“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door,” said Emerson. How about making better pet food ingredients?
Ed Mareth and Kevin Keeling, experts in the poultry processing and pet food industries, decided to find out. The result was 3D Corporate Solutions, a company that has grown in just six years to be a leader in high-quality protein products, mostly for dog and cat food manufacturers.
During initial startup, 3D Corporate Solutions relied on Peachtree by Sage as its bookkeeping software. Within several years, however, the company needed a more robust solution that could manage the complexities of food manufacturing. After investigating many options, it decided on Emerald TC as its business partner, implementing a robust Sage 500 ERP (MAS 500) system specifically designed for food manufacturing.
The Right Partner and Program
“We selected Emerald TC because of the breadth of their experience and in-house talent,” explains Kirk Evans, CFO. “Sage 500 ERP was the best of breed in terms of corporate stability and accounting focus. Many ERPs are coded primarily for manufacturing, and then they tack on the financial modules. Sage 500 not only has a powerful, industry-specific solution for food manufacturing operations, but it also provides strong accounting. It is founded on generally accepted accounting principles and is therefore very easy for a finance person like me to understand.”
3D’s business partner designed an end-to-end system that has automated information systems in both production and accounting. From the moment that raw poultry parts arrive at the plant, until they are processed into pet food ingredients and made ready for bulk shipment in semi-trucks, the Sage 500 Food Manufacturing Solution tracks all relevant data.
The enhanced system now provides real-time inventory information. It produces detailed financial reports including income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and reports on payables, receivables, and bank reconciliation.
Evans appreciates that 3D can create almost any report it needs with templates built into Sage 500, avoiding extensive customization. He intends to introduce custom reports later, after his team is completely comfortable with the software and reliable baselines have been set for variables.
Sage 500 ERP Food Manufacturing Solution Powered by O2
Emerald TC recommended that 3D install Sage 500 ERP Food Manufacturing Solution, powered by O2. This solution rounds out the Sage 500 offering for food manufacturing companies. It leverages the strength of accounting, distribution, and discrete manufacturing modules in Sage 500 and adds an equally full-featured process and mixed-mode manufacturing system.
“O2 allows us to get the most out of Sage 500,” says Evans. “The new integrated system gives us information that we never had before, such as reports on consumption, production yields, and perpetual inventory. The Process Manufacturing Solution powered by O2 really increases the total system value for us.”
Evans calls 3D a “poster child” for smooth implementation. He had previously managed two software conversions and was heavily involved in the actual cross-over at 3D. “I had never done a conversion using a consultant before, and was very pleased with Emerald TC’s input,” he explains. “They knew exactly what they were doing, were willing to spend time on site, and made valuable contributions to the entire process.”
He also appreciated the business backgrounds of his partner’s staff. “Emerald TC brings solid financial expertise to the table, with people who speak my language. I can ask them questions and get solid, reliable answers on both accounting and technology issues.”
Results have been dramatic. “Before, our accounting people were always slammed, and didn’t have a minute to breathe. With Emerald TC’s solution, we have improved efficiencies by at least 50 percent. During the conversion, we were able to streamline many of our procedures, reducing steps, which helped a great deal. Reports that once took as many as five days can be done in about five minutes,” says Evans.
Much of the credit goes to 3D’s business partner, Evans notes. “Emerald TC is a great consultant. I had a good relationship with them on the phone even before we met in person. They know Sage 500 ERP inside and out, having performed so many implementations in the past. Also, they have experts on staff to resolve issues, for speedy troubleshooting. I was glad to have them at our side, and highly recommend them to other manufacturers.”