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Taking the Bull by the Horns: Software Advisory and Process Assessment for a Food and Beverage Manufacturer and Distributor

May 26, 2017

When a private investor acquired a $15 million meat processing company, he identified several critical opportunities for improved inventory management, customer service, and ultimately profitability. However, with limited industry knowledge (and ineffective reporting from the existing accounting software system), he recognized he needed a partner who had expertise in both the food and beverage and distribution industries and with QuickBooks and other ERP systems.

Client Challenges

  • Informal and undefined business procedures: Order flow (from intake to the processing plant to delivery) was chaotic and causing significant product losses.
  • Lack of product processing controls: Quality control and delivery processes were inconsistent.
  • Improved business reporting: With few KPI reports, including margin per customer/item, labor utilization and efficiency, and inventory accuracy, management had little insight into areas for sales improvement and cost reduction.

Approach

Working with both the new and previous owner, as well as several key operations employees, EKS&H provided an assessment of manufacturing and distribution operations, accounting systems, and the business technology environment as well as strategic software advisory recommendations.

Steps included:
  1. Walking the facility floor with the prior owner, the new owner, and the director of operations from start to finish to document processes.
  2. Assessment of the current accounting system (QuickBooks) and a premier alternative system the company had already invested in (SAP Business One). 
  3. Provided recommendations to plant and order fulfillment processes and controls, worked with a Value Add Retailer (VAR) to renew licenses and update software, and assembled a future technology roadmap.

Results

  • Offered ideas to improve manufacturing and distribution processes to ensure less loss and higher profitability.
  • Transitioned accounting to a $200,000 system for less than $25,000 worth of updates.
  • Set client up for future optimization with warehouse management system selection and implementation.
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