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Largo Food Exports Deploy Integrated Manufacturing with Vanilla Solutions

12 Jun 2012


“We now have a totally integrated solution that results in one version of the truth.”
Michael McGinn, (IT Manager)

Largo Food Exports, Ireland’s leading manufacturer of crisps and snack foods, set Vanilla Solutions something of a challenge. They wanted to implement IFS’s Make-to-Stock Manufacturing solution in a way that didn’t require any transactional input during ordinary operations!

The first challenge was to help the business design product structures using blow-through and phantom parts to allow Largo to easily produce different packing variants of the same basic products.

Vanilla Solutions then worked with the customer to design a data migration routine that would take the rolling Sales & Operations plan and create Shop Orders for the coming week’s production. Finally, an interface was written between Largo’s finished goods pallet-labelling application and IFS, which tracked cases of product as they were produced and received the correct Shop Order while back-flushing the raw materials. By automating the entire manufacturing process in IFS, Largo can go from their Sales & Operations plan to finished goods receipt with no manual input within the application.

“Largo were running different recording systems (mainly spread sheet based) for different processes. This was resulting in duplication of effort but more importantly errors and delays in recording. We needed a solution that would integrate these systems seamlessly into IFS.” Gerry McQuaid (Purchasing Manager), Largo Food Exports.

The solution is now live at Largo’s Irish manufacturing sites in Ashbourne near Dublin and in Gweedore, County Donegal.

Said Andy Bell, Director at Vanilla Solutions, “One of the biggest challenges was that over-production of finished goods is just a fact of life in this environment. Largo were understandably keen to make sure that raw material consumption was recorded accurately, so the interface had to be able to dynamically increase the Shop Order lot size and material allocation once the original lot size was exceeded.”

The finished solution has also brought IFS’s costing capabilities to Largo as well as reducing administration time and providing a foundation for new planning and scheduling initiatives.

“Our year-end processing time has been reduced from one week to less than half a day”, said Liam Carrick, (Materials Control and Planning).

Michael McGinn, (IT Manager) added, “Prior to Vanilla Solutions getting involved Largo were not using the IFS Manufacturing Modules. Working with Vanilla Solutions we were able to design a system that incorporated all our requirements from a raw material usage perspective and link that system to our pallet labelling system. We now have a totally integrated solution that results in ‘one version of the truth’. The total integration has not only resulted in administration time saving and quicker information availability, but also removed manual errors from the process. We now feel confident, after successfully implementing this solution, to tackle IFS Demand Planner to assist in our Production Forecasting Process, which is the next major issue for the Business to address.”