Customer Profile

Tampa Steak Company was founded in 1970 by Mr. Humberto Gonzalez, Sr.  Forty years and three generations later Tampa Steak is one of Tampa's largest wholesale and retail meat distributors.

Business Challenge

Humberto Gonzalez III faced challenges keeping up with order entry, maintaining accurate inventory counts, and updating costs and pricing in Tampa's extremely competitive food market.  The problem was all the manual labor being spent wrapping a food business around QuickBooks accounting.

    "QuickBooks just wasn't designed for what we do." Humberto Gonzalez III said during a recent conversation, "We went from doing manual order slips with hand written pick tickets to Food Connex Cloud's order entry system with computer printed pick tickets and invoicing and things are LESS complicated now than before because Food Connex Cloud works the way we do business."

Food Connex Solution and Positive Business Results

Because Food Connex Cloud integrates with QuickBooks instead of replacing QuickBooks Humberto's accounting department won't need to learn a new system, but the sales department and warehouse department no longer have to suffer.  Food Connex Cloud focuses on the sales and inventory management aspects of business important to food distributors and processor.

"We saw an immediate increase in accuracy at time of order entry.  Our salespeople can see order history for the customer, inventory information about how much is available, and always up-to-date pricing information."  Humberto added "We've also eliminated wasted time where we'd have to go back to the salesperson because of an illegible pick ticket."

"Speed, efficiency and accuracy increased immediately, and we're still seeing time savings as our employees become more familiar with the system."  When asked about making the big jump from a manual (handwritten) system to an automated system Humberto responded, "Many of the employees took to it immediately, it was simple to use and works just like the websites they're familiar with.  Even the folks who 'don't use computers' learned to use Food Connex Cloud quickly."

Food Connex Cloud is web-based software as a service, that means you access it the same way you would a secure banking site through a browser like Firefox.  There's some impressive technology behind Food Connex Cloud that makes it fast and Humberto gave Food Connex Cloud a "Superior" rating in performance and reliability but just as important to him was the following.

"Food Connex Cloud is a web-based Software-as-a-Service so I was able to jump on the opportunity to improve my business quickly.  I could move on it so fast because there was no hardware I needed to buy or big investment I needed to make up front."  Humberto makes a good point, minimal investment and a low monthly cost compared to all the benefits he's seeing is probably why he scored Food Connex Cloud "Superior" in Value.

There are two key components in any Software-as-a-Service offering "Software" and "Service" when we asked Humberto rated the Food Connex Cloud support team as "Superior."  We asked him to expand on that a little and give some insight into his experience.

"I've mostly been dealing with Rebecca and she has been great.  She's always able to respond to my questions and even when she has to do some research first she does it quickly and calls me back promptly.  Even when there were hiccups the response time was incredible."

I then asked him to tell me a little more about the hiccups or any rough spots he encountered.  As a Food Connex Cloud early adopter his feedback is being used to improve Food Connex Cloud (in fact while we were doing this interview together a Food Connex Cloud update was released).  Humberto only gave Food Connex Cloud "Above Average" or 4 out of 5 stars on Ease of Use, and we won't be satisfied till we get "Superior" ratings from our customers across the board.

"During the initial setup, price keys were a pain.  I went through and did the pricing on all my items, then I had to go through and do it again for another group of customers because you didn't have a price key copy feature back then."  Humberto was again right on the mark, the price key copy feature was developed after he came on board so he had to slug it out during his initial setup.  Since Food Connex Cloud updates automatically the copy option became available to him as soon as it was released.  "I've made four or five price keys since then with the copy feature which is great, but the before then was rough."

Food Connex Cloud's price keys provide advanced pricing policy options for food distributors and processors with multiple layer pricing options to handle individual customer, group, and contract pricing.  We asked whether he found the price key structure useful to his business.

"It's really helped out with the pricing, now as we receive inventory the profitability and pricing is can be quickly updated based on the new costs.  This allows me to remain competitive in one of the hardest markets in the country."

We then spent a moment talking about some of the new features that were rolling out during the update that day and what the next few steps to get more out of the system might be.

"We're probably going to add a few more computers, we've got four people sharing three computers right now.  With Food Connex Cloud I don't have to pay or worry when adding more users.  Because it has unlimited users and it's designed to work the way we work, I can just drop one in and know they're doing the right thing."



Issue 598 - Setting the Standards

 

We'll keep following last week's thread about Inventory Management and Profitability.   Food is a very unique industry, so making sure we measure ourselves against our industry cousins is important to understand the standard we are measured against. Got to know the other guy's score to see if you are a winner. Again focusing on inventory value and getting it right is one of the two key elements of our T&E analysis.

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