Customer Story: Food For Tots Tracks Allergens Accurately

The Company: Food For Tots

Food For Tots is an Ontario-based catering company that provides healthy, delicious and child-friendly meals and snacks to child care centers and schools. Its facility is 100% nut, pork and shellfish-free and can accommodate most allergy, religious and dietary requests. Food For Tots serves more than five million meals annually.

The Challenges

Allergen tracking on the production floor

Food For Tots manages 97 different allergens. On any given day, it prepares 1,500 lunches and 1,600 snacks with allergen replacements. Food For Tots needed a system that was able to accurately manage these allergens and provide clear instructions to the production team based on the various requirements of each individual child.

Lack of visibility into operations

Prior to choosing JustFood, Food For Tots was using three separate systems to help run its business. Its primary system, which was highly customized to fit the company’s needs, was limiting, and the Food For Tots executive team knew it needed to invest in a system that would support growth instead of hinder it. Because the three systems were not integrated in any way, each required manual data downloads and uploads to ensure data flowed. The company had limited visibility into its operational details, which was becoming a bottleneck for growth.

The impact you can make by having that greater visibility is huge and I did not anticipate that. The end result was a lot more transparency, which ultimately led to positive management decisions.

Julia Selby, VP of Business Development

The Solutions

Streamlined processes for allergen tracking

Julia Selby, VP of Business Development for Food For Tots, led the search for an ERP. “We knew we needed a system that was reliable, would meet our current needs and would grow with us,” she says. “And we wanted to steer away from customization as much as possible.”

Though Food For Tots’ allergen processes did require some custom work, most of the capability it needed to track allergens was already built into JustFood. Selby and the Food for Tots team are now able to use the system to go through each individualized BOM for the day and automatically assign multiple allergen replacements based on the various needs of each individual child. “To say that effective allergen management is important to us is an understatement,” says Selby. “The entire process is quite complex. Many children have multiple allergies, and each meal replacement is based on a child’s specific needs. There’s a lot at stake.” Selby is proud to report that their JustFood system has been 100% reliable when it comes to systematically tracking and assigning allergens.

Greater visibility means better business decisions

Selby was surprised by the impact that greater visibility and data had on their business. “The impact was huge right away and I didn’t anticipate that,” she says. By moving all of their data and workflows from multiple, independent platforms into one fully-integrated ERP, Food For Tots was able to gain visibility into its operations and dig deeper into data like never before. “The amount of data that was available to us after going live was really great. In our first year, we saw significant cost savings while being able to continue our commitment to our customers.” The end result was a lot more transparency, which ultimately led to positive management decisions.

Selby and her team believe they saw a return on their ERP investment very quickly. “We now have control over our data, and greater insight into the changes that happen, and that’s really important to us.”

The Results

Since going live on JustFood, Food For Tots has been able to: