Case Studies

D McGhee & Sons

Case Study - D McGhee & Sons

07 April 2021

Foodlogik Proves Crucial to Manage £35m Bakery Operations

Executive Summary

McGhees family bakers was founded in 1936 by Dugald McGhee at the original bakehouse in Oran Street, Maryhill, Glasgow.  McGhee’s supplies local shops, supermarkets, and the catering trade across central Scotland with a range of freshly baked morning rolls, tea-bread & savoury products, including the Glasgow favourite “Crispy Roll”, delivering across central Scotland daily down as far as the border and up north to Aberdeen.

During the 90s the 3rd generation of McGhee’s, Gordon, Stuart & Ian took over the business.  In June 2005, the company moved to state-of-the-art premises at the M8 food park where they now operate out of possibly the most efficient bakery production unit in Britain, producing 4 million rolls every week!

Challenges

As the bakery business grew, McGhees management team knew they needed a bakery specific business management solution to eliminate the spreadsheets and paper-based admin processes.  Company growth meant that order volumes were increasing to levels which were no longer effectively managed using static spreadsheets and paper-based methods.  They needed an integrated and data driven operation providing insight into daily operations, and generating business intelligence for smart decision making, planning and compliance.

“We couldn’t run the business effectively without Foodlogik” says Bill Blacoe, Finance Director.  “You can’t manage a £35 million turnover business on paper and spreadsheets.”

The Foodlogik Solution

McGhees have been a key user of Foodlogik since 2010.

Foodlogik was implemented to manage production operations including ingredient & stock inventory management, purchasing and recipe management and significant EDI integration for sales order processing for the thousands of orders being received each day.

The Foodlogik solution and intra-group ordering via EDI was also provided for McGhees partner bakeries; Fergusons, Lamond, Wallaces, Kerrs, Fords and Just Gluten Free.

“Having EDI integration is crucial to the business to efficiently receive and accurately process thousands of orders every day. We would need an army of administrative staff to achieve this manually, so there is a significant cost saving to the business there.”

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

Director Stuart McGhee says, “Merit have been our main software supplier for over 10 years now and provide a very high level of support. We are continuing to evolve our Foodlogik solution and are actively evaluating where we can use additional modules to add value and improve the customer experience. We are trialling the Vanlogik mobile solution to help manage our delivery routes, drivers, and vehicles. There is always something new coming along that can help us to improve the way we work.”

 

Stuart’s (Butchers & Bakers)

Case Study - Stuart’s (Butchers & Bakers)

04 March 2021

Foodlogik helps Stuart’s ride the pandemic rollercoaster

Executive Summary

Stuart’s have been delivering fine food from Fife for over 160 years.  A sixth-generation family bakers and butchers with shops and outlets serving Fifie and the surrounding areas.  Stuart’s started out as a bakery and began sourcing meat in the 1960’s to guarantee the quality of filling in their speciality pies, so consequently became Stuart’s The Bakers and Butchers.

Today, as well as 9 bakery shops, most with cafes, Stuart’s have three award winning combined baker/butcher/café shops. Retailing cakes and bakery products in its own stores, increased demand has also meant Stuart’s have developed offerings into several convenience store groups across Scotland.

Faced with managing a successful and expanding business with an outdated unsupported and “clunky” business management solution (Netbake), Stuart’s management team knew they needed to take the company on a transformational “business digitisation” journey.

Challenges

The company’s old bakery software was not financially viable and unable to meet the present or future needs of the business, so the management team decided to begin their search to evaluate other Bakery specific solutions available.  Following their discovery journey Stuart’s concluded that the combination of rich industry specific functionality at a fair price delivered with Foodlogik was the more appealing solution for their business.

The Foodlogik Solution

The 20-user Foodlogik solution implemented for Stuart’s included: production management, recipe management, sales order processing, Full EDI integration, delivery notes, technical specifications, and an interface with Xero accounting.  In addition, Foodlogik also deployed an integrated android app for managing sales and returns for wholesale customers and a web portal for shop orders.

As part of the business needs and process analysis phase of the implementation project, it was also recommended that Stuart’s change the product coding structure to allow the Foodlogik solution to accommodate future product range expansion.

Results & Return on Investment

Since implementing the Foodlogik solution Stuart’s production processes are much more efficient.  Accurate forecasting of demand means that they are producing correct quantities of product, at the right time, reducing instances of short orders or over production as well as removing unnecessary waste whilst improving customer satisfaction.

The largest, most noticeable, saving in time and costs has come from the android app deployed to manage sales and returns for Stuart’s wholesale customers.  Mark Stuart, Director at Stuart’s explains, “By using the android app we have a much more efficient and accurate sales and returns process.  We were able to reduce the admin headcount required to process these transactions by approximately 1.5 people, meaning that resource could be focused elsewhere.”

Having a slick, labour efficient operation has proved invaluable during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Bakery and Butchery shop counters were classed as essential trading and remained open to supply the good people of Fife and throughout Scotland who continued to support local trades to purchase their supplies.  Throughout the pandemic trading has been buoyant and demand has increased.  Stuart’s needed to continue to operate at full capacity, sometimes with reduced staffing and additional health and safety restrictions.

Mark continues, “Having labour saving and efficient technologies to hand such as Foodlogik with the android apps and the web ordering portals in our shops, really enabled our business to continue operating efficiently, even with reduced labour, in very challenging times.”

Future Plans

Looking to the future Stuart’s have plans to continue to expand and evolve their Foodlogik solution into the remaining parts of the business, such as despatch and logistics, allergen management and “digitising” the stores & inventory. As Mark says, “These are all existing standard features within Foodlogik and we are always pleased with the way the software fits as we continue to expand its use”.

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Butt Foods (Bakery)

Case Study - Butt Foods (Bakery)

04 March 2021

FOODLOGIK Streamlines 3rd Generation Family-Owned Bakery for Future Growth

Executive Summary

Butt Foods have come a long way in 3 generations since opening the first curry house in Nottingham in 1973.  Today the bakery business produces over 1 million products per week including Naan Breads, Pitta Breads and Artisan Breads for foodservice, pub chains, restaurants, and retail, successfully competing with larger industrial bakeries.

Butt Foods see their strength as adding innovation to their products.  The management team recognised that to unlock the huge potential and growth plans for the company, they needed to modernise their production processes and back-office systems to work smarter, more efficiently and collaboratively.  Investing in high output production lines was one initiative – implementing Foodlogik food business management software was another.

“The company had ambitious growth plans to double the size of the company in the next five years. We needed to modernise and streamline our business processes and bakery operations to enable that growth potential – Foodlogik was the answer.”  said Danesh Butt, Managing Director

Challenges

Before implementing Foodlogik Butt Foods managed the bakery business on an array of Excel spreadsheets which had become very complex and interlinked.  These were cumbersome to share across the company. The accuracy and timeliness of the data was becoming an issue and clouding business decision making.

“Having accurate product costing and product profitability data is critical for me,” said Danesh Butt, Managing Director. “I need to be confident in the data so I can be more ambitious when tendering for new business.”

The Foodlogik Solution

The aim was to achieve a “paperless factory” with Foodlogik as the main tool to make that possible by removing spreadsheets and paper lists.

Butt Foods implemented the Foodlogik solution across all areas of the bakery production business; including stock management, sales administration, works orders, recipe management & production planning.  In addition, handheld tablets and scanning devices were implemented to facilitate paperless processes for stock movements and traceability using barcodes.

Foodlogik’s suite of KPIs and reports provides Butt Foods management team with up to date, accurate data, which can be shared and acted upon collaboratively across the whole business.

Production Planning (daily/weekly) – The weekly production plan now breaks down into daily buckets per product, showing the hours needed per day and highlighting any potential constraints.  This enables production to be smoothly scheduled. Additionally, the medium and short-term material requirements net of from stock are also automatically calculated, with POs being raised as required.

