The Cambridge Food Company improves efficiency with Accord foodservice software
Foodservice wholesaler, The Cambridge Food Company, is claiming company-wide improvements in operational efficiency following its investment in an Accord® Foodservice System.
Established in Cambridge over 20 years ago, The Cambridge Food Company is a family owned and run foodservice wholesaler servicing the catering trade in the East of England. Based at Papworth, just a few miles from Cambridge, the company uses its own fleet of purpose-built, multi-temperature vehicles to deliver a full range of chilled, frozen and ambient products, including premium speciality, ethical and local produce. Customers include restaurants, hotels, hospitals, independent food outlets, schools, contract caterers and independent in house caterers for business and industry, as well as all the colleges of the University of Cambridge.
The company prides itself on its excellence and customer focus as Mark Hulme, MD The Cambridge Food Company, explains: “We deliver a complete peace of mind and hassle free experience for our clients whilst helping them to grow their business by offering great quality products, innovations and business solutions.”
The investment in new technology was prompted by the company’s rapidly expanding business and the need for a specialist solution which could support this growth and easily scale upwards to meet the needs of an enlarged operation. The existing general purpose computer system lacked many of the facilities required for Foodservice and generated a lot of time consuming manual processes. “We’d been struggling with it for some time and having to work hard to make up for its shortcomings,” says Mark Hulme “We needed a stronger sales function, on screen order profiling, improved speed and usability, better reporting, a better accounts package and a database that could handle our level of transactions and cope with future growth.”
After reviewing offerings from several suppliers, The Cambridge Food Company opted for BCP’s complete Accord® solution including Purchasing, Sales Order Management, Stock Control, Telesales, Financial Accounting and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
The Cambridge Food Company selected BCP because of its successful implementation record, its financial stability and Accord’s powerful functionality which offered an excellent fit for their business. “Over and above this,” says Mark Hulme, “Accord® offered ‘value for money’ with competing solutions coming in at significantly higher prices.”
Since implementing Accord® The Cambridge Food Company has realised efficiencies across the business with sales order processing, picking and accounting functions demonstrating particular improvements. Previously sales order processing was time consuming and inefficient. Although based on Excel, manual intervention was required to make it work adequately. “Quite simply, the fastest way to handle orders,” explains Mark Hulme, “was to print out a list and add items by hand. Now it’s all on screen and handled not only faster but more accurately. Savings across sales order processing and picking alone equate to around 2 hours per day which we are very happy with.”
One of the most useful features of the system for The Cambridge Food Company is proving to be the on-screen customer order profiling which helps them to control and track customer orders levels, take a proactive approach to sales and deliver better customer service.
As with the sector in general, the recession has impacted on growth, but the implementation of Accord® has meant the company is now ideally positioned to take advantage of any upturn in the economy. “Operations are now more efficient, we have freed up human resources and have the tools to grow the business,” says Mark Hulme. “We can now analyse product and customer categories more effectively and easily identify slippage and sales opportunities through gap analysis. Utilising this information alongside the on-screen customer profiling, stock, promotion and pricing information will allow us improve order values and grow turnover.”
Mark Hulme, concludes: “Accord® is an excellent fit for our business, and will scale up easily as we grow and expand our operations. It’s lived up to its reputation and has even more functionality than we’d expected. We know we’ll get even greater returns as we utilize it more fully. The next phase it to make use of its CRM function in order to help manage further growth more efficiently and cost effectively and we’re also reviewing options for integrating van sales into the Accord® system in order to achieve better stock visibility and track profitability in that area.”