• 11/03/22


Swiss Valley Farms is a cooperative owned and controlled by 620 dairy farmers. The company, headquartered in Davenport, Iowa, was founded in 1958 and now employs nearly 400 people and generates more than $400 million in annual revenue.

Swiss Valley is well-known for its award-winning premium speciality cheeses. Whey products, pasteurised process cheeses, cold pack club blends, enzyme-modified cheeses, and cheese analogues are also manufactured. The company works with a diverse group of national and international customers, including manufacturers, distributors, and marketers, to meet their industrial, food service, retail, and private label requirements.

Swiss Valley Farms wanted to gain a better understanding of two critical areas of its business: cheese production and sales. The company had a business intelligence (BI) platform in place, but it was not providing the level of insight required. From a cheese standpoint, the company desired a tool to document processes from the time raw milk arrives from the farm to the time cheese leaves the factory. It's a complicated operation with six distinct processes and more than 100 data points.

Swiss Valley Farms needed more insight into typical sales challenges within the sales organisation. The company wished to gain a better understanding of how salespeople performed in comparison to the forecast, as well as to view margins and margin percentages for specific products and customers by the salesperson. Another goal was to compare current performance to previous years' performance during the same period, as well as to make quick comparisons between current monthly and yearly sales and the forecast.

Swiss Valley Farms chose RSM to implement a new BI platform because of their longstanding relationship and nearly 20 years of successful projects. The RSM team demonstrated the QlikView platform with a prototype based on Swiss Valley Farms' key information and metrics, and the company saw the system's potential for deeper insight and analytics.


The RSM team was able to target key data sources and develop analytics to improve the production process thanks to their long relationship with Swiss Valley Farms. These were created to assist the company in determining which factors (such as temperature, specific enzymes, and pH level) directly correlate with cheese quality so that improvements could be made. The QlikView solution assists plant operations personnel in identifying and quickly correcting any issues.

RSM also used QlikView to improve lot tracking for Swiss Valley Farms. The company, for example, can track milk from a specific silo and determine what cheese it was used in. In the event of a recall, the company can quickly target products that contain specific ingredients or enzymes. The company must practise recalls, and products can now be targeted instantly rather than taking hours previously.

The RSM team collaborated closely with the operations staff at Swiss Valley Farms to identify key data points throughout the production process. The two groups collaborated to decide which data points to collect, how to analyse them at each stage, and how to capture and communicate them. Many metrics have the lowest and highest acceptable levels established to clearly show where individual attributes lie. It assisted Swiss Valley Farms in developing charts that detail the elements that go into specific product grades and how consistently they meet target levels. Employees used to speculate about what might cause problems, but with QlikView, they can discover the correlation between data points and help ensure consistent high-quality products.

The RSM team collected data and analytics from a variety of sources, including Swiss Valley Farms' enterprise resource planning system, production machines, lab equipment, manual input, and spreadsheets. These sources are fed into the QlikView platform for visualisation in charts and tables. Following implementation, additional data points were identified, and RSM's application development team was deployed to create forms to collect the required information.


Swiss Valley Farms now has a much higher level of insight into several areas of the business thanks to RSM's QlikView implementation. The platform has assisted the company in encouraging greater alignment with sales projections as well as improving production processes. Swiss Valley Farms' award-winning products have maintained their high quality with more analytics, and the ability to make better business decisions has improved the company's bottom line.

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