Sweet success: How Food Ingredients, Inc. blended Macola 10 into its operation
Wisconsin-based food manufacturer upgrades to Macola 10 with sweet results — reduced order processing times, labor cost control and less material waste.
The Journey from Progression to Macola 10
Food Ingredients Inc., is an ingredient supplier to food manufacturers of all sizes. The company, based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, supplies items like sugar, flour, sea salt, sweetener blends, spices, and more to companies in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
It’s been a Exact Macola user and client of Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. for more than a decade. The firm recently upgraded its Exact Progression software to Macola 10. The upgrade added more than a dash of kick to the operation. Food Ingredients has realized operational efficiencies and cost savings.
Highlights of the upgrade include:
· Reduced order processing time from 45–50 minutes to 10 minutes
· Reduction of labor costs by automating more of the warehouse/order pipeline
· Improved inventory tracking to eliminate ingredient waste (material cost)
How it happened: The inside scoop
We spoke with Food Ingredients President Brad Dettman about his company’s long-term partnership with Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. and how the company’s Macola 10 solution and its dedicated team members help Food Ingredients better serve its own customers.
Q: Brad, can you first tell us a little bit about Food Ingredients, and what you supply to your customers?
If you look on a food label, I would say that we supply about 50% of the ingredients on that label. They include sugar, cocoa, salt, corn syrup, and starches. We think of ourselves as a “grocery store” to our large food manufacturers; when they come to us, we load up the truck with the items they need to make their food products.
We also work with spice blenders who mixes custom blends of flavorings and spices, like those found in popular cheese flavored snack foods.
Q: How does Food Ingredients Inc. differ from its competitors?
Regardless of the size of the customer, if we’re asked for a small order or a rush order, we find a way to get it done the same day. Some larger providers need more time, or ask for a minimum amount per order. We don’t.
If a customer needs just a single 50-pound bag of sugar, we will break apart a pallet and send it to them. That’s because we understand the value of just in time inventory requirements and lean manufacturing. I’m proud to say, we always find a way to get it done.
Q: So you have a lot of inventory and orders to track on any given day. How does Macola 10 ERP help you manage and expedite all that complexity?
Our Macola ERP software gives us great flexibility. The new features of Macola 10 have created efficiencies, allowing us to process orders very quickly so we don’t have any lag time. Before, it could take 45 to 50 minutes to process an order. I can get an order processed now in just 10 minutes.
Q. Macola 10 has a number of available add-on services. Which in particular are you seeing real business transformation with?
With the help of Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. during our Macola 10 upgrade, we also implemented WiSys. Having this new service read product barcodes and show us real-time data is a tremendous help in streamlining our operations even more. It also helps with overhead expenses. We can keep our labor overhead down because we don’t need as many people hand-checking orders, barcodes and expiration dates.
We have been so pleased that we’re about to begin implementation of Exact Synergy CRM to help our sales people be more productive in the field. We’re really excited about that not only because of the efficiencies we know we’ll gain, but because we love working with the consultants at ESS.
Q: What other benefits have you seen in using Macola 10?
The ease of doing functions is greatly improved. The number of orders our customer service team can process has tripled. We had a step-by-step checklist with 12 things to do in processing an order. Now, that is down to four or five tasks, saving us a lot of time. And we hope to get the 10-minute order processing time down to two minutes. Also, our month-end processing time has been cut in half. Our finance team really likes that!
Q: What are your business goals for the year, and how do you think Macola can help you achieve them?
This year for the first time, we are aiming for 6 percent growth across the board. Secondly, we want to improve how we manage our stock. Any time you are working with food, you’re dealing with a shelf life. Our food products typically have a shelf life of about two years.
If products expire they can’t be sold. Now, with the WiSys integration with Macola, we will be able to capture the expiration of everything coming in the door. Waste can easily be about $100,000 a year Macola 10 will help us keep an eye on waste.
The software will direct workers to the correct pallets and products so that we will eliminate any possibility of shipping something that has expired. We also will be alerted when a product is close to expiration, and can move to find a customer who can use that product quickly.
“Food Ingredients is a well oiled company with a vision. Their customers are a focus and Brad recognizes that technology, such as Macola 10 coupled with Wisys, enables Food Ingredients to achieve levels of customer satisfaction that does and will continue to set them apart from other companies”. — Tod Replogle, Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC.
Q. Can you describe your partnership over the years with Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC.?
Time really flies. I hadn’t realized that it has been 10 years since we started working with the Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. team. WOW!
Tod Replogle is a great person, and someone you want to do business with. He is very straightforward, and has a great ability to recommend specialists to help with implementation and transition, or any hurdles we might have.
I’ve also been impressed with their customer service. It’s almost always immediate. Some other tech companies might issue you a work ticket, and after two days you haven’t heard anything, and need to keep checking on it. That doesn’t happen with Tod’s group. Whether we have to speak with Leslie, Nick, Frank or Patricia it doesn’t matter — we always get a quick response.
“Our friends at Food Ingredients are just that — friends. The relationship we have established over the years with Brad and his team makes it feel as if we are an extension of his company. Our mission and vision is to always partner with our customers. To provide value based upon our expertise as a whole and that is what we do. We are proud to be associated with Food Ingredients. — Tod Replogle, Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC.
Q. How would you describe the collaboration between the Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. and Food Ingredients Inc. during the Macola Progression to Macola 10.
Having such a knowledgeable team as a partner really has made all the difference. We knew that we needed to upgrade for a long, long time. Tod and his team were really patient with us.
When we didn’t have enough internal resources to really drive the implementation on our side, Tod even went the extra mile and found us someone right in our backyard who could. He didn’t have to do that. He could have just waited for us to get freed up. But Tod knew we really needed to make the upgrade happen and became personally invested. He was willing to do all he could to help us.
On top of all that, Nick, Frank, Leslie, Patricia and the whole team are very efficient. They are happy to work remotely, even handling complex situations offsite, which helps us save a lot of money in travel costs.
Q. What’s the best part about working with the team at Exceptional Software Solutions LLC?
The Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. team are a group of highly-capable, knowledgeable people who won’t waste your time, and who will take good care of you.
No matter how unique or intricate your company’s ERP processes or desired workflows are, Exceptional Software Solutions LLC’s team of professionals are here to guide you every step of the way. With some of the world’s leading Exact Macola and Synergy experts on our team, we love to create solutions for your ERP technology problems. Learn more about us from our customers.
Copyright 2016 Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC.