Customer Journeys – Castle Importing (Food)
Ensuring a Memorable and Safe Family Meal Time
When preparing family dinner, parents may wonder if their kids will like it. But, obviously for families—and Castle Importing—food safety is the first priority. Consumers expect to know about recalls immediately. With SAP Business One, Castle Importing has complete visibility into their production process, so if a recall is necessary, they can quickly inform their customers and take steps to remedy the situation
Line of BusinessSales, Supply Chain Management
Number Of Employees33 + 4 officers = 37
IndustryConsumer Products – Food & Beverage
SAP® SolutionsSAP Business One
SAP® CompetitorsCustom-designed solutions
Rapid Deployment Solution
Customer Snapshot History
La Famiglia: A Family Business with Sicilian Roots
Castle Importing, Inc. is an Italian family business with roots in the cheese industry dating back more than half a century. The company's name is derived from the family’s hometown of Castellammare del Golfo, in northwest Sicily.
Customer Snapshot : Business Model
So Many Cheeses, So Little Time
Castle Importing’s business initially focused on the processing of standard sizes of hard Italian cheeses. They eventually expanded to include custom cheese blends, private label programs, and a line of high-quality Mediterranean olive oil products. Castle has recently expanded their product line to include cheeses that can be processed into an infinite variety of packaging options, for both retail and wholesale markets.
A Paper Tracking System Becomes Dangerous
Castle Importing delights customers with an array of delicious cheeses, fine oils, and tasty peppers, but food safety remains their first priority. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that all food processing companies are able to trace every ingredient in each recipe. Castle must track everything, from the initial purchase of raw materials, to each shipment of every product to their customers.
They had, until recently, employed a manual tracking procedure, and Castle’s leadership began to recognize that in the event of a product recall, the manual system would be a greater liability as the company grew.
“Whenever we conducted a “mock” product recall, a team of at least five co-workers painstakingly examined records of receipts of raw materials, production data, sales and customer data, and shipping information. With our pen-and-paper system, it took too long to pinpoint the cause of the recall and the exact quantities involved in our simulation.” – Rosangela Borruso, Vice President, Castle Importing, Inc.
Modification and Automation is the Key
Castle Importing began evaluating software in early 2011. The company was looking for a system that could streamline and integrate all their business processes (warehouse management, lot tracing for recalls and food audits, and commissions and rebates). Most of the solutions presented didn’t offer automated lot tracing. The exception was SAP Business One. SAP Gold Partner, Softengine, Inc., demonstrated how the SAP software system could be modified to meet their unique specifications.
Enter SAP : The SAP Experience
FoodOne Pulls it All Together
Softengine arrived with a successful track record of high-ROI SAP Business One implementations. They had already developed a complementary SAP software extension program for food-based businesses called FoodOne which enables a business to exercise superior financial management, inventory control, and complete traceability of every step and ingredient in the prodution process. Castle Importing was now equipped to conduct quick and precise recall practice runs, and to maintain full compliance with all Food and Drug Administration regulations.
“Arrivederci” to Manual Processes
With SAP Business One, Castle Importing enjoys a complete and instant view of their inventory. Softengine’s new “Multi-Level Trace” feature automatically traces every step and ingredient in the creation of each product. SAP’s software solution provides a comprehensive array of information, from shipping documents delivered to the customer, to the initial purchase order sent to the vendor. Once the specific items for recall have been identified, Castle Importing immediately removes them from production. A recall letter is automatically sent to the appropriate vendors and customers, which ensures every recalled product is swiftly taken out of circulation. Consumers can rest assured that the food on their table is safe.
“You have to be third-party, food safety-audited and you have to be able to conduct a complete recall procedure within two hours to meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliance regulations. With our new Multi-level Trace capability, we can produce a report that contains all the batches/lots, vendors, and customers in the allotted time and have the confidence that we can pass any FDA audit procedure.”
– Rosangela Borruso, Vice President, Castle Importing, Inc.
Running Better : Benefits
Safety and Satisfaction Means Smiles All Around
Running Better : Lessons Learned
Watching for Trouble Before it Happens
Castle Importing is now able to locate discrepancies during the process of creating a particular recipe. The production team has the tools to make adjustments long before the product is finished. If they lack an ingredient, they can use a substitute ingredient on hand, or direct the system to create a purchase order to obtain it.
Castle employees are no longer required to manually double-check every component, then repackage and resend the finished product. The time and money savings is measurable, with reduced waste and minimal potential for a recall.
Running Better : Today
Saying “Salve” to Automation is Easy
Leaving behind the manual systems they had relied upon for so many years wasn’t easy for Castle Importing, but they are glad they did.