Reinhart Foods turns to ERP software for production efficiencies

Thursday February 04, 2016
Written by Sage
Feb. 4, 2016 - Reinhart Foods is a Canadian vinegar producer, supplying a wide assortment of vinegar products to manufacturers, industry and distribution partners for more than 60 years. More recent additions to the company’s successful product lineup include flaked coconut, pie fillings, and dried fruit. With three state-of-the-art facilities located in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, Reinhart Foods remains at the pinnacle of its industry through an unwavering commitment to quality, safety, efficiency, and customer service. Sage X3 is the business management tool Reinhart Foods selected to help it best manage and grow its success.

Sage X3 ERP integrates entire operation
The company had been using a legacy software application that it shared with a sister company for more than 20 years. When the companies diverged, Reinhart Foods began the search for a new and modern business management application that could integrate its entire operation. “We really only used the old software for general ledger transactions,” recalls Tony Hum, vice president of finance for Reinhart Foods. “Everything else was accomplished with spreadsheets.”

Tom Singer, president of Reinhart Foods, adds, “It was our opportunity to invest in a sophisticated application that could support our growth and operations going forward. Sage X3 is the solution we selected. It helps us improve our strategic decision making, costing, margin analyses, and much more. We now have access to tools and information we never had before.”

Singer explains that the company reviewed several process manufacturing solutions before deciding on Sage X3 ERP software, interviewing each vendor and verifying the functionality of each offering. “We engaged a consulting firm to help us evaluate our options. We started with 20 options and pared those down to three. After the presentations were complete, it was clear to us that Sage X3 was the winning solution.”

Smooth implementation

Reinhart Foods worked directly with Sage Professional Services Group to plan and execute the implementation. Tim Quinlan, vice president of production, praises the team’s capabilities. “They not only understood the software’s capabilities and how to apply them, they worked to understand our business—where we were and where we wanted to go. Sage challenged us to better define our existing workflows so that we could work together to improve them.”

“Our first priority was our customers,” says Hum. “We didn’t want them to experience any type of disruption in service. I’m pleased to say we accomplished this. With thorough planning and testing, the switchover was imperceptible to our customers, and we had no impact to top-line sales.”

Real-time, decision-making data
Using Sage X3, Reinhart Foods has access to real-time, decision-making data that has changed the company’s production equation. “We went from dealing with yesterday’s problems to tackling today’s challenges,” says Quinlan. “Solving issues in the moment is much more effective and efficient for a business.”

Computer workstations were installed on the production floor, facilitating the collection of batch and lot information. “Previously, the data entry happened days later in the front office,” explains Quinlan. “Now we’re collecting that data when and where it’s happening.”

Driving production efficiencies
Reinhart Foods says it is realizing better visibility and fluidity throughout the production cycle. “Sage X3 helps us integrate our entire manufacturing process, from order entry and shipping, through demand forecasting,” explains Hum. “It provides us with material requirements planning (MRP) capabilities, access to accurate, up-to-date information, and tight lot control functionality.”

Using a robust MRP tool has stabilized and improved the way the company determines which products it stocks, what it orders, and what it makes. “Before Sage X3, these decisions were made by individuals using their experience and often outdated information,” says Quinlan. “Now, the software makes the recommendations for us, based on actual data. The whole process is much more accurate. We haven’t yet fully measured the economic benefit of the improved accuracy, but expect it to be significant.”

Tasks such as routine inventory cycle counts are accomplished more quickly and more accurately using Sage X3, saving staff time and improving the reliability of inventory data, they add.

Lot traceability
The ability to trace lots associated with ingredients and finished products is essential to every food manufacturer. With complete forward/backward lot traceability built into the functionality of Sage X3, Reinhart Foods knows that in the unlikely event of a recall, it has the tools it needs to respond quickly, and remain firmly in compliance.

Leveraging the solution’s capabilities
With its new business management solution in place and performing, the company is now working on ways to further leverage the capabilities of Sage X3. “We’re now turning our attention to building the analysis and reporting tools that will help us refine and improve all of our processes, from budgeting, to sales forecasting, to supply chain planning,” says Singer.

Hum concludes, “We’re already seeing significant improvements in our operations with Sage X3. Now we’re diving deeper into its capabilities, using the data we are collecting to strategically build on our success.”

This case study was supplied by Sage.

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