Integrated solution provides the recipe for success

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H.J. Heinz is one of the worlds leading marketers of branded foods to retail and food service channels. Its customers are mainly food service companies supplying a wide range of end-user segments such as hospitals, hotels, restaurants, air catering and fast food outlets throughout Europe. The company has experienced rapid growth and is well on its way to becoming the continents leader in the field of packaged food portions.

With its rapid growth, Heinz Belgium felt that improvements in efficiency could be achieved without a significant increase in staff levels. The companys food products must be high-quality and meet health standards, no matter whether it is fresh, frozen or processed. Cost accounting is also important, since the company works with complex pricing structures, which need to be measured against related manufacturing costsby the minute.

Heinz Belgium realised that its legacy system was unable to keep up with the companys rapidly shifting needs and explosive growth once it was acquired by the Heinz Group. The company was looking for an integrated software solution to fit all its business needs as well as a financially solid, experienced and proven business partner with whom it could work comfortablyand whom it could trust. In particular, the new software solution had to completely integrate production, administration and logistics.

Heinz Belgium created a list of criteria to alleviate its jam. This was sent to prospective software vendors and after an in-depth study of four leading ERP vendors, the company finally selected IBS integrated supply chain management software, ASW.

Heinz Belgium chose IBS Enterprise software for reasons of value, usability and experience. IBS was able to put forward references based on many successful implementations and satisfied customers both within Heinz industry and others. The solution proved to be totally integrated, boasting the right functionality that required little customisation over and above the standard system.

According to the company, the software is ideally suited to the food distribution industry with support for sales, CRM, marketing, financial control and business performance measurement and decision support. The solution also serves up opportunities for quick return on investment, measurable key performance indicators and real value. To deliver food products in the quickest, most cost-efficient manner, IBS has provided Heinz Belgium with an integrated IT solution that automates and optimises all processes from the warehouse to its customers.

Realising the benefits, seeing the value

Heinz Belgium remains very enthusiastic about its choice of a comprehensive business system supplier. The benefits of an integrated solution are apparent. The integrated solution has eliminated delays in the measurement of manufacturing costs.

The total integration inherent in the system provided a way to link all system information with Heinz Belgiums standard reporting tool. This provides a comprehensive range of standard reports, which can be used and changed online. All production data is passed directly to a dedicated computer, which means that Heinz Belgium no longer has to maintain two bills of material.

Mistakes and discrepancies between the ERP system and the production server are a thing of the past. Heinz Belgium now avoids duplication, resulting in a more effective, less-costly work force. Despite the powerful functionality of the system, Heinz Belgium finds IBS Enterprise less complex than anticipated. Benefits are also gained in the overall management of the system, with improved reporting and a better understanding of its businessall this without the need to employ IT staff.

The most important advantage for Heinz Belgium has been a major improvement in efficiency. Since the implementation of IBS Enterprise, the company turnover has grown in only four years from EURO 25 million to EURO 75 million with little change in headcount.

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