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Peterson Genetics Custom ERP: Running a Business on an Integrated Software System

Custom ERP

Peterson Genetics is a long-time Far Reach client. We’ve worked with them on multiple software projects, including their soybean product guide. When they were ready to implement an ERP, they tried several options, but in the end, a custom system was best for business.

Off-the-Shelf Wasn’t Cutting It

While Peterson Genetics had a good, ongoing relationship with us, it always makes sense to review your options—we often discuss starting with a buy vs. build analysis. They looked at buying off-the-shelf ERPs, and even started implementing one, but weren’t happy with where it was headed. That system wasn’t going to meet their needs, so they cut their losses and went back to what has worked for them in the past: custom. 

Peterson Genetics is a unique business, so custom software makes sense for their needs. In everything they do, there are exceptions—and exceptions, by definition, don’t align with off-the-shelf system rules. Peterson Genetics’ business isn’t out-of-the-box, so their ERP couldn’t be either. Any time an exception came up, which was often, the Peterson Genetics team would have to initiate a manual workflow to review and compare spreadsheets. That was a lot of work and a lot of wasted time. 

Do You Need Custom Software?

Learn the signs to help identify whether your business might benefit from building custom software.


Automating Processes and Workflows

With a custom ERP, we were able to build a system that handles exceptions and implement workflows that automate where possible. Previously, one team member knew the exceptions and how to handle them, but others didn’t. Now the rules are built into the system and all the eggs aren’t in one person’s basket, significantly reducing risk for the company.

At the beginning of the project, we all joked that the system would be effective if the Peterson Genetics team could work with one hand and hold a margarita in another. We even got them a margarita machine for the holidays so they could test it out.

PGI marg machine

The margarita standard has been met. 

The Peterson Genetics team reported that work “is super streamlined” and “takes 100th of the time it used to take.” While that might be hyperbole, and not based on data, we love hearing how our work helps make others’ work easier.

Where manual data entry and duplicate work once existed, workflows are now automated, improving efficiency and reducing the chance for human error. 

3rd Party Integrations

While an ERP houses a lot of a business’s work, not everything is built right into the system. There are great accounting software systems out there; Far Reach didn’t need to build a new one. Peterson Genetics continues to use their dedicated accounting system, QuickBooks Online, and their custom ERP integrates with it, sending and retrieving data as needed. 

Other software integrations—existing and planned—include DocuSign, FedEx, UPS, and more. 

One System for Team Members and Customers

When Peterson Genetics decided to go with a custom ERP, we were able to build it right into their existing product guide, putting core business functionality all in one system. 

The product guide helps Peterson Genetics team members review and analyze their soybean hybrid data. They can also share hybrid information with customers. Now, customers can return the favor and share data in the same system. 

Every season, each customer order is tracked on a kanban board in the ERP so Peterson Genetics knows the status of reporting, invoicing, payments, and more. Many elements of the workflow are now automated, and work is always visible on the board. 

When a customer receives an invoice, they can login, view the invoice, review reports, and make payments—and they do so in the same place they view hybrid data. One login to access them all. As they complete each step in the workflow, the corresponding card is moved through the kanban board thanks to integrations with Quickbooks Online.

Peterson Genetics and their customers use this single system to accomplish a lot, making for a streamlined customer experience. 

Start With an MVP, Plan for Future Enhancements

Because Peterson Genetics has worked with us for years, they understand how to think about their software strategy. They use a combination of off-the-shelf and custom software to better serve their customers and give themselves a competitive advantage. 

The system encompassing the product catalog and ERP functionality won’t be “build it and forget it” for Peterson Genetics. They’ve been working consistently with Far Reach on new functionality, improvements, and even a rebuild for many years. 

Peterson Genetics is working based on agile/scrum best practices. They launched with an MVP (minimum viable product) and are continually working on new features and enhancements. They’ve already benefited from each feature as it’s been released, and have a list of planned features ready to go. Eventually, they plan to have every area of the business on it with features that make everyone’s job more streamlined. 

A Relationship of Collaboration 

The Far Reach and Peterson Genetics teams work together as one to build and enhance the custom system. We understand their business and what they’re trying to accomplish. They’re the experts in soybean genetics; we’re the experts in custom software. Together, we’re continuing to build a system that makes their business run better. 

Are you looking for a custom ERP or a software development partner? Reach out.