Renshawnapier is part of The Real Good Food Company plc, an AIM listed, UK-based bakery, ingredients and sugar group, offering a wide range of products to grocery retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. With 500 employees and a turnover of £230 million, its brands include Whitworths Sugar; R&W Scott; Napier Brown Foods; Renshaw and Regalice.
A strategic review in January 2009 saw the businesses consolidated into one business unit renamed as Renshawnapier.
Following the merger, the senior management team had to make a decision on which of the two ERP systems it would run across the new company. Napier Brown Foods was running SAP and Renshaw was supported by Infor ERP System21.
Minimising costs to boost profitability is crucial for Renshawnapier. While the resurgence of home baking means that demand for Renshawnapier’s products is strong, the manufacturer faces escalating raw materials costs. This means that, like many manufacturers, Renshawnapier finds itself fighting the tide in battling against declining margins.
In order to realise potential cost savings as a result of the merger, and fulfil its objective to preserve margins, Renshawnapier’s chosen solution had to be able to fit its business processes; be implemented quickly and cost effectively; and offer a great deal of flexibility.
Having reviewed both solutions in detail, Infor ERP System21 Aurora was chosen to support the business and manufacturing processes involved in running the new company’s three manufacturing sites and sales office in the UK. The selection was based on a number of factors, but the dominant force behind the decision was that System21 Aurora could be adapted to fit the complex manufacturing processes and demands of the new company more quickly and cost effectively than SAP.
“In selecting an ERP solution for Renshawnapier, the ability to implement quickly to a tight budget, combined with an in depth understanding of the challenges we face, were instrumental in making the right choice,” comments John Taubman, Head of Information Systems, The Real Good Food Group plc. “We already had a long standing, trusted relationship with Infor, and it was this, in conjunction with an in-depth understanding of the complexities inherent in the food manufacturing industry which clinched the deal.”
Over a 12 month period, Infor ERP System 21 was upgraded to Aurora 2.3 at two manufacturing sites, and Aurora 2.3 implemented across Renshawnapier’s remaining manufacturing and sales sites.
The company’s previous System21 software was heavily customised, therefore Infor’s professional services consultants worked closely with Renshawnapier to transfer data and ensure the latest version was live within the specified timescales.
“The merger, and subsequent process review coincided with the height of the recession, therefore the pressure was on to see tangible benefits from our ERP implementation,” John Taubman comments. “An economic downturn tends to have a relatively minimal impact on the food market’s demand for our products as people tend to eat more comfort food – cake and chocolate – which our raw materials are crucial to! However our raw materials costs, particularly sugar cane, continue to rise, squeezing our margins and causing us to continuously look at ways of manufacturing at a lower cost base.
“Our expectations of this project were therefore set high as the software was integral to maximising the benefits of the consolidation of Renshaw and Napier. But through de-duplicating processes and reducing costs, while at the same time delivering the high service levels and fulfilment our customers and partners expect, it hasn’t let us down.”
Since implementing Infor ERP System21 Aurora, Renshawnapier has standardised and consolidated processes across its four sites and tightened MRP, forecasting, inventory, warehousing and financials to deliver improved productivity.
Aurora has strengthened and improved both the accuracy and availability of the manufacturer’s management information, which has increased visibility and improved decision-making.
One area where this has resulted in significant cost savings is procurement strategy. The system highlights where surplus costs are being incurred and provides a cohesive view of commodity prices and data, ensuring the procurement team buy the right quantities at the right time, crucially, at the right price.
“System21 Aurora is more cost effective and less complex than SAP, and users have given us some great feedback on the interface which undoubtedly encourages greater use of the system, expediting the benefits,” John comments.
“Infor offers far greater flexibility than its competitors and has a thorough grounding in the issues and challenges we face in a complex food processing environment,” he continues. “Aurora fits our business very well, helping us to protect margins and improve profitability in the face of operational complexity and rising raw materials costs.”
Having tightened and consolidated its manufacturing process using System21 Aurora, Renshawnapier is now looking at where it can strip out costs and make improvements to the supply chain. Through applying quality management information derived from System21 Aurora out into the supply chain, the manufacturer expects to drive even greater tangible savings in the future.