What do Caterpillar and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams have in common?


Last week, Plex Systems put on a meeting with selected analysts to talk about the future of manufacturing technology. It was a solid event with customers talking the reality of operating in cloud environments. For me, listening to representatives from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Caterpillar on the same panel was something of an eye opener.

Jeni’s is a small business that thinks big serving 1,200 outlets with its products but creating different customer experiences based upon local need. Caterpillar talked about acquiring three plants, evaluating the Plex solution and then living with it.

I have long felt that large business can learn a great deal from the way small business acts in an agile fashion. In this video, Charly Bauer, VP operations Jeni’s Splenedid Ice Creams discusses how the company has never had on-premise software and why it matters.

Off camera, I asked Bauer whether he anticipated spending more money on software as the company expands – answer? Nothing. Given they plan to x3 deliver in 2014 that’s one heck of an ROI.

Where is the Caterpillar connection? According to Kelli Stokes, regional director Americas Specialized Global Information Services who attended the event: “We’re going through a paradigm shift.” Enough said.

 

Den Howlett
Following 20+ years in finance and IT related roles, Den Howlett became a freelance writer/analyst/commenter specialising in enterprise IT. I co-launched Information Week in the UK (1996-7) and was a contributor to numerous UK based trade magazines. Most recently, he was a long term columnist on ZDNet. Today, Howlett provides strategic product direction support to a variety of enterprise vendors along with delivering M&A due diligence services. The raw idea for diginomica came to him at a time when enterprise topics in media were being crushed by consumer stories. There had to be a better way. diginomica is that better way.
Den Howlett

@dahowlett

Disruptor, enterprise applications drama critic, BS cleaner, buyer champion and foodie trying to suck less every day.
Den Howlett

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