Case Study: Brookside Flavors

By | Case Studies, Food and Beverage, Sage X3 | No Comments

NexTec and Sage X3 are key ingredients to success for Brookside Flavors

NexTec implemented Sage X3, giving the company a firm grip on inventory, access to data in real time, and set them up for a full transformation of their business.

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About Brookside Flavors & Ingredients

Brookside Flavors & Ingredients is a company with exceptional taste — manufacturing sweet and savory ingredient blends and enhancers utilized by some of the biggest names in the food industry. Brookside is an industry leader using natural, organic and non-GMO flavors and ingredients.

Industry - Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Industry
Food and Beverage
location
Location
Branchburg, NJ
NexTec ERP icon
System selected
Sage X3

“NexTec brings an abundance of expertise and knowledge of best business practices to our projects that is helping us get the most from Sage X3 and preparing us for our continuing growth and success.”

Dean Karkazis, Director of Operational Analytics, Brookside Flavors

Main functionalities

Here’s how NexTec Group and Sage X3 helped solve Brookside Flavor’s challenges:

Improves efficiency

The company has seen significant improvements in inventory accuracy, order allocation, production tracking, and general efficiency. Employees can now enter data in multiple areas of the facility rather than waiting on one person to enter data into the software.

“NexTec shares our approach to doing business. We both insist on doing things right.”

Dean Karkazis, Director of Operational Analytics, Brookside Flavors

End-to-end solution

NexTec implemented a full suite of tightly integrated business management solutions, including: Sage X3 financial, distribution, and manufacturing suites; Sage HRMS; Sage Payment Solutions; True Commerce EDI; Solver BI360; and a complete RFID system.

Key Results

Single, robust solution provides visibility and functionality across multiple locations and departments
A skilled and well-planned implementation kept the project on time and in budget
Previously manual processes have been automated, saving time and money
The company can now collect a vast amount of quality-related data on its thousands of products

Ready to learn more?

Request a demo
2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study

2020 Food & Beverage Manufacturing Industry Survey – Special COVID-19 Edition

By | COVID-19, ERP, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing, Sage X3 | No Comments

2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing StudySpecial Edition: COVID-19 and the Food & Beverage Industry

NexTec Group recently finished a survey of over 100 Food and Beverage Manufacturers across the US. This year, we wanted to learn how food and beverage manufacturers are responding to the coronavirus crisis and how they are preparing for the “new normal.” 85% of the respondents have experienced supply chain disruptions and a majority indicated that their ERP and CRM software has been highly valuable in managing through these turbulent times.

Download the report to see what else we found out, including

  • The effect the pandemic has had on demand for products and the supply chain
  • What contingency or continuity plans food and beverage manufacturers had in place
  • The actions they have taken or plan to take in response to the pandemic
  • What software and technology manufacturers found most valuable during the pandemic
  • What new software and technology manufacturers plan to use as a result of the pandemic

Download the report

We hope this report provides you with some insight and helps you plan for the future. Should you need any advice on ERP, CRM, or BI software or how to set up your operations to help mitigate issues during a crisis and put your company on the path to a strong, solid future, please contact us using the form on the right.

Take care and stay safe,
Your friends at NexTec Group

Case Study: Elmer Candy

By | Case Studies, Food and Beverage, Sage X3 | No Comments

NexTec and Sage X3 make life sweeter for Elmer Candy

NexTec implemented Sage X3, giving the company a firm grip on inventory, access to data in real-time, and set them up for a full transformation of their business.

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About Elmer Candy

Elmer Candy Corporation, established in 1855, is one of the most successful chocolatiers in the United States. Its sweet confections, primarily boxed chocolates, are sold at retailers across the country, including Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and Target. If you’ve purchased chocolates for Valentine’s Day, Christmas or another holiday, you’ve most likely picked up a box from Elmer Candy. To meet the high holiday demand, Elmer Candy must accurately forecast sales, ensure its supplies of raw ingredients, and efficiently craft, package, and distribute its goods.

Industry - Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Industry
Food and Beverage
location
Location
Ponchatoula, LA
NexTec ERP icon
System selected
Sage X3

“In the end, NexTec offered the single best combination of partner experience, end-to-end functionality, and competitive pricing. We felt confident in our decision from the start, and that confidence hasn’t wavered.”

Joseph Wiley, MIS Director, Elmer Candy

Main functionalities

Here’s how NexTec Group and Sage X3 helped solve Elmer Candy’s challenges:

Improves efficiency

The company has seen significant improvements in inventory accuracy, order allocation, production tracking, and general efficiency. Employees can now enter data in multiple areas of the facility rather than waiting on one person to enter data into the software.

