changes in day-to-day operations; you need tactical reports and real-time data to react fast to this. At the same time, you need to improve your operations on the logistics side or quality with farmers and your operations in general. You need strategic reports to take a step back, look at the big picture, and improve.

Nestle needed a very flexible system that allowed them to cater to the needs of developing countries and developed economies. This is where MADCAP, built on the powerful Jade platform, comes in.

What are the main reasons dairy companies use MADCAP?

You need a robust and scalable system to handle the massive amounts of data you're bringing together from disparate systems, and MADCAP, through the Jade platform, provides this. They have achieved more than 80% of maintenance savings but no longer use all of those desperate systems at Nestle.>

What's it like working with the Contec team?

Contec is unlike other IT providers because they have worked in the dairy industry for the past 50 years. They know the process and the farmers, trucks, and haulers' logistics, so the deployment and implementation we did with them were much easier than a regular IT provider.

Is MADCAP a reliable solution?

In the dairy industry, you need your systems to be fully reliable, as you don't want to have your farmers waiting. Today MADCAP handles more than 20 billion dollars worth of payments to farmers, per year, on time.

What would you say to a company looking for a new milk supply chain solution?

Do your research. The dairy supply chain is highly complex and varies significantly from one country to another due to local regulations and laws. You are looking for a country with global ambition that is in multiple languages and provides a solution adaptable to specificities. Today, only one company, Contec, and their MADCAP system can support this. They are great to work with; They know the industry and are a great IT provider.