With Great Taste Comes Great Responsibility!

With Great Taste Comes Great Responsibility!

The FM Taste business is founded upon a comprehensive system of food manufacturing and vending services. They were looking for a software system that could manage effectively not only their own operations in hot and cold drinks, fresh sandwich and snack vending, but also the inventory, delivery and control of a key aspect of their turnover; food manufacturing.

Based upon previous experience of software systems, Nigel Holmes, Director of Operations at The FM Taste was initially sceptical that one system could do it all.

Here is his feedback on SB Software’s Vendmanager system, now running at The FM Taste: “Nationwide distribution provides enough logistical issues on its own, but working with fresh produce adds an array of additional challenges. These are further compounded when selling fresh produce via a vending system, where freshness and “best before” information is imperative to the success or failure of the business model.”

“Vendmanager tracks products and their “best before” information right through the system, from manufacture to vend, providing clear, detailed visibility of risk stock against a variety of criteria. Vendmanager has driven the growth of the company, allowing us to make tactical decisions, tailored to our requirements.”

SB Software’s Vendmanager gives total visibility on all levels and on every line, constructing reports to suit each specific business. With planogram functionality it’s straightforward to map best sellers and slow movers, and to track progress of new products in such a way trends and seasonal variations can be monitored — so no opportunity is missed.

Tightening up on procedures such as:

• scanning bar codes at production
• maintaining full records of “best before” dates
• eliminating mistakes and oversights throughout the process

… has meant that The FM Taste now have total visibility/traceability of production times and dates. "It is an extremely powerful tool to have on your side,” commented Nigel.

The detail provided by the Vendmanager system is a huge attraction. Aside from providing item level detail of all products within circulation, Vendmanager provides a holistic service for sales too. Sales data is recorded, collated and made available for immediate analysis through the bespoke reporting tool.

“The cash reporting is excellent, as there is no margin for human error”. Says Nigel. “The handheld scanning avoids miscounts and the pivot tables are absolutely brilliant for extracting large amounts of detailed data”.

One of the most important factors in creating a successful working relationship with SB Software was the straightforward integration with current accounting systems. Implementing a new vending management system can mean large upheaval, but the seamless integration with the incumbent system at The FM Taste, Sage, meant that the applecart was not rocked.

“There was no fuss” explained Nigel.

See the full case study here.

Published 24th May 2016

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