We have customers within the following industries:
- ORGANIC FOODS
- READY MEALS
- SEASONING BLENDING
- MEAT PRODUCTS
- CATERING AND RETAIL BUTCHERS
- SANDWICH MAKERS
- ICE CREAM
The company manufactures high quality herbs, spices and blends; cake decorations; and cup cake kits. The herb/spice and the Home Bake product ranges each account for approximately 50% of turnover, projected to be £10 million in the current financial year.
The business was purchased in 1993 by the present owners as a basic herb and spice operation supplying mainly to health food, independent and delicatessen trades, plus limited wholesale sales. Sales turnover to this customer base was trebled from 1993-97, but the management recognised that the growing influence of the multiple retailers meant the future should not be based on sales to the independents. The company’s marketing strategy was re-focussed on the multiples and supermarkets and the first major multiple sales were achieved with Waitrose in September 1998. Since then, the company has grown rapidly and now supplies all major multiples in the UK, and the leading gourmet houses such as Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols. The export market is also extensive.
Initially, the company focused on its expertise in herbs and spices. Then as a consequence of a novel royal icing decoration, its handmade cake decorations achieved many multiple listings and were featured on the front cover of The Sainsbury Magazine in 1999. The breadth of the Home Bake range was greatly developed to stand alongside the herbs and spices business.
Behind the company’s growth has been an active programme of developing high quality products and pack presentations, that have created a clear cut point of difference from competitors. The company is also very active in the use of licensed products. It has worked with the renowned Swiss chef Anton Mosimann to develop and market the range of Mosimann Grindfresh spice mills. Following this Fiddes Payne acquired the Mr Men Home Bake Licence Agreement for Great Britain and Ireland and from January 2004 the company marketed the Mr Men Home Bake products with great success, selling in all major multiples. In 2005 Fiddes Payne gained the European rights to use Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and Princess characters, leading to product listings in all major UK multiples. This activity has been continued with acquisition of the rights to Friends and Disney’s Mickey Mouse characters.
Whilst determined to retain the significant presence of its own Fiddes Payne brand in the market, since 2002 the company has increasingly turned its attention to the introduction of Own Label products for the major multiples. The ultimate objective is to have a division of sales with 65% Fiddes Payne and 35% Own Label.
Fiddes Payne uses Sage Accounts 2007 (Line 50), currently as a cost-effective stock management system and supplier database, to be developed into the company’s full accounts system.
The system is regarded as very user friendly, enabling the control of varying formats of products and materials used on site.
Before choosing ProdTrac as its Sage Addition, Fiddes Payne reviewed other traceability systems. ProdTrac proved to be a complete business management tool with traceability fully incorporated instead of just being an addition to the software. ProdTrac has been found to be extremely user-friendly, and any additional requirements can be discussed and developed to help improve the system’s use by the business. Fiddes Payne have concluded that technical support of the software is excellent. There are active plans to extend the software across more users at the two sites.
For Fiddes Payne, the key benefits of the ProdTrac system are that it provides a central database which highlights:
all at the touch of a button.
Fiddes Payne are currently updating their material and product records in ProdTrac to make it fully operational. They envisage ProdTrac to then be invaluable to the business by providing the company with confidence in its systems and ensuring that it operates in the most efficient manner.
In addition, ProdTrac offers the clear advantage that detailed sales invoices can be exported directly to Sage Accounts 2007. In this way, Sage can manage the financial aspects of the business leaving ProdTrac to manage and report the full manufacturing and tracing history of products supplied to customers.
The company is an SME manufacturing cake and biscuit products. The business was established in 2001 to supply products via mail order or local customers. This market was soon expanded to include foodservice businesses. More recently, the company has withdrawn from supplying via mail order in order to concentrate more on foodservice outlets.
In 2005, a range of quality biscuit products was launched into the local supply market using a local distributor.
Turnover has increased 6-fold since 2001.
Columbine Cakes uses Sage Line 50 and Sage Payroll for sales invoicing, purchase invoicing, general accounting and staff payroll.
One key choice in the company’s decision to use ProdTrac as a Sage Addition was the ability to integrate the two programs. Columbine recognised the advantages of using ProdTrac to completely manage the manufacturing operations of the business coupled with full ingredient and product traceability. These are essential requirements for the company’s progress toward approval under the BRC Global Standard of accreditation. But to fully manage its financial obligations, Columbine wanted the means of exporting detailed sales invoices from ProdTrac to Sage Line 50, knowing that ProdTrac retained the full manufacturing and tracing history of the products supplied to customers.
