Hausbeck Pickle Company Case Study by Plex Manufacturing Cloud ERP
About The Company
Founded in 1923 by Charles E. Hausbeck, Hausbeck Pickle Company produces pickles and peppers for fast food restaurants, such as Subway, Burger King, Sonic, Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC. The factory produces an average of 400,000 pounds of pickles or peppers a day, which comes to about 10 billion pickle slices, 20 million pounds of banana peppers, and 13 million pounds of jalapeños annually. This family-owned company is headquartered in Saginaw, Michigan and has 80 employees plus 100 seasonal employees.
- Paper-based processes limited visibility into production and inventory.
- Difficult to manage inventory costs throughout production.
- Needed more control with ingredient tracking and traceability to comply with audits in an efficient manner.
- No IT department with resources or expertise in ERP systems.
- Inconsistency of reporting results.
- Determine the ratio needed between pickles and brine to maintain the highest quality without risking inventory.
- 99.6% inventory accuracy — increased from 2015 at 70% (after Plex implementation in 2016).
- Can easily comply with customer scorecards — demonstrating the ability to be a strategic business partner.
Results & Benefits
An immediate benefit the Hausbeck team noticed was how Plex records production. Prior to Plex, production often was recorded two or three days after it had occurred. Then the information had to be put into a spreadsheet and imported into QuickBooks.
“It really makes a difference on inventory traceability and accuracy to record production immediately as it occurs for visibility into production,” said Edwards.
For Hausbeck, this is key since production includes a complex fermentation process. A lot happens with how the pickles ferment that can affect yields. If 50,000 pounds of fresh cucumbers are put into a brine tank, that same amount doesn’t come out because the pickles shrink during fermentation. To get an accurate read on the total yield, the company must measure shrink — and this was all done on spreadsheets prior to Plex — so balancing inventory was challenging.
“We’re trying to get the right ratio of fermentation and shrink. Any improvements to ratios can only be done once a year. And whether or not what we did had any effect on that ratio is a lot harder to know without having a system like Plex,” said Hausbeck.
Since inventory is Hausbeck’s largest asset, the ability to track it from receipt through production to customer shipment is critical.
“In 2015, we were at about 70 percent inventory accuracy. That was just before we went live with Plex, then in 2016 we increased that to 93 percent. In 2017, we reached 94 percent, and we’re on trend to end 2018 right around 99.6 percent— so that tells me Plex is working,” said Dawn Gordon, Warehouse Manager.