The food manufacturing industry faces many challenges, from consumer demands, operational inefficiencies to governmental regulations. For many companies, adopting enterprise-wide technology offers opportunities to streamline operations, provide insight into customer and industry trends and remain compliant, thereby making many of their challenges more manageable and providing actionable business intelligence to improve the bottom line. In a study conducted by KPMG in 2013, nearly half of the executives surveyed responded that increasing operational excellence is one of their most significant initiatives and would be leveraged by implementing enterprise technology and the use of data and analytics.
With leading manufacturers set to make investments in enterprise technology this year, H-E-B, a privately-held, San Antonio, Texas-based grocery store chain, is well-prepared to compete due to their early adoption of Dynamics AX in 2007. H-E-B deployed the enterprise-wide software solution that has dramatically changed many of the company’s processes and provided more stability and insight into its operations.
H-E-B is an industry leader that operates more than 300 store locations, 11 manufacturing plants and offers a line of private-label products to its customers throughout Texas and Mexico. It’s a thriving independent company with estimated annual revenues surpassing $13 billion, whose success and customer satisfaction depends on efficiency, accuracy and quality.
One of the cornerstones of H-E-B’s success has been the popularity of its private label brand. The manufacturing plants help support the sale of more than 3,000 H-E-B “Own Brand” products. Incidentally, each plant was using a legacy software system to report vital inventory and financial information back to the H-E-B headquarters, but the system was only recording basic information, forcing the company to complete many of its reports manually. Because it was an older system, the provider no longer supported it and the stability of the software was a concern, often halting production at the plants.
When H-E-B decided to upgrade its system, the company selected and implemented Dynamics AX and JunctionFB™ in all eleven manufacturing plants, integrating the solution with multiple legacy systems. Now, H-E-B runs on a state-of-the-art, fully integrated, multilingual business management solution.
H-E-B now has increased visibility into inventory levels that positively impacts the company’s bottom line; one of H-E-B’s plants reduced ingredient and packaging inventory by 40 percent. Due to this improved inventory rotation, H-E-B also now only keeps frozen food inventory in the warehouse for three weeks instead of 60 days, improving product quality and customer satisfaction. By consolidating financial management for the plants the finance team at H-E-B headquarters has reclaimed a substantial amount of time each month by providing immediate access to financial data and eliminating the need to generate reports manually.
Across the enterprise, H-E-B has adopted streamlined and standardized processes, which are supported by the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX and JunctionFB, resulting in increased employee efficiency and lowered costs for H-E-B and its customers.