Improving traceability at Marcantonio Foods & Caterlink
In 2012, the merger of two well-known UK ice-cream cones, flavourings and decorations companies under the international ORKLA group resulted in a multi-site co-operation with great potential. With sites in Cornwall and Essex, Caterlink and Marcantonio supply an extensive range of ice cream cones, flavourings, decorations, glassware, disposables and point of sale materials to ice cream manufacturers and retailers, patisseries, bakers, restaurants and food service wholesalers across the UK. Continued growth and expansion meant that their existing systems and paper-based processes could no longer support the group’s day to day operations and reporting. So they chose Technology Management to implement SI Foodware, the Microsoft Dynamics NAV add-on, developed specifically for the food & beverage industry.
Falak Waheed: “Call Caterlink Limited and Marcantonio Limited are both companies that supply ingredients and toppings to catering trade, from the one-man shop all the way to national food service companies. We also supply internationally.”
Both companies however were working with either outdated or rigid bespoke software solutions that neither met the individual company needs nor helped the joint operations run any smoother.
Falak Waheed: “The problems that we encountered with the software packages that we were using, was mainly on the traceability front and on the reporting side. We were unable to forecast or look at trends within the system and traceability was totally non-existent. In order to address the problems and look at the future developments within both companies, we went out to look at new ERP-solutions.”
Another goal for Caterlink and Marcantonio was to gain more insight and control over their processes with standard reporting possibilities. In their search for an ERP-solution that met these demands, they were guided by international colleagues within the ORKLA group.
Falak Waheed: “Within the group itself, there were other companies that had already implemented Dynamics NAV with SI Foodware. Going to a single unified system within the whole group brought together the possibility to do management reporting in a common way. And it makes intercompany operations more manageable and easier. And also increase the flexibility between all the companies within the group to support and manufacture products almost on a Just in time principle.”
Microsoft Dynamics NAV in combination with SI Foodware is distributed in the UK by Technology Management under the Dynamics Food brand. Technology Management is a Microsoft Dynamics partner, focused on the UK food sector, and implemented the solution at both Marcantonio and Caterlink.
Falak Waheed: “Working with technology Management as the Dynamics NAV partner was very easy. They helped us all the way through. They weren’t just a software provider, leaving us with a box. They helped us all the way through the process. And guided us and used their intimate knowledge of the food industry and helped us adjust ourselves for NAV as well as adjust NAV to fit our business model.”
After completing the successful software roll-out, the advantages of working with Dynamics NAV and Foodware soon became evident to Marcantonio and Caterlink.
Falak Waheed: “By using Dynamics NAV and Foodware we are able to trace items to the customers. Be able to react very quickly to any problems, identify batches, identify product recalls if necessary. And also when it comes to customer service we are able to react to their needs if there is a faulty product or a missing product on their delivery. And be able to identify very quickly and react to the customer needs and solve the problem out in a very short time, as opposed to what it used to takes us. And rather than reinventing the wheel for each company we can produce management reports very quickly and be able to identify trends.”