Installing a new SAP system at short notice to boost stock management was a tall order but CSB managed it for this cereals-to-baby formula company...
Kendal Nutricare is a leading pharmaceutical research company and supplier of an extensive range of products including infant formulas and cereals, adult formulas, pharma grade allergen-free and lactose-free powders and complete meals.
The Kendal Nutricare factory, based in the Cumbrian town from which it takes its name, was acquired by food scientist and entrepreneur Ross McMahon from Heinz. While the site had an existing SAP (systems applications and products) system, the licensing agreement was expensive and a new solution had to be sourced and running in little more than five months.
The fact that Kendal Nutricare employs advanced quality manufacturing processes, along with high-speed filling lines that are able to pack in metal and composite cans, bag-in-box and sachets, only added to the challenge.
Says McMahon: “Any ERP (enterprise resource planning) system can be modified to give you exactly what you want – but you have to create it all yourself from scratch. This can be time-consuming to deliver.”
CSB outlined how a new system could be installed and implemented to meet these tight deadlines and provide full control and monitoring throughout processes, with comprehensive traceability at every stage of the operation.
This was critical to guarantee the quality of every product that leaves the factory and an essential part of the standards and accreditations the manufacturer implements.
As product moves through each stage of production, this is recorded in the CSB-System using hand held terminals. Equally important, the system is able to interface with other equipment
The new CSB process allows all ingredients ordered to be receipted into the factory through the system. Stock management allows the production team to plan each run, calling off the ingredients as required.
Commented McMahon: “With the CSB-System the right modules, processes and tables for food manufacturing are already in place and this makes it much faster to set up, which was particularly important for us.
As product moves through each stage of production, this is recorded in the CSB-System using hand held terminals. Equally important, the system is able to interface with other equipment, for example during the blending operation.
Finished goods are then recorded back into warehouse storage, with scanners on the forklift trucks to help monitor goods in and out, before being called off for delivery. Stringent quality control and testing are also linked to the CSB-System so that each test batch can be traced back to its particular production run.
Implementation of new products and processes depend, however, on people also. Care was taken says Kendal Nutricare IT manager Sarah Woodhams to ensure a high level of technical support for all aspects.
“What was particularly beneficial about the CSB approach was that there were specialists for every part of the system, including the hand held devices, production, finance or sales, so not even the smallest of details were missed,” she explained.
And in an age when sustainability, regulatory compliance and accountaibility are paramount, the new system has provided obvious benefits.
“Ultimately, for every pack we produce, we know exactly what it contains, when it was produced and from where the ingredients were sourced, and this provides the high level of safety and traceability that is essential for these types of products,” adds McMahon.
Since installation, the firm has continued to grow. From an initial core team of 88 staff, the company now employs 118 people, and has developed a range of new products.
Concludes McMahon: “We were able to be up and running extremely quickly and the system then gave us the flexibility to adapt it as we moved forward.”