07 Jun

3 Examples of How Snack Food Manufacturers Use the Cloud to Succeed

With just a short walk down the snack aisle at the grocery store, it’s easy to see how competitive the snack food industry is. Every week, a new soy chip or chocolate bar comes out and tries to snag a small percentage of the $38.2 billion industry, according to the Snack Food Production Market Research Report.

Because of this high competition, snack food manufacturers are finding new ways to streamline their processes and production that also reduce costs, increase profits and boost productivity. One of the best ways to do this is to use cloud-based technology, which is easy to implement and quick to get used to. In fact, a survey by cloud ERP technology supplier Plex found that after deploying cloud systems, 74 percent of manufacturers said they achieved operating process improvements and 61 percent achieved better quality in their products.

The following examples show how snack food manufacturers can use the cloud to help their businesses succeed:


Tracking Across the Supply Chain

The ability for businesses to track production from raw materials to finished product across the supply chain helps them ensure they maintain a high quality and are compliant with the FDA. Using spreadsheets or, even worse, paper to manage the production line can quickly become stressful and potentially disastrous.

One example of a snack food manufacturer using the cloud is DeMet’s Candy Company. It uses justfoodERP to integrate its purchasing, inventory and production into one system. It has the ability to automatically schedule quality management audits, manage food safety reporting by tracking across the supply chain and take care of allergen recording. The system also gives food scientists real-time visibility into processes so they can improve them and manage EDI transactions.


Inventory Management and Sales

Cataloging and managing raw materials in a snack food manufacturing facility is difficult due to sheer volume. A cloud service like Microsoft’s Office 365 has many multipurpose apps that are great for communicating and collaborating on the production floor. It includes project management and enables companies to track its orders and fulfillments as well as record requirements such as nutrition or allergen information. Microsoft’s NAV, CRM and Office 365 services are also robust and built out for integration, so they work well with other systems that businesses need to use.

Bounce Foods started using Microsoft’s NAV and CRM solutions for inventory management, sales and purchase order processing and tracking information. Bounce’s COO Gary Smith tells BizTech that before it used cloud services, the company tracked its inventory on spreadsheets that often became confused and resulted in duplicate orders. However, with the help of Microsoft’s cloud services, Bounce increased its shipments from 200,000 to 600,000 per month all because it could make well-informed decisions on its sales process.


Reporting and Analytics

The reporting process is traditionally opaque and slow, thanks to paperwork and slow-to-update systems. However, with cloud technology, there is an expectation for faster turnaround times, the ability to pull reports in real time and analytics that help manufacturing companies scale their business.

For this purpose, fine chocolates manufacturer Sanders uses Plex. With the help of this service, the company can analyze its reporting data for faster and better informed decision-making, simplified compliance and improved visibility. Sanders explains that because it has better visibility into what its customers order, it can move at the same speed as market demands that change based on the seasons and trending topics. For example, because of the “Better for You” snacking trend, Sanders developed a fruit and snack dip and a fruit and granola bar to provide healthier options. The Plex cloud system has helped Sander’s scalability by enabling it to use analytics to fluctuate with different seasons without worrying about exceeding capacity or wasting space.

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