After investigations over a 12-month exploratory period, Columbine Cakes chose ProdTrac as the ideal solution for the company’s needs.
Original Purpose(s) for using ProdTrac
The company originally needed a means of controlling traceability of ingredients, work-in-progress materials and finished products. Customers include food processors supplying directly to the major retailers, and recent audits had identified a weakness in providing traceability details, particularly in tracing back to suppliers and in identifying details of work-in-progress. There were concerns that business would be lost if traceability gaps were not closed.
ProdTrac immediately enabled traceability to be satisfied in a practical way. Secondary immediate benefits were the automation of stock controls and shelflife rotation. The addition of pricing information on purchased ingredients meant that stock valuations could be automated for ingredients and manufactured products.
Although the company operates the Sage Line 50 Accounting program, it prefers to use ProdTrac for all transactions from purchase order creation to sales invoicing. Financial details on purchases and sales are exported to Sage.
The secure traceability system has satisfied all customer concerns. All subsequent technical audits have accepted that the ProdTrac database can provide any traceability information that might be required, and as a result additional new business has been secured.
The database is networked on SQL Server.
A J Granby’s now use the ProdTrac program for all business management transactions. On many occasions, the database has proved invaluable in providing accurate stock levels and shelflife information. The system has been examined and endorsed by the on-site Meat Hygiene officers. During an unscheduled audit, the local Trading Standards Office has also been shown the program and was completely satisfied. They were particularly impressed that the program provides a solution to the tracing of allergens in ingredients: this is the next section of legislation that they have to audit in food processing operations.
A J Granby’s are considering applying for BRC accreditation, and have been given an initial audit by an independent food consultants. The consultants were so impressed by the ProdTrac system that they are now recommending it to other clients.
A J Granby are very pleased with the system, and are willing to recommend or demonstrate it to any prospective clients.
Customer: Broad Oak Farm Sausage Company Limited, Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex
Speciality Sausage and Cooked Ham manufacture
Original Purpose(s) for using ProdTrac
Technical management improvement.
The company manufactures and supplies own brand and retailer brand products to major retailers and also to independent outlets via van sales. To satisfy retailer requirements for traceability, an improved system was needed to replace the incomplete paperwork system traditionally used.
The Technical Department identified that the ProdTrac program could provide the ideal solution, particularly as it could be customised to their requirements. The Purchasing Department also recognised the advantages that ProdTrac could offer in business management. The company uses Sage Line 50 and ProdTrac. The ProdTrac business features are really appreciated and will eventually replace Sage to the point of invoice exporting.
A number of customised reports have been developed specifically for Broad Oak
Broad Oak have been very pro-active in helping to develop the system. They have suggested a number of applications that would help to extend the range and usefulness of the program, and we are working on these enhancements.
They have recommended the program to their local Trading Standards Office, who are very impressed with the standard features, in particular traceability and allergen management.
Broad Oak are very pleased to have decided on using the program, and appreciates the level of customer support we provide.
A very successful installation. Broad Oak now have a system networked across 3 user stations with a secure server.
Customer: The Good Earth Group (T/A PineGlade Limited), London NW10
Chinese Meals Production
Original Purpose(s) for using ProdTrac
The Good Earth business operates a chain of high class Chinese restaurants in and around London. Meals are developed and produced in a central processing unit which supplies the restaurants and also independent hotels in central London.
The company employs an independent food consultant specialising in European food service systems. He had recommended that a traceability system would be needed to meet the new traceability legislation. The business had looked at several possible solutions, but decided on the ProdTrac system because of the business management information it provides. They did not need persuading that the real benefits of recording traceability information are the business analysis uses where that information can be used.
The company operates the Sage Line 50 Accounting program, but uses ProdTrac for all food and packaging transactions from purchase order creation to sales invoicing. Financial details on purchases and sales are exported to Sage. Sage is used for non-food transactions.
Good Earth have recommended ProdTrac to several of their own suppliers and associate companies, and are willing to demonstrate the program.
The consultant endorsed the ProdTrac system before a decision was made, and he is now keen to help demonstrate and market the program to other clients.
Good Earth are very pleased with the system and are forecasting its extension to the satellite restaurant sites as business develops.