“We are positioned to fully transform our business, and NexTec is leading the way.”

Joseph Wiley, MIS Director, Elmer Candy

End-to-end solution

NexTec implemented a full suite of tightly integrated business management solutions, including: Sage X3 financial, distribution, and manufacturing suites; Sage HRMS; Sage Payment Solutions; True Commerce EDI; Solver BI360; and a complete RFID system.

Key Results

Elmer Candy saw a full return on investment in just one season
Real-time data has facilitated rapid and informed decision-making
Sage X3 has made it possible to complete lot traceability reports in a matter of seconds
The company is positioned to grow 10-15% thanks to improved accuracy and streamlined processes

Ready to learn more?

Request a demo
NexTec Food and Beverage Study 2018

7 Food and beverage supply chain challenges for 2020

By | ERP, Food and Beverage, Sage X3 | No Comments
Woman inspecting food item in a manufacturing plant.

Production scheduling and quality control are the top challenges for food and beverage companies in 2020.

Production scheduling and quality control are the top challenges for food and beverage companies in 2020. Food and beverage companies face increasing calls for transparency in sourcing and processing, increased demand for e-commerce and sourcing in an uncertain global marketplace.

Here’s a closer look at 7 food and beverage supply chain challenges for 2020 and how the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can help.

Challenge 1: Use of plastics

Sustainability is essential for food and beverage companies, but at the same time the industry has increased the number of single-use plastics containers being offered for ready-to-eat dining. Businesses face increased demands for sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging, from straws to cups to storage. With many plastics coming from the global marketplace, companies need to have different channels for supply, including alternative suppliers and packaging materials.

Challenge 2: Regulatory burdens

A more stringent regulatory landscape continues to challenge the industry. On the heels of adoption of the U.S. Food Safety and Modernization Act and Safe Food for Canadians regulations, companies now face increased food safety standards from multiple jurisdictions. Significant reporting and documentation rules cover food production, including waste disposal, food quality, and traceability.

Challenge 3: Demand forecasting

Accurate forecasting helps food and beverage companies optimize their production efficiency, reduce inventory costs, improve distribution and streamline purchasing. Demand forecasting requires accurate data to help employees make informed decisions for the future of their business.

Challenge 4: Global visibility

Businesses need access to global supply chain options with meaningful connections to global trading partners. This will be an increasingly challenging component of production in 2020, given economic instability, geopolitical disputes, and the ongoing coronavirus threat.
Food and beverage companies need clear visibility to their operation in order to diversify suppliers and customers to offset the challenges of a global marketplace.

Person looking at information on a tablet in a food manufacturing plant.

Food and beverage companies need reliable means of sourcing ingredients in a global marketplace.

Challenge 5: Predictive scheduling

Even without the current volatility in the supply chain, companies need to use automation and business intelligence to optimize production schedules. The right food ERP can eliminate scheduling bottlenecks, improve inventory visibility, and reduce waste.

Challenge 6: E-Commerce expectations

Food and beverage companies have historically been slow to embrace e-commerce, but recent events have caused accelerated adoption. Better supply chain and logistics management are helping companies turn the corner, allowing businesses to reduce delivery times, meet consumer expectations for availability and freshness, and reducing time-to-market for new products.

Challenge 7: Inventory management

Inventory accuracy and availability are long-held challenges in the industry. With the right technologies in place, companies can address perishability, space management, traceability, assembly, scheduling, and delivery complexities, resulting in less waste and rework, leading to improved profit margins.

How to address supply chain issues with food ERP solutions

FoodBusiness ERP from NexTec is built on Sage X3 to deliver an integrated cloud-based food ERP with functionality that addresses the greatest supply chain challenges for 2020. Built for food and beverage, FoodBusiness ERP includes the following core features:

  • Full financial management
  • Customer and supplier management
  • Real time visibility to inventory levels and cost
  • Recipe management
  • Demand forecasting
  • Yield calculations and tracking through production
  • Byproduct management
  • Quality and hold management at each stage of production
  • Production sequencing and allergen tracking
  • Shelf-life management with expiration and use-by dates controls
  • Warehouse management with barcode printing
  • Full forward and backward traceability
  • Product recall management

FoodBusiness ERP helps food and beverage companies identify the right business software. Our skilled consultants and engineers work with companies like yours at every phase of the process, from specifications and selection to installation and optimization.

Learn more about FoodBusiness ERP.

