After 25 years as a family-owned business, growing organically through sales in shops, supermarkets, hotels and food service wholesalers, Lakes Ice Cream began a new era under new ownership in 2019.
While a rebrand and new sales strategy has seen a rapid increase in business, it has exposed challenges with its manufacturing capacity and IT infrastructure.
It currently manufactures 1.2m litres of ice cream per year and distributes all over the UK.
Lakes Ice Cream realised it needed to do things smarter.
Made Smarter helped identify a raft of challenges and potential solutions during a digital transformation workshop.
James explained: “Our growth has exposed an IT system not capable of handling the increasing complexity of our operation, too many manual and duplicated processes, no operational integration, no oversight of the valuable data within the organisation, and ultimately slow decision making.
“For instance, customer orders from hotels would typically come in on the answering machine overnight or over the phone during the day. Someone would then need to capture that order, add it to a stock card, then to a spreadsheet, and then manually pick the order, before adjusting the stock records. At the end of the process, an invoice would be manually produced.”
“Stock control was also time consuming using the old system.”