Melbourne’s North Food Group partner, Floridia Cheese, has developed a secure milk payment system thanks to a Melbourne Polytechnic student project.
It was facilitated through the North and West Melbourne Data Analytics Hub and the Northern Industry Student Placement Program. The project involved Melbourne Polytechnic students undertaking the Bachelor of Information Technology.
“We thought we’d set the Melbourne Polytechnic students an impossible task. So, we were completely blown away when they presented us with a workable solution. It’s a real success story and we couldn’t be happier with the result.”
The North and West Melbourne Data Analytics Hub, managed by local economic development organisation NORTH Link, give businesses the opportunity to harness student skills and analyse the data students collect.
The Hub works with students from tertiary institutions to help businesses use their data to their best advantage and build business capability. These projects allow students increase their own employability and see how their skills can positively impact a business.
Rosalba Portella, General Manager Finance and Marketing at Floridia, explained that businesses in her sector face the same issues when handling milk payment data. But when the opportunity for a student project was offered to her business, she decided it was worth a try.
Before the project started, Floridia invited the student team onsite and gave them a tour of the plant. The idea was to give them a good understanding of the business from the outset.
“The students were able to grasp the complicated nature of our system quickly,” said Rosalba. “We gave them all our data. Then, they interpreted our requirements, checked a few things with us and came up with an outstanding result.
“Initially we thought a student project might be a burden for us, but it wasn’t at all. We had regular meetings, but they weren’t intrusive. Instead, for minimal effort on our part, we gained viable information that will progress our business.”
The team at Floridia now have a full understanding of how data analytics can positively impact a company like theirs. Floridia’s previous milk payment system was complex and time-consuming. Small input errors would result in massive miscalculations.
Through the work of the students, Floridia now has an efficient and effective database. The innovative system boasts less redundancy, with far more scalability and security. Now, the project is planned to be implemented company-wide. Floridia can move to expect well-organised data, more accurate calculations, and the result of a reduced staff workload.
“It’s difficult to keep up with IT – we don’t have that expertise in-house,” said Viv Banner, ERP Project Manager at Floridia. “Now we have a much better idea about the importance of efficient data collection and analysis. It gives us access to information we desperately need.”
Rosalba confirmed that Floridia Cheese would highly recommend a Melbourne Polytechnic student project to other businesses seeking some extra expertise. “It was a very rewarding experience for us and for the students too. They solved a real workplace issue and gained valuable experience.
“We are now looking to continue our relationship with Melbourne Polytechnic and are exploring different ways we can work together in the future.”
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