Snack Innovations was spending too much time manually tracking and updating ingredients, suppliers, and recipes for its Better-For-You innovative snack products. Dynamic FRM™, a formula and recipe management solution from New Dynamic created on the Dynamics 365 platform, makes it easier for Snack Innovations to search ingredients, line up suppliers, manage product assets – and set the foundation for more growth in the future.
Business is good at Snack Innovations, a family-owned private-labeler, co-packer, and contract manufacturer of gourmet snack foods in Piscataway, N.J.
Since its founding in 2009, Snack Innovations has grown 10-fold and become a leader in the manufacturing of chips, crisps, strips, sticks, straws, puffs and popcorn for clients across the country, including national retailers, club stores, and convenience stores.
While the growth in sales, customers, and new products have been welcome developments, the extra complexity and headaches associated with tracking raw ingredients, production runs and finished products has caused some natural growing pains.
Frieda Nicole is the product development manager at Snack Innovations. Her job is managing the hundreds of ingredients, formulas and recipes for Snack Innovations’ own brands as
well as its clients’ brands.
“We’ve gotten good at new product and flavor development,” Nicole said. “But we’ve been using a non-integrated combination of Word, Excel and Dropbox to organize our formulas and ingredients which has caused problems with wasted time and productivity.”
Snack Innovations selected New Dynamic to implement Dynamic FRM™, which leverages the Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud-based platform to help food and beverage companies apply Product Lifecycle Management best practices and processes.
“New Dynamic has a long track record of working in food manufacturing and formula management which gave us confidence in this project,” Nicole said. “We relied on their insights and recommendations to getting us up and running quickly so we could start profiting from the solution. The implementation was well-planned and went smoothly.”
Better-For-You Snacks – And Systems
Supply chain management is crucial for food manufacturers like Snack Innovations. Accurate inventory levels for the most important ingredients ensure efficient ordering and consistent production levels.
“Being able to drill down by ingredient type allows us to see everywhere we use it, how much we need, and which suppliers we use,” Nicole said. “This kind of visibility prevents us from being out of stock or scrambling to find backup suppliers. We have it all in one place and one view.”
Packaging, artwork, and formulas are organized by accounts and items. Cooking methods and machine settings are also tracked by product type.
“Some of our products are air-popped and some are compression-popped, and there are different settings depending on ingredients and flavors,” Nicole said. “It’s another quality check and it makes it easier to train and rotate employees on our manufacturing lines.”
Dynamic FRM also supports higher customer service and support levels. Private label and contract manufacturing customers often have custom flavor combinations, finished goods reports, shipping instructions, and myriad other account or item-level instructions that must be followed.
“Instead of worrying which document version is up to date, we now have a single source of truth so we’re not wasting time searching through older documents or accidently using old instructions,” Nicole said. “We’re always up to date with the latest account or product details.”
As for the investment and the value of the solution, Nicole said the ROI is in the time savings and peace of mind.
“Natural, high-quality snacks are a hot market, so every minute of every day counts in order to keep growing and adding new products,” Nicole said. “With Dynamic FRM, we’re saving hours each week not having to sift through files or worry about storage and versioning. Our formulas and recipes are key business assets that are now safely and securely organized which makes our business more valuable and ready for more growth.”