Thank you! – 2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study Download

By | Food and Beverage | No Comments

Here is your copy of the Food & Beverage COVID-19 Survey Results

Here’s your copy of our 2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study. We hope you find it insightful. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at info@nextecgroup.com

Download the study
2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study

NexTec’s FoodBusiness ERP manages your entire business and prepares you for a crisis. Built on the powerful Sage X3 software, FoodBusiness ERP streamlines your business by connecting finance, accounting, operations, inventory, supply chain, and your customers. Take a product tour to see how it can transform your food and beverage manufacturing business.

Take a tour of FoodBusiness ERP

About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Recall management

How ERP helps you manage food and beverage surplus production

By | ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
Woman inspecting a food item in a manufacturing plant.

Food and beverage companies need tight controls on the supply chain to reduce food waste.

Food and beverage companies are under increasing pressure to cut waste, both by competitive pressures and public sentiment that businesses can do more to be environmentally and socially sensitive.

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps reduce waste is a vital part of any solution focused on preserving resources and reducing costs. Here’s how ERP helps you manage food and beverage surplus production.

The state of food waste

According to the United Nations, an estimated third of all food produced every year is lost or wasted. Food waste can take on many forms, according to a recent U.N. post on the issue, including the following examples:

  • Produce that is not of optimal size, shape or color is removed from the supply chain
  • Retailers and consumers discard products that are close to or just beyond the “best-used-by” date indicated by producers
  • Restaurants and households regularly discard “large quantities of wholesome edible food” that’s leftover or unused
  • Processed foods are more likely to end up in soup kitchens instead of perishable more healthy foods, which end up in dumpsters

A reduction in food waste would result in less land and water use, less hunger and poverty and fewer adverse impacts from climate change. Decaying food, for example, leads to more greenhouse gas emissions in landfills.

Activists and conservationists alike call for a slew of remediation efforts, including surplus prevention via donations, recycling or use as animal feed.

Person using a metal scoop to get coffee beans from a large mixer.

Technologies that reduce food waste result in significant ROI, according to a recent study.

The impact of conservation on the bottom line

A recent study by Champions 12.3, a global coalition focused on reducing food waste, shows that companies that invest in technologies designed to address the issue see marked benefits. The study of 1,200 business sites across 700 companies in 17 countries found that almost every site yielded a positive return.

Half of the companies generated returns on investment that were 14-fold or greater.

Investing in a food and beverage ERP helps companies optimize supply chain operations and develop greater efficiencies throughout their operations.

Choosing an ERP solution like FoodBusiness ERP, built on the Sage X3 platform, lets your food or beverage business gain considerable benefits. FoodBusiness ERP has tools specifically designed to improve supply chain operations, including:

  • Shelf-life management to track expiration and use-by dates for raw materials and finished products
  • Production planning that optimizes the scheduling of equipment and personnel, including grouping by like products to reduce bottlenecks and changeovers
  • Ability to cost, plan, trace and output production by-products
  • Formula and recipe management that automates costing, formulas, testing and labeling
  • Quality control configuration and work order management, including user-defined technical sheets and questions; functional testing at receipt of raw materials, production of finished goods and in-process work orders; and change control management of work orders, production orders and inventory revisions
  • Dashboard and business intelligence to provide real-time information, leading to better decisions
  • Food safety functionality, including lot traceability, allergen reporting, and recall management

How can your business find and optimize the right food ERP solution? NexTec delivers expertise in business software, helping food and beverage companies find, install and tune solutions to maximize return on investment. With NexTec and FoodBusiness ERP, your food or beverage company can reduce food waste, improve operations and drive efficiency.

Learn more about our great Sage X3 add-ons for the food and beverage industry.

Recorded Webcast: Managing food and beverage manufacturing during a crisis

By | Events, Food and Beverage, Recorded webcasts, Sage X3 | No Comments

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the dramatic volatility facing food and beverage is unlike anything experienced in modern times. According to ABI Research, the pandemic will substantially impact supply chains and the $15 trillion revenue that had been forecasted for 2020. That uncertainty is one of the core reasons why enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are so critical to maintaining business continuity.

In this recording, Sage, NexTec Group and Elmer Candy speak about:

  • Keeping production on track
  • Managing shifts in demand
  • Reacting to supply chain challenges
  • Proactive risk analysis
  • Changing product mix and delivery cycles
  • Managing cash flow, financials and planning

Helpful Resources

Contact us

Benefits of a mock recall for your food and beverage business in 2020

By | ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments

FDA Recall note.

Is your food and beverage business ready for a recall? One way to find out is through regularly conducting mock recalls which help you get ready for the real thing.

What happens during a recall?

