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


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has never existed except in the cloud…here’s what it means.

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.