Almondina® Brand Cookies was rapidly outgrowing its legacy system and in need of an integrated ERP that would help streamline complex baking processes. The biscuit manufacturer chose JustFoodERP over Syspro and other competitors in part due to the ease and usability of JustFoodERP's Microsoft Dynamics interface.
Almondina® has utilized JustFoodERP to:
Tamar Markham, VP Finance/Treasurer
Almondina® Brand Cookies, produced by YZ Enterprises, Inc., manufactures toasted almond biscuits that are all-natural, non-dairy, Kosher and parve. Almondina® biscuits are carried by retailers such as Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Costco and Walmart. They employ approximately 35 employees at their office, warehouse and bakery in Maumee, Ohio, where they produce more than 180,000 cookies every shift.
Almondina® initially ran their operations on a Microsoft Great Plains system, but decided they needed to switch to a software that was more robust, streamlined and built specifically for the food industry. "Our shortcomings were on the manufacturing side," says Tamar Markham, VP of Finance. "We had to address this since we were a rapidly growing food manufacturing company – and we had to do it quickly." Markham and Almondina® were facing a third-party GMP food safety and quality audit and Costco was awaiting the results to decide if they should proceed with business negotiations.
To meet the impending food safety demands, Almondina® fast-tracked their ERP selection process, first looking at Syspro based off a recommendation by their off-site chocolatier. "But after reviewing JustFoodERP, we realized it was more user-friendly and scalable. We liked the Microsoft platform and JustFoodERP because of the recognizable layout; it was familiar to employees since we had been working on Great Plains already," says Markham.
Almondina® went live with JustFoodERP in July 2013. A few months before that, Markham attended JustFoodERP Customer Connect, an annual user event that incorporates hands-on training sessions, customer presentations and networking opportunities. "I got a lot out of the event," says Markham. "I learned even more about JustFoodERP from industry peers and from all the JustFoodERP product experts."
Markham describes the working relationship with JustFoodERP as "…unbelievably good. The business analysts and technical support team are amazing. Even the executives at JustFoodERP, I feel like I know them really well. It's been a seamless process. When one of our main contacts is out of town, we get a response right away from someone else on the team."
Almondina® got successful accreditation for food safety and quality from a leading third-party auditor, a result Almondina® staff accredits in large part to the superlative lot traceability and recall functionality within JustFoodERP. "We finished our traceability and mock recall requirements in just 30 minutes," says Markham. "It used to take us days!" As for that very large customer waiting for the audit results? Almondina® won Costco's business, further fueling the bakery's growth and success.
In the years following implementation, Almondina® continues to benefit directly from their JustFoodERP system. "We like the routing functionality, specifically its flexibility regarding WIPs and finished goods," says Markham. "With lot traceability within JustFoodERP, we've cut down an insane amount of warehouse hours. Now we know what's happened to all the finished goods, all the time."
Markham continues, "The costing component is amazing, especially the fact that I can go to my item card and know the accurate costing of each SKU. And we're madly in love with the sales invoice profitability report we get from JustFoodERP. We look at it like crazy to see which customers we're making money on and which ones we're not."
Markham and the Almondina® team are looking forward to using more of the production planning and scheduling functionality within JustFoodERP. They're also planning to implement JustFoodERP's mobile warehouse management feature, called JF Floor, and look forward to "learning more about how to extract information out of the system with reporting."
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