When a real recall occurs, food and beverage business owners are required to provide the FDA with detailed information about the product in question. This includes a full consignee list and contacting all customers who may have purchased the product.

If you didn’t document this information ahead of time, it would be difficult to provide it accurately. Mock recalls help you prepare to meet these demands and demonstrate a proactive approach to food safety.

What does a mock recall entail?

Think of a mock recall as a food safety fire drill you should conduct once a year. The Food Safety Modernization Act contains a “preventive controls” rule mandating that any facility that can identify a hazard requiring a preventive control must put a written recall plan in place. If your business falls into this category, you’ll need to conduct mock recalls to determine the effectiveness of this plan.

Even if you aren’t required to conduct mock recalls, you should still strongly consider them since they test your ability to execute the real thing. Here are five additional benefits of conducting mock recalls.

Testing your traceability system

A mock recall allows you to test your traceability system by tracking a product as it journeys through your supply chain. Begin by identifying the traceable unit (batch, lot or single unit) and account for transformations across the supply chain. This is known as mass balance.

Conduct traceability exercises that follow your product through all stages of production, processing, and distribution.

A recall team sitting around a table.

Mock recalls help you establish the right recall team in advance.

Establish a recall team

A food recall will not be successful without a dedicated team. The size of your team depends on available resources, but should include:

  • Recall coordinator to oversee all activities
  • Quality assurance specialist to identify root causes of the recall
  • Communications expert to handle all public relations
  • Sales/customer representative to convey information to consumers
  • Legal counsel to advise on recall legalities

Verify communication systems

A mock recall tests the strength of your organization’s communication system. This includes the contact information of suppliers, recall personnel and consumers who purchased the product in question.

Should an actual recall occur, you’ll need to contact appropriate parties as soon as possible. A strong communication system makes this possible.

Modify and fine-tune the recall plan

A mock recall helps you modify the recall plan so you can identify aspects that need to be improved or changed. It gives you the opportunity to address problems or challenges and find solutions before an actual recall is necessary.

Perform a vulnerability audit

A mock recall helps you establish how to proceed with a real recall through a process known as a vulnerability audit. You’ll identify possible safety issues; figure the likelihood they will occur and assess the potential damage they will cause.

Implement the right ERP solution

When establishing a recall plan and preparing for mock recalls, you need the right enterprise resource plan (ERP) in place. An ERP designed for food lets you take control of the plan from supply chain to sales and beyond.

Choose NexTec’s food and beverage solution built on Sage X3  to ensure all business units are ready. From mock to real recalls, we offer the best solutions and food and beverage experts for managing all aspects of your business from ERP, customer relations and everything in between.

Give Sage X3 a try and see how NexTec can tailor your Sage X3 to your needs

Sage Platinum Reseller

ARA Food Corp

Case Study: ARA Food Corp

By | Case Studies, Food and Beverage | No Comments

NexTec and Sage X3 help ARA Food Corp keep a hungry market satisfied

After NexTec implemented Sage X3, manufacturing data is captured in real time and linked to accounting. Reports are fully visible with detailed cost tracking, and there is improved traceability, quality control, and recall management.

About ARA Food Corp

Plantains are a food staple throughout the world’s tropical regions—in fact these cousins of the banana rank as the tenth most important staple food in the world. Plantains are also a staple at ARA Food Corp. This 40-year-old, family-owned company proudly calls itself “The Home of the Plantain Chip” and is the only US manufacturer of the extraordinarily popular snack food. Operating out of its headquarters in Miami, ARA Food Corp ships its savory snacks throughout the country, both under its own brand and private labeled for other companies.

Industry - Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Industry
Food and Beverage
location
Location
Miami, FL
NexTec ERP icon
System selected
Sage X3

“NexTec does an amazing job for us. We have nothing but good things to say about their skills, professionalism, responsiveness and level of support.”

Marta De Varona, VP Finance and Administration, ARA Food Corp

Main functionalities

Here’s how NexTec Group and Sage X3 helped ARA Food Corp’s challenges:

Bring together disparate systems

Sage X3 is being used across the board for purchasing, receiving, manufacturing processes, accounts receivables and payables, and finance. Real-time data saves time, improves accuracy, and enhances customer service – leading to more sales.

Better traceability

Everyone is in one system, making it easier to track data for day to day use as well as for product recalls. ARA is also now able to control food scraps by 1.5%, which used to be a big problem for the company.

Improve lead time and production scheduling

Inventory stock has dropped 10%, cutting costs and reducing space required to store ingredients. Sage X3 is customizable and flexible, which is helpful for a company like ARA that does not keep bulk stock.

