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Case Study: Warehouse & Inventory Management simplified with an ERP solution by Advantage

Background

The Kids Food Company is an innovative UK based children’s food company with a global reach. They create and sell healthy and tasty snacks for children to retailers in the UK, USA, Australia, China, Korea and Norway. The company employs 18 people in the UK and generated sales of around £8.5m in 2016.

The Kids Food Company come from humble beginnings. Managing Director, Sally Preston; a food scientist, started The Kids Food Company by creating Babylicious – the first commercially available frozen baby food in the UK. Since then The Kids Food Company has gone from strength to strength and developed a burgeoning portfolio of products.Their ethos is about taking the finest ingredients and turning them into tasty snacks. Their personal and dedicated approach to developing nutritional snacks for children has led them to become one of the leading children’s food providers in the UK.

The challenge

The Kids Food Company understand the importance of upgrading their business systems and IT infrastructure. In order to support their continued global expansion, they needed to ensure the software systems were efficient, robust and allow them to act with intelligence. Simon Forrest, Financial Director at The Kids Food Company said:

“Since we began trading in 2002, we’ve expanded rapidly. However, our systems, software and processes didn’t quite keep up with our expansion. Logistics has largely stayed the same and this was of particular concern for us.”

Logistics for The Kids Food Company is handled by a third party organisation. As they are now competing with multiple products, in multiple markets, their logistics operation became somewhat complex. For instance, their previous business solution could not offer them a real-time update on stock levels – making stock forecasting a laborious process.

Simon also indicated that any Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution must overhaul their ailing incumbent Sage 50 Accounts installation, to provide a comprehensive suite of financial reporting tools.

The solution

A key focus of Advantage Business Systems’ approach with The Kids Food Company, was designing and providing a solution that helped resolve their inventory management dilemma. As such, any solution had to be focussed on interfacing between their third party logistics company, their EDI middleware and existing infrastructure.

ERP software Microsoft Dynamics NAV was the logical choice according to Advantage’s Dynamics NAV Business Development Manager, Martyn Kemp: “Dynamics NAV was the obvious choice for The Kids Food Company in this instance. NAV can be deployed in a variety of settings, but one of the things it specialises in is Inventory and Warehouse management.”

Advantage’s experienced consultancy and software development team went on to also implement the financial modules of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The Kids Food Company now has a robust suite of financial tools to scrutinise and manage finances as Simon Forrest attributes:

“In addition to remedying our Warehouse Management issue, Dynamics NAV has also improved our finances. Our general ledger and standing data have been cleaned up. This is really important as we’re an organisation that now operates in overseas markets, where working with a range of currencies is commonplace.”

The benefits

The implementation of a well versed ERP solution like Dynamics NAV, puts The Kids Food Company in a fantastic position for the future.

When talking about the future of The Kids Food Company, Martyn Kemp said: “Dynamics NAV features a raft of additional modules outside of the core inventory and financial management, which is ideal for a rapidly expanding business like The Kids Food Company. As their business grows, they can add additional functionality to NAV quite seamlessly.”

Simon Forrest from The Kids Food Company is inclined to agree: “Dynamics NAV empowers our business with the tools it needs to have a best in class inventory and finance management system. We can now track and plan stock much more effectively. Also, we now have shorter lead times and are able to hold less working capital as a direct consequence of implementing Dynamics NAV.”

When asked about embarking on future projects with Advantage, Forrest said: “Absolutely. Advantage has helped us every step of the way and I couldn’t be more complimentary about the service they provided during this project.”

“One instance stands out, where our account manager made things happen when issues cropped up during the project. The face-to-face support and training provided was outstanding and Advantage often went beyond call of duty to help a small inexperienced team to learn brand new skills. Advantage focussed on helping us get the best out of our new business system. We’ll definitely use them in future projects.”

Conclusion

Advantage Business Systems, partnered with The Kids Food Company to successfully implement an ERP system designed to comprehensively overhaul the company’s inventory management and financial systems.

In summary:

  • Rapid expansion led to issues with warehouse and inventory management for The Kids Food Company
  • Dynamics NAV was implemented to manage relationship between the logistics supplier and The Kids Food Company
  • Rapid business benefits were acquired, including improved warehouse & inventory management and enhanced financial management.