About Brookside Flavors
Brookside Flavors & Ingredients is a company with exceptional taste — manufacturing sweet and savory ingredient blends and enhancers utilized by some of the biggest names in the food industry. Brookside is an industry leader using natural, organic and non-GMO flavors and ingredients. Its commitment to excellence extends to its supply chain — a stringent supplier approval process ensures all raw materials are sustainably sourced and traceable.
As the company grew both organically and through strategic acquisitions, it became increasingly important for Brookside to implement a centralized, scalable and powerful process manufacturing and financial management solution. Its choice: FoodBusiness ERP, built on Sage X3, implemented and supported by the expert team at NexTec Group.
Following an acquisition in 2017, a new ERP solution was Brookside’s first major initiative. “Each division was using its own collection of systems and nothing was integrated,” recalls Dean Karkazis, Director of Operational Analytics and Strategic Initiatives for Brookside. “We didn’t have the necessary visibility and control across the enterprise. We needed a unified platform that could help us continue to grow the business and FoodBusiness ERP is that unifying solution.”
He continues, “FoodBusiness ERP provides consistency and visibility across all aspects of the business, from finance to inventory management to manufacturing and quality control.”
NexTec follows an implementation methodology that Karkazis says was a crucial element in the overall success of the project. “We began with a blueprinting phase, taking a critical look at our current business and our requirements going forward. NexTec held workshops with key individuals in every department gathering input and conducting gap analyses to ensure we could get to our target state.”
The process allowed both Brookside and NexTec to have a clear understanding of the configuration, customization and data conversion processes. “Next, we held what we called conference room pilots,” arkazis explains. “We created scripts to emulate a ‘day-in-the-life’ of various roles in the company as proof of concept that the software was ready for go live.”
“We have complex requirements, a huge data set and many demands on the software, so we took a very methodical, considered approach to the implementation to ensure we got it right,” Karkazis says. “That approach paid off. The actual go live was smooth and uneventful.”
With FoodBusiness ERP, Brookside is now automating many of the processes that were previously manual, including the detailed product labeling required of food manufacturers. “FoodBusiness ERP prints the labels as part of the workflow,” says Karkazis. “It has streamlined what once was a time-consuming and manual process.”
Brookside now has full, real-time visibility into its inventory holdings — something lacking from its previous system. Since many of its ingredients have a defined shelf-life, having accurate, up-to-date data about every product ensures the highest quality end product while minimizing waste.
“We also have insight into our production process that we never had before,” says Karkazis. “Previously, we might have to call to the shop floor to understand where in the cycle a particular order was. Now we have that information available in FoodBusiness ERP. It enables us to give customers more accurate information about their order status.”
Brookside tests every raw ingredient that enters its facility. Only after the ingredient passes a battery of quality related tests is it released into the stocking warehouses. “We test our ingredients on numerous characteristics, including aroma, taste, appearance, moisture content, compound make up and more,” explains Karkazis. “Across literally thousands of products, we’re accumulating a vast amount of quality-related data. FoodBusiness ERP holds that data and allows us to analyze it in various ways. For example, we can monitor the performance and consistency of our suppliers over time.”
In addition, the lot traceability features in FoodBusiness ERP allow the company to trace a product’s journey throughout its supply chain. Mock recall tests and traceability exercises provide Brookside with the confidence that its systems are prepared in the event of an actual recall.
Recipe for success
“NexTec shares our approach to doing business,” concludes Karkazis. “We both insist on doing things right. That requires a level of dedication—and underlying skill—that is hard to find. NexTec brings an abundance of expertise and knowledge of best business practices to our projects that is helping us get the most from FoodBusiness ERP and preparing us for our continuing growth and success.”
Want to learn more about FoodBusiness ERP?
FoodBusiness ERP software helps food and beverage process manufacturers streamline operational efficiency and manage business growth. Contact us to learn more.