Why Is This Tech Company Building a Chocolate Processing Plant?

Building and operating a chocolate processing plant is an odd task for a company whose tech has been used to manage turnarounds in excess of $30 million and projects that exceeded $2 billion. Software companies don’t tend to have a lot in common with chocolatiers or confectioners. At TeamWork Group we know that the business of making sweets is best left to experts, craftspeople, and tradition. And while every sector eventually attracts an upstart tech company that claims it’s going to disrupt their industry, that isn’t what’s happening here either.

So why is TeamWork Group building a chocolate processing plant? The answer is straightforward: it’s hard to imagine what a world with integrated information and included analytics would look like. So, we’ve decided to show you. By building a model processing plant that runs on a collaborative cloud-based platform, we can show you how data can work better. And we’re basing it on a chocolate production line because, well, everyone likes chocolate.

We know that any industry works best when all of its people have access to all of the information they need. But we know that this rarely happens. Retrieving, analyzing, and reporting data is far from straightforward. You must juggle multiple formats, a myriad of programs, and a host of reporting standards to accomplish even simple tasks. With so much red tape and so many error messages, even small jobs become frustrating ones. Worse, using incomplete data on larger projects can turn them into cost overrun nightmares.

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The Challenge: Making Something Complex Seem Simple and Easy

Even the most involved project or plant can be broken down into relatively small and simple components. The complexity emerges when these components are assembled into a whole. Each operation involves a series of steps, each machine is made up of parts, and each process has outcomes to measure. None of this happens in isolation: every piece is connected to another. This means that if any single part stops, many others will too.

With so much information to manage, the current practice is to separate processes from each other. Risk analysis is kept away from strategic development which is walled of from operational evaluation which is insulated from workflow scheduling which is screened from procurement ordering. When this happens, internal departments can quickly become silos that are detached from each other. It’s easy to lose track of the overall picture, especially because data becomes fractured.

Back on the ground, though, all of these elements continue to interact despite their institutional separation. Inevitably, the disconnect between the data and the reality needs to be reconciled. When challenges arise, teams scramble to collect the necessary information. When turnarounds happen, crews discover unexpected problems. When projects are planned, decision makers proceed with incomplete information.

How Can You Break This Responsive Cycle?

In the chocolate processing plant, you can see a new way of managing information, a new way of implementing plans, and a new way of doing business. The TeamWork Common Platform creates a structure which connects information from across a site. Using company-wide codes allows departments to share data natively, generate company standard  reports automatically, and communicate directly—before a problem emerges. Data tracking becomes part of their everyday workflow, rather than a tedious addition, to ensure standards are met reliably.

We’ve built the chocolate processing plant to model how a collaborative cloud-based platform provides complete asset lifecycle work and assessment for any project or plant. Whether you’re starting with cocoa beans or Texas crude, whether you’re turning around a chemical plant or monitoring a wastewater treatment facility, the TeamWork Common Platform can be configured to match your workflow. Work phase coverage begins with your strategic and tactical planning, continues through your logistical procurement and on-site execution, and does not end until you’ve completed your final invoice. The process begins again when you assimilate the lessons learned into your next preparatory phase. The TeamWork Common Platform can be built for your industry, configured for your needs, and made for your people.

When you’re ready to see how business runs better when information is truly integrated in a platform that includes analytic tools, register for a free advanced demo at: