Whole and Free Foods, the Chicago-based manufacturer of Every Body Eat® wellness snacks, achieves healthy growth by using manufacturing resource planning software to cut down on waste and improve its production processes.
Chicago Health Snack Maker Whole & Free Foods Gets Fit With Manufacturing Software
Case Study from | MRPeasy
A small business on the road to success
Whole & Free Foods LLC – Every Body Eat® is a Chicago-based manufacturer of allergy-friendly and gluten-free snacks. Every Body Eat first launched in early 2020 with its snack thins and has continued to grow its market by introducing crispbreads. Now, Whole & Free Foods plans to continue its innovation with the launch of cookies and crackers in 2023.
Today, the business has 7 administrative staff and 20 production members across two shifts making snack foods that are delicious and free of the top 14 allergens (wheat/gluten, milk/dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, mustard, celery, lupins, sulfites, fish, shellfish, mollusks) and corn, which basically no other company can currently boast. With one third of US households affected by allergies, this leaves Whole & Free Foods with a fair amount of wiggle room in their niche. Recently, a selection of their product line Every Body Eat® became available in Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market stores nationwide.
Using software to achieve traceability
The innovative spirit of the company also carries over to the way the business is managed. Like many start-ups, Whole & Free Foods initially used the traditional spreadsheets to collect and compile business data, but they quickly understood that Excel was not going to provide them with the traceability required in the food industry. That is why they opted for a modern MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) system that supported lot tracking.
“As a startup, Whole & Free Foods needs to be able to pick stuff up quickly,” says Chris Fuoss, Director of Finance. “That is why, apart from the required functionality, we needed a software that would be easy to use.”
Although traditionally, business management software has been too expensive and complex for small manufacturers, modern cloud- and subscription-based solutions have turned the tide to the advantage of the little guys. From the dozens of available systems, Whole and Free Foods shortlisted three and MRPeasy came out on top.
“MRPeasy was chosen on account of its price point as well as the general ease of use compared to other systems,” Chris says. “Of course, it fitted all our other criteria as well – having a native integration with QuickBooks, for example.”
Employees are eager to ditch spreadsheets
According to Fuoss, the manufacturing resource planning system helps the company highlight waste on a week-by-week basis and allows it to address any red flags that come up before they become issues. “We are still fine-tuning our production processes. We are measuring efficiency in yield per batch, as well as peak production volume,” he says, adding that the software has also helped with automating cumbersome data entry tasks.
Fuoss says that the simplicity of the software coupled with its extensive library of online resources led to the decision to implement the system independently, which was a process that took around six weeks. Implementation started in sales and moved on through the firm’s fulfillment, production and leadership teams, seeing high user adoption at WFF as employees are keen on leaving spreadsheets behind.
“It’s key to get top-down team support and have the whole team involved in the system review process,” Fuoss says as a final remark.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow
MRPeasy is a seriously powerful and easy to use ERP software for small manufacturers that gives you everything you need to manage your manufacturing and distribution processes. Integrating sales, procurement, inventory, production, finances, and your team, it provides you with an accurate real-time overview of your operations. MRPeasy is trusted by 1300+ small manufacturers worldwide, 500+ of which are based in the US and Canada. Our users report a 54% average improvement in the overall performance of their business and a 42% increase in on-time deliveries. Try for free, no credit card needed.
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