Labour recording – Previously this was a spreadsheet activity, but now productive and non-productive labour (start-up and clean-down) is recorded in Foodlogik.  This enables reporting of key performance indicators (KPI’s), such as utilisation, job efficiency and labour cost recovery against wage costs. The recording is done via the timesheet software and seamlessly imported into Foodlogik to avoid double data entry. This data also feeds directly into the overall throughput/profitability per hour KPI reporting used by the Butt Foods management team.

Product Stock – Previously pallet labels were produced via Microsoft Word and spreadsheets were used to create loading documents and calculate what we had in stock. With Foodlogik, the pallet tickets and pallet stock records are automatically created when we record production. The pallets are scanned into the Foodlogik trailer loading app which records the stock out into the remote warehouse and generates a trailer loading document.  The documentation is pre-formatted with the traceability, best before and haulier details. This means Foodlogik holds a clear, single, accurate view of what stock is in despatch or at the warehouse.  This data can alco be seen on the weekly planning screens so we know how much to make for the regular top-ups.

Ingredients stock – Previously, one of the regular pain points was that ingredient stock was rarely accurate, only being up to date one Saturday a month, when a manual stock take was completed and entered onto a spreadsheet.  Now, Foodlogik facilitates online recording of stock deliveries, and creates the labels to scan and track the batches accurately. Scanning is the most important aspect because it enables online transfers and corrections which means stock is always up to date, providing the basis of good planning. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the occurrence of stock shortages, or surplus’.  In addition, because production is also recorded on the system, Foodlogik can track which batch of ingredients was used in which product, proving complete traceability data.

Stock valuation reports based on up-to-date prices are always available.  This has simplified the end-of-month procedure to get stock figures to the Accounts Department, as they can now print the reports themselves.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

A single view of accurate product costing, stock and production data is now available across the company, visible for all departments to see and act upon.

Danesh comments, “Since implementing Foodlogik we have increased the speed and accuracy of the data we share across the company for smart business decision making and collaboration.  We are more integrated across all departments, with everyone looking at the same data, giving us increased confidence to take those business decisions”.

The personal and professional development of staff has been boosted with all employees quickly adapting to using the Foodlogik solution and, despite initial apprehension, becoming very confident on both desktops PC’s and tablets.

“The staff love Foodlogik and wonder what on earth we did before we had the solution!  We are looking forward to continuing to grow and expand to use more features, particularly in despatch. The team at Foodlogik have fully delivered on all expectations from a commercial perspective”, concluded Danesh Butt.

To download a PDF of this Case Study click here.

Cottage Farms pack with pride !

Case Study - Cottage Farms pack with pride !

13 July 2020

Cottage Farms is part of the Avalon produce group of grower/packers, based in Tonbridge, Kent whose main line of produce is apples and pears.  They carry out Third Party packing at their new facility which opened in 2014. Gently handling up to 55,000 apples per hour at their busiest it was vital to have a software solution in place, with quality and accuracy their key to success.

 

THE CHALLENGE

Before Freshware, all warehouse and packing information was manually entered into spreadsheets, which meant that there was no real time information on stock levels, production efficiency, status or orders and the P&L Information, as well as the time consuming task of entering all of the data manually. Chris Browning ( Managing Director ) approached Affinitus, to discuss the implementation of a full ERP system covering warehouse, management, sales, production and distribution.

THE SOLUTION

Affinitus recommended the Freshware packhouse software solution, along with wireless handheld units to capture the data in real time. Freshware was able to integrate into the multi-million pound Aweta apple grader, which allowed stock to be booked in automatically, in real time. Every bin that comes of the grader has a unique bar-code identifier, which allows for full traceability throughout the packing and distribution process.

When the system went live, the impact was immediate , duplication of information was eradicated and all the production details such as quantities packed, stock used, line and labour efficiencies were collected in real time at the point of packing.

KEY BENEFITS as described by Chris Browning MD

  • Accurate stock
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Clear view of grading information
  • More control of the whole business
  • Live real-time view of the business at any time