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Case Study: Specialty Food Manufacturer Meets FDA Requirements and Sustains Growth with MRP Software

Tait Farm Foods moved from modest inventory management to full-scale understanding of its manufacturing process.

Product Photos

Tait Farm Foods is a specialty food manufacturer located in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. The company began in 1987, when founder David Tait started producing shrub, a colonial-era vinegar-based drink mixer.

After years of steady growth, their 20 person team manufactures and sells more than 65 all-natural food products to restaurants, retailers, museum shops, online shoppers, and to walk-in customers in their own store.

Production Manager Was ‘Running Blind’

Managing this growth has been a huge task for both Sales and Marketing Manager Karen Addenbrook and Production Manager Nikki Mattern-Klinger.

“As production manager, I didn’t know what orders were coming in, how much we had sold, how much we had in stock,” says Mattern-Klinger, “I was running blind.”

Another challenge was meeting the traceability requirements of the food sector.

“We need to keep track of lot numbers to know which wholesale customers get which lot,” Mattern-Klinger says. “This was done manually on paper and on an unsearchable spreadsheet and it would have been a mess if we had to organize a recall.”

The managers knew it was time to create greater efficiency and started looking for a solution to consolidate all the inventory data within a single system, finding MRPeasy in the process.

Product Photos 2MRPeasy

A Solo Implementation of an MRP Software

MRPeasy was affordable, and the depth of functionality it offered towered above the other options. In addition, the platform was integrated with a variety of third-party applications, making the unification of all the company’s operational data a real possibility.

“Apart from QuickBooks, the Zapier integration was a big one because this gave me the confidence that I could link MRPeasy to any application if I needed to,” Mattern-Klinger explains.

Mattern-Klinger took responsibility for the implementation and in just two months, the new system was live. Additional functionality was phased in during the following months and recently the new system was rolled out to the whole company.

New System Enables Analysis and Reduction of Costs

Today, all orders are processed in MRPeasy from start to finish and it has been a game changer. In addition to the FDA-approved traceability MRPeasy has allowed them to achieve, the company now has a firm understanding of what they have in stock and how much finished product they can produce with the ingredients they have in house. Moreover, they can easily forecast their future material requirements.

“We now have much more clarity around how much we need to buy and when we should buy it,” Addenbrook says. “This enables us to confidently purchase larger quantities, thereby reducing our material costs. Not to mention how much time Nikki saves on calculations and data entry.”

The company has a much better grasp over their costs overall. Now they can quickly react whenever there is a significant change in ingredient prices, labor costs, or customer demand.

“Before MRPeasy, I used to spend hours and hours trying to figure out the performance of our products and their costs,” Mattern-Klinger states. “The new system saves me so much time doing this.”

“We are more profitable now because we know exactly what it costs us to make our products,” Addenbrook adds. “And we can increase or decrease our prices as we go along.”

Growing Manufacturers Should Not Feel Overwhelmed

Another benefit Tait Farm Foods realized is MRPeasy’s capability to provide accurate lead time estimates for incoming orders. This helps the company maintain better relationships with clients.

“I can press a few buttons and instantly know when we’ll be able to deliver the goods,” Mattern-Klinger says.

“With MRPeasy, we moved from modest inventory management to full-scale understanding of our manufacturing process,” Addenbrook adds. “We know what our capabilities are at any given moment, everything is just a click away, and that gives us the opportunity to take better advantage of our capacity. It has been terrific for our business.”

“To other growing manufacturers I would say – don’t feel overwhelmed by MRP software. The effort is worth it as you will soon start seeing how much time it actually saves you,” Mattern-Klinger says as a final remark.

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