An IT solution from CSB-System, devised and installed within a very tight deadline, is providing full production control and monitoring along with comprehensive traceability at Kendal Nutricare, a leading pharmaceutical research company and supplier of an extensive range of products including infant formulas and cereals, adult formulas, pharma grade allergen-free and lactose-free powders and complete meals.
The Kendal Nutricare factory in Kendal, UK was acquired by food scientist and entrepreneur Ross McMahon from Heinz in June 2015. While the factory had an existing SAP system, the licensing agreement was expensive, and a new solution had to be sourced and running by the beginning of December. CSB was able to react very quickly to the initial enquiry, providing a proposal that outlined how the new system could be installed and implemented to meet these tight deadlines.
“Selecting CSB-System was one of the best decisions we made,” says Ross McMahon. “Any ERP system can be modified to give you exactly what you want – but you have to create it all yourself from scratch. This can be time-consuming to deliver. “With the CSB-System the right modules, processes and tables for food manufacturing are already in place and this makes it much faster to set up, which was particularly important for us. We were able to be up and running extremely quickly and the system then gave us the flexibility to adapt it as we moved forward.”
Kendal Nutricare employs advanced quality manufacturing processes, along with highspeed filling lines that are able to pack in metal and composite cans, bag-in-box and sachets. The CSB solution provides full control and monitoring throughout these processes, with comprehensive traceability at every stage of the operation. This is critical to guarantee the quality of every product that leaves the factory and an essential part of the highest standards and accreditations that Kendal Nutricare implements. All ingredients are ordered and then receipted into the factory through the system. Stock management allows the production team to plan each run, calling off the ingredients as required.
As product moves through each stage of production, this is recorded in the CSB-System using hand held terminals. Equally important, the system is able to interface with other equipment, for example during the blending operation. Finished goods are then recorded back into warehouse storage, with scanners on the forklift trucks to help monitor goods in and out, before being called off for delivery. Stringent quality control and testing are also linked to the CSB-System so that each test batch can be traced back to its particular production run.
“Ultimately, for every pack we produce, we know exactly what it contains, when it was produced and from where the ingredients were sourced, and this provides the high level of safety and traceability that is essential for these types of products,” explains Ross. CSB’s commitment to ensuring the project was completed on time meant the team was on hand throughout, with key personnel on site during the critical stages to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. “There was huge knowledge within the CSB team,” confirms Kendal Nutricare’s IT Manager Sarah Woodhams, “and even if not on site, the relevant person was always easily available at the end of a phone to give us help and advice. “What was particularly beneficial about the CSB approach was that there were specialists for every part of the system, including the hand-held devices, production, finance or sales, so not even the smallest of details were missed.”
“The phrase ‘hitting the ground running’ is probably overused but it does exactly sum up the challenge we faced, with just six months to get this new system in place and operational,” concludes Ross McMahon. “That we achieved such a massive project in this short space of time is a tribute to the dedication of the staff here and to the professionalism and commitment of CSBSystem. It was truly a team effort and it has made a vital contribution to the business, in particular in supporting our unfailing commitment to the highest quality standards.”