Customer Story: Bruce Foods Goes Live Simultaneously


Bruce Foods Corporation was operating on two separate legacy systems that couldn’t integrate when they began looking at JustFood. The sauce, vegetable and Tex-Mex product manufacturer ultimately chose JustFood over SAP and other competitors due to the ease and usability of the software and the food industry-specific functionality it came equipped with.

Since implementation, Bruce Foods has utilized JustFood to:

We had a simultaneous rollout at all four of our locations. We went live with WMS all the way through to EDI in one day.

Keith Kern, IT Director

Bruce Foods

Bruce Foods Corporation, based in New Iberia, Louisiana, is one of America’s largest privately-owned food manufacturers and was founded in 1928. The sauce, vegetable and Tex-Mex product manufacturer is made up of four processing plants across the US and over 1,200 employees. Bruce Foods distributes products all over the US and to more than 100 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The Challenge

Bruce Foods had been utilizing a heavily customized system made up of JBA ERP and Red Prairie WMS when they began their search for an all-in-one ERP/WMS system. The outdated software wasn’t able to integrate as well as the company would have liked, and the upgrade path was almost non-existent.

Keith Kern, IT Director at Bruce Foods, began looking for a system that was able to go live at all four of the manufacturer’s facilities at the same time. This, he noted, added considerable complication to the search. Adding to this was the issue of trying to decide whether to start from scratch with a whole new system or attempt to modify the existing software they already had in place.

The Solution

When a new COO came on board early in the ERP selection process, the “wish list” for better functionality kept getting longer and longer. “We ultimately decided to start over with a brand new system,” says Kern. Even before the COO came into the picture, Kern had been tracking JustFood for a number of a years. “I had attended some JustFood webinars in the past, and was pretty impressed with them, especially with the ease of use of the system and their obvious deep understanding of the food industry.”

After much research, Kern and the COO narrowed the vendors down to JustFood and SAP. Though the COO had used SAP software at another company, the functionality included in JustFood quickly began gaining traction among department heads at Bruce Foods. “We really wanted something with specific functionality that addressed the needs of food companies. We had confidence in JustFood’s numbers around billable hours and other costs and were not as confident in SAP’s,” says Kern.

The Benefits

Bruce Foods successfully went live with everything from WMS all the way to EDI at all four of its locations on the same day. Norm Brown Sr., Chairman of Bruce Foods at the time, noted that it was the quietist go-live the company had ever gone through. The entire implementation went so well, in fact, that Kern and the rest of the IT department were awarded the President’s Award at their annual management conference. It was the first time in the company’s 84-year history that the award, given to a team or individual who has made a significant improvement to the company’s operations, had gone to anyone in the IT department.

Since go live, Bruce Foods has been able to enhance its use of ASN documentation to allow for additional mapping. “Now we can do EDI, ship notices and customer compliance labeling all within the JustFood system,” Kern says. “The majority of Bruce Foods’ sales require EDI, and ASN is a growing part of our business.”

Additionally, Kern is happy with the customized analytics and reports that business users across the company can generate within JustFood. “Reporting used to be exclusively an IT function,” he says. “Now it is an accounting function.”

The Future

Next up for the Bruce Foods’ team is to roll out the Quality Management and Product Development module of JustFood at all its facilities.