Mountain Top Foods Doubles Size with The Answer Company and Sage X3

Mountain Top Foods makes delicious, high-quality fresh and frozen appetizers and ready-to-eat meals for the retail and food service markets. The company’s two federally-inspected processing facilities are fitted with the state-of-the-art equipment and the technology that allow it to continually innovate, pivot, and adapt to the needs of its customers.

Growing in spite of ourselves
Like many successful companies, Mountain Top Foods found its growth had outstripped the capabilities of its accounting software. It began looking for an ERP solution that could support every aspect of its operations.

“Our accounting software helped us manage finances, but everything else was done manually or in spreadsheets,” recalls Jason Calvert, Plant Manager for Mountain Top Foods. “We were growing sales, expanding distribution, and hiring staff to keep up. All that activity masked the fact that we were not optimizing production and other workflows. We had very little insight into costs and supply chain activity and it wasn’t sustainable. Sooner or later, it was going to catch up with us, that’s why we knew we needed to act quickly.”

The company looked to make one move, selecting ERP software that would help it bring more control and efficiency to the operation and be scalable enough to grow along with it.

Next-generation solution
Mountain Top Foods selected The Answer Company and Sage X3 as its next-generation partner and solution. Sage X3 excels in helping food manufacturers accelerate their operations and grow efficiently, without adding overhead. The Answer Company has worked extensively with industry clients and brought that experience to work for Mountain Top Foods.

Optimizing warehouse operations
The company uses a third-party warehouse as part of its supply chain. Working with The Answer Company and with the capabilities of Sage X3, Mountain Top Foods has realized over $150,000 in savings. “We were able to identify and fix errors, and monitor storage costs more closely, reacting and making adjustments when necessary,” says Calvert. “The changes have easily saved us more than $150,000.”

Accurate inventory data saves hours every week
Raw materials and packaging were previously tracked in spreadsheets and paper records. As a result, the company experienced periodic product shortages of key ingredients, risking shipment delays and even lost revenue.

“We spent five to six hours every week just checking and confirming inventory levels,” says Calvert. “We don’t have to do that anymore.” Now, users record the consumption of inventory on a real-time basis. This ensures all stakeholders have real-time visibility to inventory levels, and variations in consumption are immediately noted and can be acted upon. Additionally, lot numbers associated with all ingredients can be captured and stored in Sage X3, providing a single system for traceability and compliance.

Strategic purchasing saves $50,000
While under-stocking had been a concern, over-stocking was an even larger issue before Sage X3. “We realized we had a five-year supply of one ingredient,” says Calvert. “Now that have accurate information about inventory holdings and forecast demand, we’re able to make strategic buys that save us money.” For example, one strategic purchase — identified by the company’s ability to monitor price trends over time — saved Mountain Top
Foods $50,000. Previously, it was difficult for Mountain Top Foods to uncover the true costs of its products. With Sage X3, it now has access to detailed cost data, helping it evaluate the profitability of each item and make pricing adjustments as needed.

Deep visibility creates opportunities
Calvert cites overall visibility as one of single most significant benefits of its new solution. The Answer Company introduced Mountain Top Foods to Sage Enterprise Intelligence, a powerful business intelligence tool for Sage X3. “We weren’t able to pull together monthly reports before, let alone any realtime data,” he says. “Now we have complete visibility into every corner of the business. We can identify trends, catch potential errors, and embark on more strategic planning for the company’s future.” In addition to reporting tools, Sage X3 delivers insight through configurable dashboards and industry-specific key performance indicators (KPIs).

Doubled in size
Less than two years after implementing Sage X3, Mountain Top Foods doubled in size. “There is no way we could have accomplished that without The Answer Company and Sage X3,” says Calvert. “And we achieved that milestone with only adding one administrative position.” Mountain Top Foods is not done growing and plans on extending the capabilities of Sage X3 to help it achieve that growth. An automated data capture initiative is in the works, for example, to allow the company to capture product and lot data quickly and efficiently from the receipt of raw materials through to shipment to end customers.

“The Answer Company is a great partner for this initiative,” concludes Calvert. “They are responsive and knowledgeable and are great at taking things from the idea stage to execution.”

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