Food Engineering

ERP improves order accuracy

September 1, 2008
A new finely tuned ERP system keeps ingredient maker growing.

ProcessPro ERP software helps Parker Products make more informed business decisions and stay competitive in the ingredients business. Source: Parker Products.


Since 1926, Parker Products, Inc. has specialized in high-quality ingredients for the baking and dairy industries. The privately owned company located in Fort Worth, TX prides itself on its ability to provide customers with unique and custom products.

With an annual growth rate of 15-20%, Parker soon found its previous ERP software could no longer meet evolving company’s needs. In addition, its manufacturing, accounting and contact management software weren’t integrated.

The old software wasn’t the only issue. Parker struggled with ordering manufacturing goods in a timely fashion, and the shelf life of many raw materials was a concern. With two warehouse locations and the need to quarantine certain raw materials, Parker’s paper method of tracking lot numbers was inefficient and difficult to maintain. In addition, the cumbersome, multi-step paper format of order entry was time-consuming and sometimes inaccurate. Parker was burdened with monthly physical inventories, annual book value inventories and daily inventory review prior to releasing work orders. Finally, Parker needed a hands-on approach to monitor production.

Ultimately, the ingredient maker recognized the need for an ERP system that could fulfill its requirements. These included support of integrated manufacturing planning with inventory, quality control for both manufacturing and inventory, ability to track costs for manufactured items and increased visibility of inventory to allow informed customer commitments. With today’s high percentage of shoppers purchasing on-line, e-commerce capability was a vital necessity in maintaining annual business growth. The software also had to be capable of being easily modified, and strong vendor support was a requisite.

Greg Hodder, Parker’s president, began a search for a suitable ERP product. He settled on ProcessPro of St. Cloud, MN. With the software’s material requirements planning (MRP) application, all of Parker’s raw materials, packaging materials and equipment are ordered automatically at the right time and in the right quantities. According to Parker’s Purchasing Director Ann Winikka, “ProcessPro has allowed us to maintain better control on our inventory management, allowing for just-in-time purchases.”

Now, Parker can eliminate all paper lot tracking, and is able to use the software’s stores/bin feature to support all quarantine requirements. Hodder says, “ProcessPro’s lot tracking has given Parker the tools to implement its new ‘Rapid Recall Program,’ which has improved our traceability and reduced product tracking cost.”

Not only does the software generate, schedule and maintain orders, it also creates invoices when linked to accounts receivable. Most importantly, order entry is directly integrated with manufacturing, providing cross-reference tables for customer requirements, a robust pricing system and a simple, two-step billing process. The inventory control application tracks inventory balances, serial numbers, lots and product line information. All balances are updated in real time for up-to-the-minute, on-screen access. Finally, the software lets Parker calculate direct labor hours, providing accurate average costs. Hodder sums up, “ProcessPro has increased the accuracy of our information, which gives management the ability to maker better-informed decisions.” v

For more information, Scott Fujan, 800-457-3548, sdf@processpromfg.com.