Founded in 1948, Green Bay Cheese Company (owned by the Fairmount Food Group) is the largest deli cheese packager in the US. Recently, the company faced significant challenges due to government regulations and customer compliance issues. The processor’s old DOS-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) package just couldn’t keep up with regulatory issues, and it was hard to use.
According to Carmen Lang, vice-president of operations and administration for the Wisconsin-based company, “The must-have features in a new ERP included strong MRP and production features, weekly cheese market costing and pricing, random weight unit of measure, user friendliness, flexibility in report writing and paperless records.”
Green Bay Cheese needed an ERP software package that could track individual cheese lots from raw material receipt through consumption in manufacturing and onto shipment of finished product to its retail and food service customers. It also had to manage special customer pricing requirements based upon the current market price for cheese, provide detailed costing of manufacturing operations, and prepare customer-specific private labeling of product including product details and lot analysis information.
The producer found its solution with Technology Group International’s ERP package, Enterprise 21. With this ERP system, the cheese manufacturer is able to electronically store womb-to-tomb lot tracking of cheese so that a given lot of cheese can be traced to all customers who received material produced from that particular lot; interactively calculate online customer pricing based upon cheese market price and customer pricing factors; and automatically generate customer-specific labels which include not only customer logos and barcodes, but also the retail customer’s price to the consumer.
From inventory control to purchasing, the cheese company’s new ERP system efficiently performs key functions such as order management, manufacturing, general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Inventory control includes an integrated warehouse management system; tracking multi-locations and bins in each warehouse; prime pick, put-away, and restocking locations by product code; sophisticated product configurator; bill of material maintenance for kitting; fully attributed inventory; lot control with analysis; and RF/bar code functionality.
ERP purchasing functionality includes multiple suppliers and purchasing rules per stocking part number, vendor RFQ processing, automatic creation of purchase orders based upon replenishment rules, automatic or manual generation of requisitions, blanket purchase orders, electronic signature approval and vendor performance tracking.
Due to government regulations and compliance issues, inventory control was probably the most important ERP function to consider, yet a fully-functioning integrated system makes the most business sense in the long run. With the ERP implementation, Green Bay Cheese Company is better equipped to serve its customers.
While it’s still too early to quantify savings in dollars, people, time, and percentages, Lang insists that the Enterprise 21 solution, “Streamlined our process from time of receiving the raw materials, to producing the products, to shipping the finished goods.” u
For more information:
Rebecca Gill, Technology Group International;