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No Half-Baked Solutions

How Lone Star used ERP software to streamline operations within the business to optimize inventory, eliminate redundancy, improve communication and enhance efficiency.

Bread bakery Lone Star SysproLone Star epitomizes the “great American success story.” A German immigrant who adopted San Antonio as his home started the bakery in 1889. His specialty was bread, which quickly earned a reputation for its flavor, fresh­ness and consistent quality. In 1956, the Morris family purchased the growing bakery and has continued its operation as a family business.

A changing world with new technologies led the Morris family to expand their horizons as they adopted a new freezing technique, which allowed them to preserve the flavor and fresh­ness of their products. With the new technology, the family began to shift em­phasis toward frozen institutional type baking products that could be nationally distributed.

Today Lone Star is a modern baking facility in the rural South Texas community of China Grove, just outside of San Antonio. Lone Star operates on a grand scale, providing a wide variety of private label bakery items to gro­cery chains, restaurants and food service distributors nationwide. A consistently growing company like Lone Star needed to streamline operations within the business to optimize inventory, eliminate redundancy, improve communication and enhance efficiency.

The business found a solution for each problem by adopting ERP software to solve their business needs. State-of-the art technology ensures freshness, quality assurance, prompt response to orders and on-time delivery. Their central location facilitates nationwide distribution at the lowest possible cost and 45 acres of land allow for future expansion.

Most Lone Star bakery products are flash frozen and stored in the giant freezer prior to shipment to customers. This allows for nationwide distribution to both large companies and independent consumers. The storage freezer accommodates up to 120 truckloads of packaged products. During any average week, Lone Star ships baked goods for its roster of more than 200 US customers.

Theoperation covers over 150,000 square feet of production, warehouse and freezer space. Specially designed equipment easily handles large volumes as well as small, customized orders quickly and efficiently. The equipment entails three high output band ovens (220, 240 and 260-ft. respectively), three traveling tray ovens, six spirals—one ambient, two pre-cool and three in our blast freezers and storage freezer with an inventory capacity of 42 truckloads.

According to Lone Star Controller Jerome Neuhoff, “One never knows when a smaller customer’s product is going to really take off and expand. We chose SYSPRO ERP because we felt it was a better fit for our manufacturing operations, as opposed to the other solutions we reviewed which were too distribution intensive.”

For example, in the mid-nineties, it became apparent to company man­agement that while the company’s facilities were among the most modern in the country, the bakery’s procedures were archaic—all records were kept manually in a set of books. This out of date manufacturing system was holding Lone Star back from becoming the national brand they wanted to become. Therefore, the company set out to find an integrated accounting/manufacturing software solution that would mirror the pro­gressive nature of its manufacturing operations.

“Everything is now at our fingertips—it’s a true real-time system,” he states.

He points out that the software has enabled Lone Star to operate more economically through tighter inventory controls and the ability to forecast and make more judicious purchasing decisions.

With perpetual inventory tracking and superior produc­tion scheduling, the SYSPRO software allows Lone Star to place timely orders with suppliers rather than storing massive amounts of inventory—an impressive ability considering Lone Star’s production schedule changes every 24-48 hours.

Lone Star’s Quality Control Program includes annual, voluntary ASI inspections that consistently merit an “Excellent” rating. Their food safety program incorporates the company's allergen program into the HACCP plan as well as providing ongoing training and education for the Quality Assurance management and production supervisors.

Lone Star offers baked goods such as buttermilk biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, pies, cakes, brownies, breads, and other sweet favorites. Products are delivered in a variety of packages, either fresh or frozen, depending on the special needs of the customers. The ready to sell products are perfect for in-store bakeries and delis.

Throughout the years, Lone Star has been fortunate to tap into a labor market rich with individuals who share an old-fashioned work ethic. Building on this strong foundation, the company has been growing and innovating with confidence all while keeping a keen eye on quality every step of the way.

Through Lone Star’s use of ERP software, their brand and products have been easily available to a growing public. Their ability to control labor costs by taking advantage of a centralized location, allows them to distribute nationwide at the lowest cost possible. The company’s longevity and growth is a result of a steadfast commitment to quality but by utilizing inventory optimization Lone Star has transformed itself into a national food provider. 

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