IFS, the global enterprise applications company, has announced that Whitworths, one of the UK's major food producers, has chosen IFS Applications 8 to improve manufacturing efficiency, stock control and supply chain forecasting.
Based in Northamptonshire, UK, Whitworths manufactures healthier snacking, breakfast, baking and cooking products, such as dried fruits and nuts, which are distributed to many major UK supermarkets and other retail outlets. It sources raw materials from a diverse range of countries and regions, including China, the US, Southern Europe and North Africa. All suppliers are vetted according to stringent criteria, and their products are checked for nutritional value and freshness, among other characteristics. This makes procurement and managing supply a complex process, which must also take into account changing customer demand to ensure the best quality products are delivered on time and in the right quantities.
Steve Griffiths, Head of IT at Whitworths, says: "The legacy IT systems and processes we had in place relied on spreadsheets to manage our inventory, distribution and financials. This has served us well up until now, but as we enter our next growth stage and experience increasing demand from our larger customers, we need to further improve our supply chain efficiency and customer service levels. To do this, we are upgrading our 20 year-old IT infrastructure and implementing a unified IT strategy based on IFS Applications 8."
Griffiths continued: "Whitworths selected IFS ahead of other ERP providers, Microsoft AX and Epicor, following a competitive tender process." The new IFS system will be deployed across the whole business, supporting over 200 users in eight departments.
"Our current approach to information management is somewhat siloed," says Griffiths, "with many departments lacking insight into what's happening across the entire organisation. By using IFS, we will be able to give employees visibility of all processes relevant to them, as well as increase productivity within our factories and offices and enhance customer satisfaction by streamlining deliveries and order fulfillment."
IFS will also help improve Whitworths' overall business performance by adding intelligence to its factory operations and in doing so enable the company to forecast months, even years, in advance.
Paul Massey, Managing Director of IFS Europe West, explains, saying: "IFS Applications 8 will give Whitworths scenario-planning capabilities, so that customer demand or stock modifications can be simulated. This will allow the company to assess the potential impact of such changes so that action can be taken to ensure orders are fulfilled in the most efficient way.
"In addition, Whitworths will be able to use IFS Applications 8 to monitor employee performance against specific product lines, which will provide clear productivity and profitiability indicators.
Furthermore, the use of the project centric capabilities within IFS Applications 8 will give better control and visibility in the New Product Development (NPD) area which will help to reduce the lead time on bringing fresh products to the market."