Aug 2, 2022

NorthScope’s Unique Approach to Achieving Success for Your Seafood Processing Business

2020 Alaska Seafood Processing List of Resources Blog Image

The Challenge

If you’re like many seafood processors, you’ve experienced the frustration and disappointment that comes with venturing hopefully into the process of finding software suited for your business’s unique needs “only to emerge with less money and no solution after months of back-and-forth.” While there are many reasons for the unfortunate failures of these attempted implementations, many times it boils down to a handful of reasons:

  1. Software companies have a reputation of doing and saying anything to make a sale, often over promising and under delivering and not taking ownership of solving customer problems.
  2. Generic business software doesn’t cut it for the dynamic and intricate needs of the seafood processing industry.
  3. The team implementing the software didn’t take the time to understand the seafood industry, so the solution implemented doesn’t actually provide a sustainable solution.

The NorthScope Approach

The team behind NorthScope prevents these failed implementations by using its unique approach.

First, the team simply cares. While this may not sound like a novel approach, in an industry where moving on to the next sale seems to give software providers tunnel vision on dollar signs, the NorthScope team’s people-first approach seems to be a rarity as the team wants its customers to succeed so badly that its in the DNA of the company – with serving customers as one of the four core values. In fact, when asked about how Northlake Partners (the creators of NorthScope) do things differently, Managing Partner, Tom Williams, said, “We will never make a promise and not deliver. We will never lie, even if it costs us sales. We will never justify unethical behavior because ‘that’s just business.’ We never want a team member to feel taken advantage of or not appreciated. We wanted a company where team members had the right tools and were all fighting towards a common goal – to serve our customers.”

Second, NorthScope understands and appreciates the complexities of the seafood processing industry, which is why its solution isn’t one-size-fits-all – and neither are the plans enacted to implement and maintain it. Instead of trying to be everything for everyone, NorthScope caters to the niche markets it was designed to support and the team listens to its customers to continuously improve the software and create new features that continuously solve problems for said customers. Speaking of NLP’s work with Alaska, wild-caught, and aquaculture seafood processors Williams said, “We appreciate the unique regulations seafood processors deal with and have always taken a customer-driven approach to development. Much of the functionality of NorthScope is built on collaboration with existing customers to meet the needs of their industry and business.”

Third, the team behind NorthScope not only has the experience and understanding of the seafood industry, but they also take the time to get to know the ins and outs of each individual company they work with so the system can be optimized to optimize their business for success. This goal of understanding begins before implementation for NLP. According to Williams, “What often gets overlooked is the end-vision, an understanding of a seafood processor’s own requirements, and the steps needed to get them from where they are to where they want to be.” To avoid this, NorthScope’s implementation process is thorough and multi-faceted with an emphasis on immersion, collaboration, and expectation-setting. NorthScope’s five step implementation process begins with gaining a clear understanding of the customer’s requirements, identifying how each will be met, and uncovering and resolving any conflicting requirements. Steps two and three occur simultaneously as NorthScope is configured for the company while users are being trained. Then, after meticulous planning and preparation, the next step is to go from the test system to the company’s live business environment. NorthScope’s fifth implementation step also sets it apart from the rest as it serves as the post go-live optimization where the team behind NorthScope ensures the customer is receiving the maximum value from their new system. Of this ongoing support, Williams stated, “We continue learning about your business even after the software is implemented. This creates a partnership mentality and helps ensure we add features that solve the business problems our customers face. This approach differentiates us from other software companies.”

The Results

From all the effort NorthScope and its team has put into understanding its customers, they’ve found success in living out their goal to serve their customers. “Learning about our customers by listening to their needs has enabled us to design features to make their lives easier. Because we’ve focused on how we can better serve our customers, we’ve built a better solution. In the short-term, this hasn’t always benefited us, but we don’t make decisions based on the short-term impact. We want to be the best solution for our market so we’re in this for the long term,” Williams said.

And this effort does not go unnoticed or unappreciated by NorthScope’s users:

  • “This year, all of our plants operated their first full calendar year together, and with the huge volume of fish it was quite a challenge. We appreciate how quickly you take care of our tickets, and that you take our concerns seriously. Our business is complicated, and we are grateful to work with a company who puts in such a huge effort into understanding it, and making our jobs easier.” Thea O’Leary
  • “NorthScope is tailored to our business and understands our business better than anyone else. It’s efficient, easy to use, and we are able to produce very detailed reports.  Having worked 26 years in fish sales, I’ve used many systems. This is the best one – I love it!” – Laura S.
  • “NorthScope is a well-integrated system with good reports and customer support that listens to us and uses our input to improve the product.” – Steve L.
  • “These guys really took the time to learn our entire business and provided invaluable insight throughout multiple areas within our company. They did a great job managing projects that produced clear results and calculable ROI for our Sales, Inventory, Production, and Shipping operations. They have been instrumental in helping us grow our business and make our processes and procedures more efficient. They are trustworthy, personable, and easy to work with.” – Nitin S.

Learn more about pitfalls to avoid a failed software implementation for your seafood business and how to avoid picking the wrong software.