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ERP Means Better Inventory Control

A leading contract food manufacturer turned to a comprehensive enterprise resource planning system to help streamline inventory control and better facilitate data access.

A leading contract food manufacturer has been in business for more than 40 years, producing four different original food brands, as well as private labels for some of the nation’s largest chain food stores. With specialties ranging from pizza crusts to specialty breads, Better Baked Foods (BBF) operates three production facilities.

Recently, the company needed a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to help streamline inventory control and better facilitate data access. The company selected Infor’s ERP SyteLine platform. Although specific return-on-investment numbers were not available, company representative Brad Harrison offers perspective on the situation regarding their purchase and the benefits they’ve seen.

“The BBF business outgrew the old home-grown software that was in place before,” he states. “We recognized that if the business was going to grow, we needed an integrated, real-time system with support for bar-coded inventory. Additionally, management recognized that the old system was holding back the business and that a change needed to be made."

Some benefits the company has realized include:

  • Inventory process time was reduced.
  • All disparate data and systems were integrated into one uniform application. 
  • Seamless connectivity of information from costs to sales and manufacturing to quality control ensures more accurate data access and faster decision-making capabilities.
  • Compliance with USDA guidelines, which call for the ability to locate any single item of inventory within a designated timeframe in case of a potential product recall, was improved. Better Baked Foods can now respond to any recall issue in less than four hours, pinpointing an individual unit’s location and complete history. 
  • Real-time entry of inventory information eliminates the need for employees to key in information manually, reducing the possibility of entry errors. Less time is spent on data entry, shortening internal processing time.
  • Sales have doubled since implementing the software, but no additional staff has been required.
  • Information technology spending over the last three years has been reduced by 30 percent.

“Several software packages were evaluated, but the Infor Syteline product was chosen because it was fundamentally solid and could be easily customized to meet the needs of a food-manufacturing company. Like any major change that affects the entire business, there were some growing pains during implementation, but now we would never go back,” offers Harrison.

He also offers some tips to other food manufacturers who may be considering such a purchase: “Make sure that you put lots of effort into evaluating all the systems available from different vendors. Once a vendor is selected, create a dedicated team that is responsible for the implementation and integration. And finally, make sure that the new system is tested, re-tested and tested again.”

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