Calhoun Bend Mill sees benefits after installing an integrated real-time solution.

Management at Calhoun Bend Mill replaced an outdated manual spreadsheet tracking system with an integrated real-time solution to help streamline business operations such as production planning and scheduling and labor and inventory cost tracking. Source: Calhoun Bend Mill.
Calhoun Bend Mill, a Jonesville, LA-based mill, was fortunate enough to be growing at a rapid pace. However, growth left the manufacturer of dessert, cornbread and batter fry mixes in need of an integrated real-time solution that could replace its outdated manual spreadsheet tracking method and streamline its business operations.

The family-owned mill sells its products to grocery stores via direct store delivery distributors, as well as via phone, mail and Internet orders. Other distribution channels for Calhoun Bend Mill include restaurants, hospitals, schools and other institutions through its food service line of products. It also manufactures mixes for contract customers and offers private labeling.

The company had been using spreadsheets to keep track of the material requirements, purchasing and production planning and scheduling, as well as product order information for all these customers, but due to recent growth, manual spreadsheets weren't working well. So, officials at Calhoun Bend Mill decided to find a broad-based solution that could automate current business processes and expand as the company did. "We reviewed several food manufacturing ERP vendors and selected PRONTO-Xi (from PRONTO North America)," says Martie Hoover, operations manager. "They stood out with a full suite of food industry modules and functionality, so we no longer need to create manual spreadsheets. With faster and more accurate reporting, we make better decisions about material requirements and purchasing."

PRONTO-Xi allows Calhoun Bend Mill to consolidate information from its different labels and companies into one comprehensive system. The software permits it to monitor individual orders in addition to direct store delivery distributors and chain stores. The company is now able to track its costs and has a better picture of its profitability by product and customer. Management is also able to analyze costs for new products and develop an accurate price structure, saving time and money.

After installing the system less than a year ago, the company has seen direct benefits, Hoover says. "With PRONTO-Xi financials, distribution and manufacturing modules, we are now able to plan and schedule production and track labor costs with great ease, which was not previously possible," says Hoover. "A significant portion of process time has been eliminated, enabling us to dedicate extra time to other projects, including managing our inventory so we only order what we need for the short term."

She adds that based on the initial positive results, Calhoun Bend Mill plans to incorporate additional modules, including the PRONTO-Xi point of sale, scanning and lot tracking modules.

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Tom Verzi; PRONTO North America;