FMEAs 2017

Salad processor wins supply chain Oscar

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Food supply chain excellence: Stewart Wilmot collected the award from Columbus Global UK’s Simon Charlton (right) and awards host Matt Dawson
Food supply chain excellence: Stewart Wilmot collected the award from Columbus Global UK’s Simon Charlton (right) and awards host Matt Dawson

Related tags: Enterprise resource planning

West Sussex salad processor Natures Way Foods has won the coveted Supply Chain Initiative of the Year trophy in the industry’s Oscars – the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards – at The Hilton on Park Lane in London earlier this month.

The firm’s achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of food and drink industry guests attending the awards dinner on the evening of Wednesday, November 1, as head of IT Stewart Wilmot collected the award from Simon Charlton, commercial director with category sponsor Columbus Global UK.

They were joined on stage by awards host, English Rugby Union cup winner and former team captain Matt Dawson.

Based in Selsey, Natures Way Foods supplies retailers and foodservice companies with prepared salads, prepared fruit, coleslaw and potato salad, dressed salads, and fresh food-to-go products.

Supply chain sourcing strategy

The business has established a supply chain sourcing strategy that ensures it can collect, process and deliver fresh food in optimum condition to its foodservice and retail customers when and where they need it.

To meet its demand schedules, Natures Way Foods focuses on a material requirements plan, using its Microsoft Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The ERP system tracks stock at every step through the whole supply chain, with warehouse staff equipped with handheld devices for stock picking.

In August, the company launched a new demand and sales forecasting tool, which is enabling the business to significantly improve supply chain efficiency.

‘Investing in a new ERP system’

The judges said: “Natures Way Foods was the clear winner in this category, after investing in a new ERP system and developing its own business intelligence dashboard.

“The result was a new supply chain strategy that delivered full visibility and life-cycle management from ingredients sourcing to customer delivery.”

The other finalist in the Supply Chain Initiative of the Year was Weetabix.

The overall award Food Manufacture Company of the Year​ was snapped up by County Durham-based ethnic snacks manufacturer SK Chilled Foods, after it first won Chilled Food Manufacturing Company of the Year.

The annual FMEAs, organised by William Reed’s Food Manufacture Group, now in their 17th year, have become the premier showcase for British food and drink manufacturing excellence. 

Don’t miss the full list of winners and finalists here​.

Thanks to the FMEA sponsors: Columbus, DR Newitt, Lockton, Michael Page Engineering and Manufacturing, Celsius, Sanderson, SA Partners, PPMA and KDH Projects.

Meanwhile, read more information about the food and drink manufacturing Oscars here ​and how to register your interest for next year’s awards here​.

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