Ramping up New Product Introductions at Michael Angelo's

Frozen entrée producer leverages ERP system to cook up low-carb meals and keep up with fickle winds of food fashion

Frozen entrée producer leverages ERP system to cook up low-carb meals and keep up with fickle winds of food fashion

Atlanta — April 21, 2004 — When you're in the frozen food business, you've got to always have something new cooking to ensure that you're capturing fickle consumers' attention with innovative products.

Frozen entrée producer Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods has been working to keep ahead of the swings in food fashion, and the company has been able to deliver new products to market in just 90 days or less by optimizing its production processes with solution from Ross Systems.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Michael Angelo's manufactures frozen and refrigerated products. The company's product lines include a variety of Italian entrees, calzones, stuffed pastas, sauces and desserts.

The company implemented Ross' iRenaissance enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in 2002 to improve visibility into inventory and production and to more effectively manage all aspects of its growing business.

In deploying the solution, Michael Angelo's looked to increase production capabilities and add to product lines while maintaining its just-in-time methodology where products are cooked, packaged and shipped to customers within 24 hours to ensure quality and freshness. Ross said that iRenaissance was designed to address the specific needs of food processors, such as managing formulas and recipes and providing the necessary business control.

According to Ross, iRenaissance also enabled Michael Angelo's to dramatically decrease its time to market with new low-carbohydrate and high-protein product lines to meet consumer-driven demands, significantly improving monthly sales.

"When U.S. consumers began to demand low-carb products, all food manufacturers kicked into high gear to develop something new," said Ron Cantrell, Michael Angelo's chief information officer. "The recipe management functionality in iRenaissance ERP enabled us to develop, and bring to market within three months, low-carb, soy-based products."

Before Ross, it took six months to complete the process of moving a product from initial development and testing stages to distribution. Ross said that the recipe management functionality in iRenaissance ERP allows for rapid changes to recipes, ingredients and product lines within the system, ensuring that Michael Angelo's can capitalize on consumer demand or market trends.

In addition, with more accurate visibility, Michael Angelo's can better meet the standards of just-in-time manufacturing while creating fresh frozen food and maintaining quality standards, Ross said.