Processor / Distributor keeps tight control on inventory with Canopy's Data Capture and more

nv logo small Neesvig's Foodservice 
Jeff Bauer, Vice President and Controller

What do Larry the Cable Guy and Aspen Systems have in common? The answer is simple: we both have an interest in understanding Neesvig’s operations. In an attempt to better understand the cattle industry, Larry the Cable Guy visited Neesvig’s Foodservice during an episode of Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy to learn how they Git-R-Done1 to transform a beef primal cut to the steak on your plate in a restaurant. Aspen Systems also spent time understanding the processes used at Neesvig’s in order to optimize the implementation of Canopy.

Neesvig’s was founded in 1913 by Oswald and Anna Neesvig. They have progressed to the point where they are one of the Midwest’s most complete providers of quality center-of-the-plate products. In 1985, they were named Wisconsin’s first Certified Angus Beef® distributor. To understand Neesvig’s operations requires understanding three separate business entities. In addition to center-of-the-plate products sold at Neesvig’s, they also distribute a variety of products, including cheese, spices, bacon, processed meats, specialty dry goods, etc. Their trained sales force speaks directly with chefs at many restaurants, ensuring that they meet their needs as a foodservice distributor. In addition to Neesvig’s Foodservice, they also operate Empire Fish, located in Milwaukee, WI. Larry the Cable Guy @ NeesvigsThey source fish and seafood from around the world that are processed and distributed through their retail store and operate as a wholesaler throughout the Midwest. They take steps to ensure that they support domestic fisheries that are leaders in the global push for responsible management, environmentalism, and sustainability. The third business entity is Neesvig’s Fulfillment. Their Fulfillment operation not only ships their own products to their mail order customers, they also provide mail order and drop ship services for local and national clients, such as QVC and The Home Shopping Network. With the use of a sophisticated series of conveyors, the shipping coolers progress through their warehouse where the products ordered are placed in the coolers and sent on to the dry ice stations. From there they progress to the shipping labeling stations and onto the trailers at their dock ready for pickup from FedEx.

Neesvig’s implemented the use of Data Capture with scanning and labeling of their products. They added several TI stations for weighing and labeling their boxes of product at Neesvig’s and Empire Fish. According to Jeff Bauer, Vice President and Controller with Neesvig’s, the accuracy of their inventory has improved dramatically. During the monthly physical inventory of their materials in their cooler, they now experience inventory variances of less than 0.1% on an inventory balance of over a million dollars. In addition to improved inventory numbers, they have also experienced better accuracy and efficiencies in the billing process with the implementation of Data Capture. In the past, they would manually record the weights of the boxes, which were totaled by two individuals who would then manually fill the orders. This process is now automated using handheld scanners that capture the data from the barcode label.

In addition to adding Data Capture and TI Stations during their conversion to Canopy, they recently implemented the use of Event Watch and Aspen View. They use Event Watch to help them monitor inventory levels to ensure that they are able to fill their customers’ orders. They also use Event Watch to monitor their customers’ account balances to warn them if a customer is past due or over their credit limit, or when an order is placed on credit hold.

To help improve the efficiencies at the Neesvig’s Fulfillment facility, Aspen Systems created an interface to their voice picking systems to help them ensure the most efficient method of filling their customers’ mail and web orders. Their voice picking system also ensures that their customers’ orders are filled accurately. This integration allows Neesvig’s to provide their customers with up to date inventory balances and reports.

It was through the process of learning about the operations of Neesvig’s to understand how they Git-R-Done that Aspen Systems was able to assist them with the implementation of Canopy at all three locations and Data Capture and TI stations at Neesvig’s Foodservice and Empire Fish. The knowledge gained also allowed Aspen to assist with the design of the integration with their voice picking systems at their Fulfillment facility. Getting to know our customers and their unique needs and processes is an important part of the implementation process to ensure that our customers get the most efficient and maximum use of their investment.

[1] Git-R-Done is a registered trademark of Git-R-Done Productions, Inc.

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