- Location: Zanesville, Ohio
- Industry: Chocolate Manufacturer and Distributor
- Web site: www.bloomercandy.com
"The Epicor Tropos ERP platform and their expertise in the food and beverage industry were a real plus to New Bloomer Candy Company. Epicor Tropos enables big ERP capabilities for a small candy manufacturer like us, and gives New Bloomer Candy Company a competitive edge over similar candy companies."
Jerry Nolder, CEO | New Bloomer Candy Company
New Bloomer Candy Company is a chocolate manufacturer and distributor based in Zanesville, Ohio. For more than a century, customers have enjoyed the superior taste of New Bloomer Candy Company's milk chocolates which are blended in precise detail from family recipes. Today, the company not only produces the same delicious milk chocolates that everyone has come to expect, but they have expanded into other product areas like dark chocolate, gummies, hard candies and sugar free candies. The offerings are as endless as they are delicious.
The relentless pursuit of chocolate perfection has always been New Bloomer Candy Company's goal. To continue this tradition, New Bloomer Candy Company wanted to find the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution to replace its outdated legacy system. Epicor Tropos for process manufacturing was the key ERP ingredient to carry on the company's highly-coveted family recipes and candymaking processes.
Requirements and software selection
New Bloomer Candy Company Controller, Michael Montgomery, explains the legacy system that had been in place for more than 20 years: "It was a glorified bookkeeping machine. The system was weak and needed to be replaced."
A thorough evaluation of 51 potential ERP vendors revealed many requirements for the new software solution:
- Real-time information
- Recipe management
- Bill of materials
- Sales management
- Lot traceability
- Inventory management
- Integrated financial applications
With Epicor Tropos, New Bloomer Candy Company gains:
- Out-of-the-box comprehensive solution that integrates core ERP functions with touch-screen enabled shop floor data collection and mobile bar code scanning of inventory
- Built-in functionality including forecasting, capacity planning, drag-and-drop production scheduling and quality
- Easy identification of potential stock shortages
- ERP solution designed from the ground up to meet the demands of process manufacturers, without the need for customized bolton or add-on products
Epicor Tropos allows New Bloomer Candy Company to establish a powerful lot control and traceability system with their suppliers. "Before Epicor Tropos, we didn't have the ability to trace forward or backwards if we had a product recall," says Montgomery. Epicor Tropos delivers full visibility of ingredients from origin to the final customer, which keeps New Bloomer Candy Company ahead of regulatory requirements and keeps them covered should an audit or potentially damaging product recall be required.
Job costing was the next big improvement. In the food service industry, there are many expenses to consider: labor, raw materials, packaging and overhead, among others. Epicor Tropos tracks all of these components to ensure correct costing so New Bloomer Candy Company's sales prices are correct and generates a positive gross profit for the company.
New Bloomer Candy Company went live on the system in September 2011 and appointed 20 users within the organization - everyone from the CEO to manufacturing and production has access to the system. By delivering a 360 degree view of the company, Epicor Tropos has inspired employees to learn all facets of the organization beyond their job-specific duties.
"We're a better organization because our staff knows more about the company and has a better understanding of the whole process," says Montgomery. This understanding has empowered employees to take ownership of their work and pride in what they're doing. Additionally, having one source of information allows staff to spend less time looking for information and more time doing something constructive with it, all of which makes their jobs easier and more valuable. Access to real-time, accurate information also enables the company to be more productive, freeing employees to track work orders, monitor production and run reports without having to ask others for assistance; and, more importantly, they can trust the information is current and up-to-date.
Return on investment
Epicor Tropos has exceeded New Bloomer Candy Company's expectations and has proven to be a good, user-friendly system. According to Montgomery, the biggest return on their software investment is getting people to trust the system. "The super users on our legacy system doubted the new ERP solution, but now they believe that the information they're seeing is trustworthy. They look at the numbers and go off the numbers, which proves the system is working."
New Bloomer Candy Company estimates they've recovered more than half of their investment since implementation based on the tools the system has given them to drive efficiencies across all areas of the organization. "Epicor Tropos has given us the ability to really control how our business is run," says Montgomery. "So far we're using about fifty percent of the system's capabilities to manage order entry, picking, invoicing, purchase orders and work orders. Epicor Tropos has all the bells and whistles that we need, and we look forward to taking advantage of what the other half can help us accomplish. Epicor has been very supportive during our transition. The product is great and so is the service. I can see we'll be great partners for years to come," concludes Montgomery.
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand.For more information, visit www.epicor.com.