Success Story: Foga Shakes Finds a New Level of Smoothness with MRPeasy
Smoothie blends producer Foga Shakes has undergone a rapid business transformation from a kitchen table operation to an efficient manufacturing company. MRPeasy has helped to make the transition as smooth as a fruit shake.
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About Foga Shakes
Foga Shakes is a UK-based instant smoothie blends producer, founded by husband-and-wife Phoebe and Ollie Thirlwell-Pearce in 2019. Their operation started out literally on the kitchen table where the first smoothie blend recipes were born and produced. Today, Foga Shakes has more than 20 different blends available along with a branded blender system. The company operates from a small manufacturing site in Cambridge and has 7 full-time employees. It is running as a D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) company and offers a diverse range of products to its growing clientele, from build-your-own bundles to superfood boosters.
On the road to developing the perfect product, Foga Shakes has adopted many innovative ideas to make its products delicious, healthy, and sustainable all at the same time. Owner Ollie Thirlwell-Pearce says that their smoothies are not simply a tasty fruit drink, but “instant smoothie blends that are also a high-end, full-spectrum multivitamin that satisfies all of your vitamin and mineral needs plus one of your five servings of veg-and-fruit a day. And it’s organic too!” The blends are made using freeze-dried fruit and vegetables – a process that stops decomposition and preserves the nutrients of the ingredients without the need for refrigeration. Vitamin and mineral composition and bioavailability are ensured by an even more innovative food-state encapsulation process. To top it off, Foga Shakes uses 98% organic ingredients and has adopted a packaging and recycling scheme that uses up to 30 times less plastic than conventional smoothie cups.
As the company gained a market foothold, production capacity started rapidly increasing. With this, production planning, as well as stock management of the operation, became much more complex. The initially used multiple spreadsheets approach quickly found its limits in keeping tabs on the growing complexity of the manufacturing process. Foga Shakes thus set out to find a software solution that would set the growing operation on steady tracks.
MRPeasy proved the right companion from day one
Next to the increasing volume of production, the primary reason for finding and implementing an MRP system came from a need for end-to-end traceability. Two-way traceability is a key requirement in the food sector, helping to increase customer satisfaction and safety, stay in accordance with manufacturing standards and best practices, and more. Other reasons to commit to an MRP system included a need to more easily and accurately forecast stock requirements as well as to automatically keep track of batch numbers. There had been other shortcomings in the old system as well. With everything to gain, Ollie began the search for the right software companion.
Since the owners had no prior experience with MRP software, their first move was to get acquainted with the many available providers by simply googling them. After identifying a few candidates, Ollie spent a while running a few trials and finally opted for MRPeasy. The key selling point was the software’s diverse capacity for integrations. Foga Shakes’ website uses WooCommerce and the company has Shipstation running their fulfillment platform – both fully compatible with MRPeasy. The software’s capability to easily run requirements forecasts seemed attractive as well and the owners also really liked the name and branding of the software.
Implementation – a one-man job
Successful implementation of a manufacturing ERP is a crucial step that can make or break the customer experience. While there was quite a large number of inputs to key in, such as the many different ingredients and suppliers, the process of getting basic functionality up and running proved relatively easy for Foga Shakes. Ollie decided to dive into the intricacies of MRPeasy on his own and recommends this approach of one person being in charge of the implementation process to others as well. At one point, Foga Shakes’ Operations Manager chimed in and together they were able to further step up the functionality of the system. Another key takeaway from Ollie’s experience is to not give up on the existing system all at once and instead run the two systems in parallel for some time – at least 1-2 months after starting to use the new software.
Today, Foga Shakes is using more and more of MRPeasy’s capabilities and further integrating it with the production process. MRPeasy is helping to identify what needs to happen to maximize efficiency.
“It has given us much more efficient planning, forecasting, and workflow for sure,” Ollie says. “As with any system, it is as good as the data you give it. There is still stuff to iron out, largely on our side, but MRPeasy has definitely given us a smoother and easier process from forecasting through to production.”
With MRPeasy, Foga Shakes has a firm handle on managing the manufacturing process. This has allowed the UK-based firm to focus more on sourcing and new product development for their growing clientele.
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