Eduardo Pulido

Vice president of IT, Frontier Co-op

Supernova Award Category: 
Digital Safety, Governance, and Privacy
The Organization: 

Frontier Co-op® is a member-owned cooperative manufacturer of natural and organic products, founded in 1976 and headquartered in Norway, Iowa. It sells products under the Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic®, Plant Boss® and Aura Cacia® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices, and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; plant-based organic meal solutions; and aromatherapy products with a wide selection of organics. Frontier Co-op manufactures and distributes products throughout the United States and Canada. Products can be found in local grocery stores and Walmart.

The Problem: 

In the organic food industry, there are a number of controls around compliance and the need for an audit trail.

With the new implementation of Infor CloudSuite Food and Beverage, Frontier Co-op had to ensure there were precise business process controls to comply, reduce errors, and help mitigate the risk of theft or fraud. For example, if a user accidentally changes something in the system, it could negatively impact Frontier Co-op’s manufacturing process, finance, and reputation.

Frontier knew that they could take the path of doing it manually with spreadsheets, but it’s resource intensive, slow, and error prone. It would also require a team of people with specialized skills in finance, purchasing, marketing and warehouse to be able to determine violation risks across all business processes.

Additionally, Frontier’s small IT team would be challenged in performing resource intensive and complex user provisioning and audits especially when employees change roles, and whether a different role is going to create a problem of segregation of duties or conflicts with the previous access that the person used to have. Audits must typically be completed promptly; tasks may be rushed, which can result in mistakes such as not validating a particular combination or not configuring a formula correctly. Failure of audits due to inaccurate data, not meeting deadlines, or errors due to spot checks can result in fines for the business and impact on business operations.

The Solution: 

Eduardo Pulido discovered Infor GRC is an integrated service with Infor CloudSuite Food and Beverage, making it easier and timely to monitor violations and resolve them through industry-standard controls available out of the box. Without GRC, Frontier would have had resume to risky and lengthy spreadsheet driven processes to manage access and controls.

With GRC, anytime a user does anything in the system, it is captured and immediately available to access and analyze within Infor CloudSuite Food and Beverage so business users can easily see what they need to see without leaving the application.

Solution Highlights:

  • A Multi-tenant Cloud Solution
  • Open for third-party integration since integrated with ION and Data Lake
  • Reports and Notification via Infor Document Management
  • Intuitive all-in-one interface
  • Enhanced Rule Building
  • Enhanced Approval Process
  • Ease of Violation Identification, management, and mitigation
  • KPIs, Widgets and Reports, and 360-degree view of Violations
The Results: 

Infor GRC allows users to do their daily tasks work without worrying about the violations and continuous communication with IT, or accidentally creating damage in the system. This frees up IT resources, as Frontier is expecting to save 10% in IT support. In addition to the lower demand on IT resources, Frontier Co-op has realized several other benefits from Infor GRC, including:

  • User provisioning was reduced from days to minutes
  • Risk avoidance with industry-specific business process compliance controls and segregation of duties
  • Simplified audit preparation with centralized repository and real-time reporting
  • Employees are protected from creating errors in the new ERP system
  • Implemented in under 120 days

Working with Infor, Frontier Co-op implemented Infor GRC in less than two months and has seen 10% less demand for IT support.

The Technology: 

Frontier Co-op has been an Infor customer for three years, after swapping out its legacy ERP solution for Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage in 2019. Integrated with Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage, Infor GRC provides out-of-box risk and compliance software, enabling finance, audit, and IT users to share a common platform to monitor controls for Infor and non-Infor applications.

Disruptive Factor: 

Discuss the impact of your project. Why is your project game-changing? How have you challenged the status quo? What sets you apart from others in the space? Tell us about your external/internal disruption.

The food industry is very agile, and Frontier is now well-equipped with Infor cloud applications to be responsive to any kind of request. For example, with COVID, Frontier is still having to adjust processes to fulfill the market needs. Infor GRC is game-changing because it offers a common platform so that when processes adjust, IT, finance, and audit can collaborate on risk management activities, measure, track, remediate and monitor risks throughout the organization.

Shining Moment: 

To provision, a user in a simplified way is going to accelerate the ability to perform real work within the system instead of waiting for days to have the person fully on board. User provisioning was one of the most complicated tasks, but with GRC, this process has reduced from days to hours or minutes. This is mainly because of the industry-standard rule books that come out of the box to eliminate the manual work that we used to do to identify the tasks, the team, and related to the user.

About Frontier Co-op

Founded in 1976 and based in Iowa, Frontier Co-op offers a full line of products for natural living under the Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic®, Plant Boss®, and Aura Cacia® brands. Frontier Co-op provides high-quality products that support social and environmental responsibility, including culinary herbs, spices, and baking flavors; plant-based organic meal solutions; and aromatherapy products.