With the support of its ERP platform, Illes has grown its business by around 40% over the last four years without the need for additional employees.
ERP migration drives growth and efficiency in food flavors
Illes provides seasonings and flavors in liquid or dry form to 460 customers across the U.S., including a number of national restaurant and beverage chains. In 2006, Illes was experiencing significant growth in its business, but expansion and manufacturing efficiency were being hinderd by a legacy ERP system that did not have the functionality the company needed to serve its demanding and fast-growing cutomer base.
The need for the new system was also driven by the growing complexity of its manufacturing process. Demands for the supply of a variety of pre-mixed seasonings to distribution centers and individual restaurants in bulk quantities were increasing dramatically. With sometimes more than 30 to 40 ingredients per batch in many of these customer orders, the ability to track the R&D process through to delivery of finished goods in a timely manner was critical.
Speed and accuracy are also essential. Some of Illes’ customers will demand a one-day turnaround on their order. They also expect all of Illes’ products to be consistent and safe. Any errors in the system, whether they be formulas, labels, specs, or blend procedures, can have serious consequences.
The company chose the Ross ERP system from CDC Software as the basis of its new IT platform. The initial phase of migration began in August 2006 and was completed in 11 months. CDC’s Pivotal CRM was then installed in 2008, followed by a new version of Ross with data collection and Trace Express in 2009.
With the support of the ERP platform, Illes has grown its business by around 40% over the last four years without the need for additional employees. It has also reduced the monthly financial closing from 10 days to two; saved hundreds of hours on detailed sales, purchasing, and materials management analysis; saved an estimated 25% on raw materials and freight charges annually; and reduced raw material waste by 2%. The company now has a 360-degree customer view at all points in the lifecycle, from initial order to final sale.
“The food industry is increasingly subject to more audits from both customers and industry authorties as a result of the rising number of global food recalls and food safety issues,” explains Les Howell, executive director of IT at Illes Seasonings. “The new automated traceability system helps improve our productivity by minimizing the administrative time of compliance.”