Food Manufacturing in the Cloud: Recipe for a Successful Business

Food Manufacturing in the Cloud: Recipe for a Successful BusinessHungry for success, more and more food and beverage companies are turning their appetite to technology to fulfill that craving.

If they want to survive, let alone compete, in today’s volatile business environment, food and beverage companies need to implement tools that will allow them to better manage all aspects of their business processes, from the plant floor, to the back office, to customer service.

To obtain these capabilities, more and more food and beverage companies are turning to cloud-based solutions.

Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of executives indicate they have adopted, or plan to adopt, cloud technologies into their business strategies and operations, according to KPMG’s 2013 Food and Beverage Industry Outlook Survey. Breweries, meat processors, confectionists, kettle corn manufacturers and many others – large and small – are all choosing cloud ERP services as opposed to traditional on-premise solutions for a number of reasons, including lower costs, greater productivity and increased efficiency.

Today’s food processors and manufacturers gain a competitive advantage by implementing a robust ERP system, such as the Plex Manufacturing Cloud, that enables strong plant floor management and provides comprehensive capabilities for food processing and production. Plex is a top-to-bottom solution that includes process instructions, recipe management, traceability and product genealogy, production scheduling, real-time ingredient control, production tracking, lot control, labor tracking, and more, streamlining processes so food manufacturers can focus on their core business.

Simply put, businesses that use Plex run smarter, leaner, more efficiently, and are always ready for whatever challenges are thrown at them next.

Old Mill Kettle Corn, a national manufacturer of healthy, corn-based snacks, had never used an ERP platform or a formal food safety management system. With imminent expansion and new market opportunities on the horizon, management realized it was no longer feasible to use paper spreadsheets and manual processes to manage operations.

Food Manufacturing in the Cloud: Recipe for a Successful Business“Earlier we would rely on approximation, but now we know exactly how much we’ve produced on any given day and how much more we need to produce,” said Greg Smith, Vice President of Operations at Old Mill Kettle Corn. “With Plex, we made a paradigm shift from the time we were handling food and raw material lot management on notepads, to the present, where with a few clicks, we can find out which lot our customers have. Now we use barcode labeling and scanning processes to identify and track all products. Everything runs much more smoothly and inventory is tracked at virtually 100 percent accuracy.

A cloud-based system was the only option that could meet all the needs of the growing company. After just a three-month implementation process, the company was using the Plex Manufacturing Cloud across all areas of its processing enterprise, providing executives complete visibility into their operations and plant data. Plex’s cloud-first model – built explicitly for food and beverage manufacturers – gave Old Mill Kettle Corn the flexibility to scale up and down as necessary to meet the changing needs of the business.

Ultimately, Plex helps Old Mill Kettle Corn coordinate fundamental business functions, such as:

  • Manage inventory
  • Track, account for and trace ingredients and raw materials to facilitate fast recall and trace back
  • Minimize changeover to prevent cross-contamination
  • Fulfill customer orders accurately and on time
  • Capture real-time critical metrics such as product cost and downtime
  • Manage the complexities that come with expansion.
  • Plex offers all the ingredients food and beverage companies need to create a recipe for success. Just as food and beverage products are more than their raw ingredients, Plex is a dynamic platform designed to power today’s modern manufacturer from the ground up so they can keep pace with the evolving business world and changing demands of consumers.

About Plex
Plex is the Manufacturing Cloud, delivering industry-leading ERP and manufacturing automation to nearly 400 companies across industries, including aerospace and defense, food and beverage and motor vehicles. Plex pioneered Cloud solutions for the shop floor, connecting suppliers, machines, people, systems and customers with capabilities that are easy to configure, deliver continuous innovation, and reduce IT costs. With insight that starts on the production line, Plex helps companies see and understand every aspect of their business ecosystems, enabling them to lead in an ever-changing market. Learn more at