The Original Cakerie’s biggest challenge was the absence of a single, integrated system, which ended up creating data silos and a lack of overall visibility across departments. Since implementing JustFood back in 2006, The Original Cakerie has been able to:
Eric Murphy, IT Director
The Original Cakerie (TOC) started as a small industrial bakery producing desserts for restaurants in British Columbia, Canada, in 1979. Since then, TOC has become the largest privately owned dessert manufacturer in Canada, employing approximately 500 people at its head office and baking facility in Vancouver and warehouse in London, Ontario. TOC specializes in frozen single-layer and super-size layer cakes, sheet cakes and dessert bars.
TOC’s biggest challenge was the absence of a single, integrated system, which ended up creating data silos and a lack of overall data visibility across departments. TOC initially used many internally built applications to run its business (including Great Plains for financials), but these home grown systems were not able to sustain the company’s rapid growth. It was then that TOC decided it needed to start looking for ERP software.
Eric Murphy, Director of Information Technology at TOC, was a key figure in the decision-making process. “Our internal team, which represented each business unit, narrowed it down to two possible solutions: IFS and JustFood.” Ultimately, it was JustFood’s “user friendly interface and adaptability” that won Murphy and the bakery over.
TOC’s implementation and go live process was spread across three separate phases. In 2006, during phase one, 80 users went live simultaneously at TOC’s Vancouver location and included functionality for financials, payroll, manufacturing, quality control and labor scheduling.
In 2012, during phase two of the go live process, TOC began fully integrating all of its recipe information, including instructions with the production bill of materials and product specifications, into one central repository. “The elimination of duplicate information was key to managing our shop floor,” says Murphy. “Capturing data costs money. If data is entered once, you should be able to use it across your entire system.”
Also in phase two, TOC began implementing trade promotion management within JustFood for its foodservice and retail customers. “We’ve created a broker portal to help share product profile information with our broker community. Now, we are looking at adding more confidential information such as volume-based reports (trade spend requests, rebate requests, etc.) into the broker portal as well.”
In phase three, TOC implemented its warehouse management piece of the JustFood system, with the goal of bringing barcode scanning to both of its warehouses. This provided a “more efficient flow of information between inventory, staging and product use.”
TOC spent much of 2012 attempting to become BRC Global Standard and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certified. By the end of 2012, the company gained accreditation at both its facilities. “We’re very proud of being BRC certified,” says Murphy. “It fit into our goal of delivering safe quality food. We have good traceability now all the way through to corrective action.”
At each location, a cross-functional team worked on the integration of shop floor reporting to capture variations and deviations from the Variation Form inputted into TOC’s JustFood system. An event was then created within JustFood to track these deviations, “so we know exactly when these variations occur, by whom and for which product,” says Murphy. If the event requires further investigation, TOC has integrated BRC’s Corrective Action Form directly into its JustFood system.
Murphy and the TOC team continue to build roadmaps for IT plans at the company and are looking to continue expansions of their JustFood system. “My philosophy is that the system should enable our people to do their work effectively by automating the non-value added tasks, increasing productivity and capacity.”
The TOC management team continues to focus on growth and capacity-based planning and believes the real time visibility JustFood provides them will help them along this path.
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