Dale Barth opened the Redbone Alley Restaurant in Florence, South Carolina in 1993. What started as a small business in an unlikely location quickly became a resounding success with nearly 1,500 people lining up daily to enjoy the fresh and innovative regional cuisine. Not content with just this venture, Dale later created Redbone Foods, LLC – a wholesale distribution company offering his sauces, meat rubs and cookbooks to grocery stores throughout the United States.
While Dale’s publishing of cookbooks and appearances on television cooking shows helped to increase brand awareness, the real business growth came when they began to aggressively pursue grocery chains to stock their products – one grocery chain distribution agreement led to another and before long, business was really cookin’.
A new cook in the kitchen
With aggressive growth came the need for a new business software system. According to Angie Chovan of Redbone Foods, “QuickBooks had worked fine when we were smaller. But as our transaction volume increased and inventory tracking requirements became more complex, we quickly discovered that we needed software with better reporting flexibility and functional depth in the areas of purchasing, order entry and inventory control.” Redbone Foods turned to the local Kansas office of the WAC Consulting Group – a nationwide business software solution provider. After careful evaluation of Redbone’s operations and business challenges, Karen Smart of the WAC Consulting – Kansas recommended Sage Accpac ERP which offered comprehensive inventory tracking and distribution functionality integrated with accounting and financial reporting.
Things get a little spicy
With Sage Accpac ERP firmly in place, operations seemed to be on track and running smoothly. However, the challenges of growth did not end there. Redbone Foods discovered one day that its supplier had made a production error that necessitated a recall. Unfortunately, Angie remembers this painful time all too well. “We had to dig through files and hundreds of paper documents to determine which batch contained the recalled ingredient and which customers we shipped our product to.” Due to the nature of this “paper chase” and because Redbone Foods is so quality conscious, they ultimately recalled much more product than they needed to. “The whole event was extremely time consuming and costly,” says Angie. “We threw a lot of good product out with the bad just to be certain.”
A new ingredient in the mix
Not long after the recall nightmare, Angie happily remembers a phone conversation with Karen Smart who called to check in and see how things were going for Redbone. “I like that about WAC Consulting,” says Angie. “They’re proactive in making sure things are going well for us and that we’re getting the most out of our investment in Sage Accpac. It’s a very nice touch.” In this case, Karen’s call could not have come at a better time. Angie spoke of their recent recall and Karen immediately suggested they take a look at the Sage Accpac Lot Tracking module. The Lot Tracking module ensures simpler and smarter lot number anagement. It is designed to track ingredient or input lots from the point of receipt from a vendor through to specific products, batches, customers and sales invoices and also to inventory in warehouses. The Return Materials Authorization functionality of Sage Accpac Lot Tracking also simplifies the return of recalled products from customers. Lot tracking makes this otherwise time-consuming task a snap. Angie recalls, “Setting it up was simple and the training provided by the WAC Consulting Group was thorough and easy to understand which helped us get the module up and running quickly.”
A recipe for success
Sage Accpac Lot Control has proven to be invaluable. Lot numbers are now generated during purchase order receipt and tracked back to specific manufactured production runs and batches. Lot information also fully integrates with inventory and order entry so that all transaction history for purchases and sales can be quickly tracked, reviewed, and reported. Angie mentions, “We recently had a little production discrepancy, but this time things were much different. With a couple clicks of my mouse, I was quickly able to isolate the problem to just sixteen bottles. Unlike the last recall, this time around it was nothing more than a small bump in the road. We saved a ‘ton’ of time and money, thanks to lot control and WAC Consulting.” Beyond lot control, Redbone Foods relies on Sage Accpac to keep accurate tabs on inventory moving in and out of their various warehouses including replenishment transfers from their main warehouse in Greenville, South Carolina to their two other warehouse locations.
A savory business relationship
In closing, Angie says, “The consultants at WAC Consulting – Kansas are down to earth and easy to talk with. If we have an issue with our system, they take time to evaluate every little bit of the problem before offering a solution. I never feel uncomfortable calling them about anything. They are very knowledgeable about Sage Accpac and are a critical part of supporting the continued growth and success of Redbone Foods.”