Their Story: Serving Up Great Products
Founded in 1972, Ready Foods began producing Mexican food for restaurants and retail outlets in the Denver, Colorado area in a small 2,000 square foot kitchen. They have since expanded to multiple facilities with a combined 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space, evolving their product offerings from strictly Mexican options to other ethnic foods, as well as moving into natural foods and retail sales. As a supplier to several large nationwide franchises and regional restaurants, Ready Foods prides themselves on being a batch processing operation that provides great tasting, consistent and safe products to their clients and end-consumers.
Company Challenges: Missing Ingredients for Success
Ready Foods previously operated on a UNIX system, a solution they had outgrown over their decade of use. Their outdated methods required inventory counts that halted operations for 24 hours, contributing to a loss of time and money. Information was keyed manually, increasing the potential for inaccuracies. Variance reports took days to generate, an obstacle that was incongruent with the company values of speed and accuracy vital to maintaining their competitive edge. Finally, inefficient inventory control caused employees to waste valuable time searching the warehouse for items, as ingredient and product locations were not tracked accurately.
ERP Selection: Speaking the Language of Food
After an extensive search, Ed Crockett, IT Director of Ready Foods, found that while most ERP software vendors were familiar with manufacturing, what set ProcessPro apart was: “They have a food background, they speak our language. When we brought other vendors in they were manufacturing software vendors, but they didn’t speak the language of food. They didn’t have that background in the food industry, talking about yields and finished goods. We didn’t have to have a discussion on how our industry was focused, we brought ProcessPro in and with that background in the food industry it was a seamless conversation.”
In addition to industry-specific knowledge, the personal vendor-client relationship developed through the selection process identified ProcessPro as the ERP provider of choice. ProcessPro embodied similar characteristics of Ready Foods, in that personal relationships were essential to building strong partnerships. ProcessPro’s on-site visits at Ready Foods communicated their extensive knowledge of the food manufacturing industry, as well as the ability of the ERP solution to support the manufacturer’s current and future growth.
Results: Real-Time Inventory, Quality Management and Growth
ProcessPro’s Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) has enabled forward and backward traceability and real-time access of ingredients and finished goods following the “first in, first out” principle to eliminate waste and maintain tighter control of inventory. “The one area we see the most increase in efficiency would be in our inventory control,” states Crockett. Month end physical inventory was a 3-4 day process, with ProcessPro, inventory counts have been streamlined to a matter of hours. In addition, the ERP solution successfully tracks costs to aid in future planning and more efficient variance reports have improved the bottom line.
Ready Foods is dedicated to ensuring quality control within their manufacturing facilities to align with their customers high expectations. With ProcessPro, they are able to control the quality and consistency of products beginning with incoming raw ingredients, through finished good manufacturing, to final packaging. Lot tracking functionality allows for them to track raw materials utilized in production down to the case level of their finished product. Thus allowing them to comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
“We needed a real-time solution that provided exceptional quality control and would support our current and future growth; we found exactly that with ProcessPro.” Ed Crockett
Ready Foods was experiencing an essential need for a software system that would be able to meet their long-term needs and grow with them as they expanded product lines and in physical square footage. ProcessPro offered a fully customizable ERP software system that could handle their manufacturing operation in 2012 when implemented and has scaled to meet their needs as they continue to grow. With the recent addition of a 7,000 square foot research and development pilot plant featuring a commercial kitchen, their chefs can use the software to easily scale and develop recipes for commercial product lines, including the ability for co packing operations.
The food and beverage industry is complex in nature, fast paced and closely regulated by the FDA and cGMP. Food and beverage process manufacturers are required to consistently bring quality products, at competitive prices and on demand to their consumers while managing a healthy bottom line. At ProcessPro, we believe by providing food and beverage manufacturers with the right ERP capabilities they will be proficient in managing these demands while growing more profitable with satisfied customers. For over 30 years, ProcessPro has developed an industry-specific ERP solution with a robust formula management system providing reliable lot traceability, real-time inventory and flexible quality control to meet the essential needs of food and beverage manufacturers.
Contact ProcessPro today to learn more about Ready Foods’ recipe for success.