OBI Seafoods Successfully Implements 5 New Plants Amid Merger & Salmon Season in 4 Months

The Company

OBI Seafoods, LLC is one of the largest seafood processors in the United States with ten shoreside plants in Alaska, plus sales offices in Seattle and Tokyo.

Established in 2020, OBI Seafoods, LLC is the result of Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC and Icicle Seafoods, Inc. merging their wild salmon and Gulf of Alaska groundfish operations in June. The merger included all five of Icicle’s shoreside plants and all five of Ocean Beauty’s shoreside plants in Alaska, which were already operating with NorthScope.

Prior to the merger, the Ocean Beauty Seafoods Plants had been relying on NorthScope for its fishermen management, financials, payables, sales, and receivables since 2018.

The Highlights

Ocean Beauty Seafoods had been relying on Catch Manager for many years to manage its Alaska Seafood processing business before implementing NorthScope as a pilot project for their Kodiak plant prior to the 2018 Salmon season. After a successful 2018 implementation, NorthScope was rolled out to the remaining plants in Alitak, Cordova, Excursion Inlet, and Naknek for the 2019 season. Pleased with NorthScope’s functionality for their five original Alaska plants, Ocean Beauty chose to implement NorthScope for their five new plants and 3 buying stations upon merging with Icicle Seafoods (and thus becoming OBI Seafoods) just prior to the start of the 2020 salmon season.

Since then, OBI Seafoods has been able to:

Implement NorthScope for the five new plants in 4 months, during their busiest time of the year.

The NorthScope software setup for the five new plants merged in 2020 was completed successfully on a very quick timeline in the middle of salmon season without significant disturbance.

Increase employee satisfaction thanks to more efficient software support

OBI Seafoods employees are happier since implementing NorthScope as they can now do their jobs more efficiently.

Streamline operations and increase performance

With NorthScope, OBI Seafoods can now use ACH for paying fishermen, saving the time and expense of writing checks, they can import Fish Tickets automatically from eLandings instead of manually entering them, and more – all with better performance thanks to updated, modern software.

The Challenge

For its five original plants, Ocean Beauty needed a system that worked for their industry, the unique needs of each individual plant, and the different geographical requirements within the state. They were looking for a comprehensive solution that included fisherman accounting, accounts payable, sales and general ledger from a software provider that would work closely with them to achieve their goals.

Then, upon merging with Icicle Seafoods, the newly founded OBI Seafoods needed to achieve the same for its five new plants and three buying stations.

The Approach

Understanding the necessity of a short timeline and workload volume with salmon season being in full swing, the NorthScope implementation approach focused on swift, customer-centric action. Thanks to the great working relationship between the Northlake Partners (NLP), the providers behind the NorthScope software, and the team at Ocean Beauty Seafoods, NLP used its vast knowledge of their business practices as well as its thorough understanding of the Alaska Seafood industry to implement the best possible solution on the quickest timeline for the newly founded OBI Seafoods. This strategy was further supported by NLP’s responsiveness to OBI’s feedback and ability to adjust as needed to meet their needs.

The Solution

NLP was able to implement NorthScope at the five new OBI Seafoods plants and three buying stations within 4 months, allowing them to start serving their fishermen in the throes of salmon season immediately upon go live. The implementations included specific configurations for each plant to meet their unique needs. Each plant was licensed with NorthScope’s Fisherman Accounting, Financial, Purchasing, and Sales functional areas allowing them to manage Fish Tickets with eLandings integration, fisherman balances and payments, including ACH and split payments, sales to fishermen and tenders, fisherman loan management, automated fish ticket taxes and premiums, vendors and their balances, AP invoices and credit memos, purchase orders, payments to vendors, journal entries, fiscal period management, flexible reporting and more, all within NorthScope.

The Results

Now that all 10 of the OBI Seafoods’ plants are using NorthScope, each plant has a system configured to its unique needs without the cost or need for custom code. They can now process ACH payments directly to fishermen, saving them the time and expense of writing checks, they can import their fish tickets automatically instead of manually entering them, and they can rely on modern and updated software with ongoing support their old software lacked. Their employees are happier since they can do their jobs more efficiently with the support of their software that understands their business, and they have the peace of mind that their software provider will continue to view the success of their business as a top priority, even when that means seamlessly implementing five new plants in 4 months in the midst of salmon season.

The Review

NorthScope worked with us to come up with a solution for our Alaska accounting needs and continues to work closely with us on constant improvements. It’s a well-integrated system with good reports and customer support that listens to us and uses our input to improve the product.

Steve Layman, Director of Accounting