Mars, Incorporated is a leading international brand with more than a century of experience in confectionery and other food products, and annual sales exceeding $33 billion USD. The major corporation owns factories all over the world, and keeping track of the industrial processes across these locations had become a challenging task. 

The company continuously sought to improve its tracking processes in order to optimize the use of raw materials and streamline compliance with food safety regulations. This eventually led to the development of an automated quality control system.

Over the years, the system had become outdated and inefficient, and could no longer keep up in a highly competitive marketplace. As Mars continued to launch new plants while upgrading old ones, the need to modernize its quality control system became glaringly apparent. This is where Softage stepped in to bring all systems current and save the day.

Mars, LLC
Legacy system modernization


Ten years ago, Mars developed an industrial system that would automate traceability, supervisory control, and data acquisition (SCADA), increasing production efficiency and ensuring compliance with health and food safety regulations.

As the aging system had ceased to keep pace with the company’s growth while also lagging behind the latest technological advances, it became obvious that a major upgrade was needed. This would allow Mars to standardize and streamline its operations at both old and new factories.

Of all the vendors that submitted proposals, Mars chose the development experience, solid value, and proven track record Softage provided. We gladly accepted the challenge and got down to work on modernizing their quality control system.


When our team took over updating and modernizing the Mars system, Softage worked out the technical specifications based on the assignment and went on to cooperate closely with the client both over the phone and via email. This helped us modify the system to suit the needs of its users — the company’s production engineers — while learning from their hands-on experience with the software.

A decade’s worth of high-connectivity legacy code had to be explored and either updated or replaced. The best way to realize this was to adopt the Waterfall model used in the development of the original Mars system, and adjust it accordingly to the realities of this modernization project. Softage engineers accomplished this task seamlessly.

Our developers used Java 1.6 to program Traceability, an autonomous module that continuously monitors the raw materials and finished products involved in factory processes. With JSP as a base, they also developed an Apache Tomcat web application called FMS, which enables visualization and searching for specific batches of raw materials.

After a period of continuous development assisted by automated testing, the fully updated system went into use. Mars production engineers could now easily keep track of the production processes and adjust them on the fly whenever necessary.


Softage delivered the project on time and on budget, allowing Mars to effortlessly track the intake of raw materials and output of finished products throughout its global footprint of factories. We enabled the company to reliably control the quality of its ingredients and products every step of the way, which also frees up human time for other tasks. 

The ultimate result is that the high-quality standard associated with the brand remains secured through the seamlessness of its supply chains, while the company’s bottom line is no longer affected by costly recalls.

By working on this project for Mars, we increased our expertise in solving complex challenges for large corporations and modernizing outdated systems still relying on heavy volumes of legacy code.

Technology Stack:

Programming languages Java 1.6
Databases Industrial SQL Server, MS SQL Server, Oracle
Frontend Apache Tomcat, JSP
Operating systems Windows Server 2012