Greater visibility and access to real-time information

The BI capabilities in Sage X3 have been used to optimize resource use while managing variations in sales and supplies.

Key Results

Manufacturing data is captured in real time and linked directly into accounting, saving time and improving accuracy
Time saved is now used to analyze and improve plant functioning
Reports and detail cost tracking help optimize scheduling and resource allocation
Improved traceability, quality control and recall management ensure compliance and consistency

Ready to learn more?

Request a demo
Woman working in a food production plant.

5 Ways COVID-19 is changing the food and beverage industry

By | ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
Woman working in a food production plant.

The Food and Drug Administration is halting in-person inspections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on us all. The massive scale combined with its sheer unpredictability make it challenging to respond. Industries around the world are having to adjust, whether to meet increasing demand or to temporarily suspend operations, the implications are dramatic. With rising infection rates, changes to the way we live, work and eat, and economic downturns, it is an unpredictable time for food and beverage companies.

Here are five ways COVID-19 is changing the food and beverage industry.

1. Food habits, shopping shifts 

There are clear divisions in the food industry at present. Packaged food businesses and grocery chains are booming. However, restaurants, both chains and local small businesses, are having to adjust, especially as they are forced to become takeout-only establishments.

School closures around the country are another major impact. Beverage businesses such as bars, brewpubs, and coffee shops are temporarily suspending operations, sometimes at will and sometimes at the behest of local government regulation. In some states and provinces, liquor stores have been deemed as essential.

2. Supply chain challenges

Supply chain impacts in the United States and Canada have been minimal. However, that may change, especially as trucking availability is affected in hard-hit areas. There is also an impact for companies that may import ingredients or packaging from other geographies. Many growers are heading into the planting season which may be affected as well. With seasonal workforce disruption, there could be other supply chain issues coming around the corner. All these changes mean food and beverage companies need to take steps to adjust to changing supply and demand.

3. Long-term economic conditions

Food businesses are facing long-term uncertainty of a likely recession. At the same time, companies are increasing wages to workers and providing more benefits, such as paid sick leave, to those workers on the front lines. US and Canadian governments have introduced legislation to help those industries and individuals affected by the pandemic. These regulations are ever evolving to meet the changing market conditions.

Grocery worker holding an orange pepper.

Demand for produce has grown in early 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 crisis.

4. Regulatory easing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in mid-March halted foreign and domestic inspections, instructing most employees to work from home. The agency noted it was exploring alternate inspection strategies, including evaluating records in place of onsite inspections. In Canada, the federal government is offering increased flexibility to farmers and allowing foreign workers to enter Canada even though there are border restrictions. Canada will also ensure supply chain integrity by continuing to allow the movement of agri-food products across the border even through there are strict border crossing regulations in place.

5. Dairy, produce remain strong

Retail demand is strong for the dairy industry, despite school closings. Demand in China, the largest importer of U.S. dairy products, is down about 30 percent. In Canada, the dairy supply is expected to remain largely unaffected by COVID-19 which is good news for the US, a major importer of Canadian Dairy products.

Produce demand has seen an uptick, especially as customers seek products high in vitamin C. Sales are increasing across channels, including online, retail and grocery delivery.

Technology solutions in the COVID-19 era

The dramatic volatility facing the industry is unlike anything experienced in modern times. That uncertainty is one of the core reasons why enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are so critical.

Sage X3 delivers predictability and precision for your food or beverage company.  Sage X3 food ERP delivers benefits across your enterprise, including:

  • Supply Chain Management. Manage inventory and stock levels while automating ordering and restocking. Gain transparency across the supply chain to identify bottlenecks and other issues early on.
  • Cost Reduction. Automate tasks, aggregate data, reduce data re-entry and gain insights from real-time reports, allowing your employees to focus on more productive work.
  • Process Improvement. Gain control and visibility throughout production cycles to provide consistent, quality products.
  • Quality Control. Warehouse management and quality control are integrated seamlessly. Track product lots, expiration dates, quantities recipes and movements in real-time, leading to less waste and reduced costs. In the event of a recall, use forward and backward traceability tools to manage incidents better.
  • Customer Service. Generate quotes, track progress and shipments, answer questions and track customer queries in real-time for better outcomes and retention.

NexTec is a proud Sage X3 partner, helping food and beverage companies navigate these uncertain times. Our Sage X3 solution is delivered by our in-house food and beverage industry experts – many of whom come from food and beverage manufacturers and are uniquely able to help you optimize your food ERP solution. See our list of food industry extensions for Sage X3.

Sage Platinum Reseller