Memory Lane Cakes are pre-pack cake manufacturers, supplying major multiples with their own-label products alongside their own portfolio of brands.
Following a management buyout from Grand Metropolitan in 1997, the newly independent company urgently needed a food software solution to replace the incumbent SAP system.
Memory Lane Cakes have chosen the Sanderson’s food solution to manage their business processes and support their growth plans, whilst driving efficiency into their sales, financials and new product development.
According to Gary Evans, Memory Lane Cakes’ IT project manager, “Good business practices were already in place and it was essential the new system supported these. Sanderson’s extensive knowledge of our industry meant the software uses familiar food terminology so staff instantly related to it. It’s also easy to use and the functionality offered the best fit for our business.”
The Sanderson software is based on a modular design that enables companies in the food and formulation industry to automate any or all of their distribution and manufacturing processes. A flexible open architecture means existing operations can be extended cost effectively as new products or processes are introduced and incorporated seamlessly into the business.
EDI enhances process efficiency at customer and supplier sites
By enabling customers to place orders electronically 24-hours a day through the use of EDI (electronic document interchange), Memory Lane Cakes have contributed to maintaining a world class customer satisfaction level of over 99%.
Around 240 orders per day are imported directly onto the Sanderson system. With one supermarket for instance, the ‘Advanced shipping notification’ for every order received is automatically returned to the customer’s system so that a pallet label can be immediately scanned and the different pallet elements booked.
The Sanderson solution manages all picking and despatch processes with maximum efficiency and accuracy through the utilisation of real-time data thus reducing invoicing and delivery errors.
Furthermore, regular price lists are distributed to customers through EDI so that any price changes that have occurred between orders can be checked and prices agreed ahead of placing the next order, eliminating possible invoice discrepancies later on.
Memory Lane Cakes also uses Email to share their materials requirements forecasts with suppliers to provide a ‘heads up’ of likely requirements, so that raw material shortfalls are avoided and orders can be fulfilled on time.
Product innovation is more streamlined, accurate and faster using the NPD module.
Dave Brooks, Group CEO for the Finsbury Food Group, said, “We have improved the efficiency and handling of raw materials and finished products in the Goods In and Despatch areas, reducing our costs whilst improving customer service. I am amazed at times by the power and flexibility of the Sanderson solution – it can meet what are seemingly bizarre requests as standard on many occasions.”
New product development
Product innovation is important. By raising new product briefs from customers directly onto the Sanderson solution, the system can manage sign-off of NPD processes from beginning to end. Briefs are emailed automatically to the relevant department managers to agree or reject.
Agreed briefs are forwarded to the production managers, together with a full approval dialog and expected timescales. Production activity is also entered directly onto the system so a complete record for each recipe is captured.
According to Kevin Binns, Memory Lane Cakes’ Product Development Manager, “New product development is a key process for any food sector company, yet the means to handle it smoothly is not always there. Since we implemented the Sanderson New Product Development module, our whole process has become quicker and more streamlined.
“Information can now be accessed by all authorised personnel in a timely fashion. The brief gets signed off electronically in hours rather than playing ‘pass the parcel’ with a manual brief which could take several weeks.
“Recipes can be easily copied from the live database and amended to create a new product with costings. This eliminates manual data re-entry (with concomitant errors) and we know the cost feasibility of a project from day one. Remote workers are far more productive as they can enter new briefs or update existing information more readily.
Additionally, management now has an instantaneous ‘real-time’ picture of where we are on any project. We particularly like the ability to define certain ‘free format’ fields which allow us to operate in the way we like rather than have our processes defined by the software. With the ability to integrate this to email alerts, we have a more reliable and accountable process to handle product innovation.”