Located in Woodland, California, La Tourangelle produces and distributes an exclusive line of hand-crafted, premium-quality cooking oils. Through a partnership between one of the oldest and most respected French artisanal oil mills, Huilerie Croix Verte SAS, based in Saumur, France, and California Oils Corporation, La Tourangelle has succeeded in re-creating the spirit of a traditional French oil mill in America. La Tourangelle's products can be found in many of the most respected stores throughout the U.S., including Whole Foods, Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, Safeway and Cost Plus World Markets.
Disconnected Business Systems Reduce "Visibility" Across the Enterprise
Gwenn Goffin, general manager and controller of La Tourangelle, knows how challenging it is to manage a multitude of day-to-day business processes in multiple locations without the benefit of an integrated system to keep them all in sync. It's akin to driving with one wiper blade in the rain or one headlight at night – the picture isn't clear and it's not a winning formula.
With a main office in Richmond, California and separate warehouse and production facilities more than an hour away in Woodland, California, Goffin and his associates at La Tourangelle had their hands full trying to keep their sales, purchasing, production and inventory in harmony. For many years, the company had trusted its accounting to QuickBooks, which was partially integrated to a production and inventory management system. However, most data input was performed manually at the administrative office and then shared via phone, fax or e-mail.
Sales orders were entered manually at the main office and then e-mailed or faxed to the shipping department, where they were printed for picking and packing. Production and bottling forms were completed at the production facility and then e-mailed to the office, where they were re-entered into the inventory management system. As one can imagine, their reliance on manual processes resulted in occasional input errors and discrepancies, which meant that data had to be double-checked for accuracy and corrections made, where needed. Needless to say, this was not the ideal recipe for business efficiency and accuracy.
QuickBooks was not equipped to manage the inventory of a fast-growing enterprise like La Tourangelle. Thus, the company resorted to manual processes for its inventory tracking, which proved challenging. On occasion, the receipt of raw materials was not recorded in the system at the warehouse at the time of delivery, which meant that the main office didn't have access to the latest inventory of ingredients. In those instances, staff at the production facility couldn't complete bottling or production forms until all information on those raw materials had been updated at the office. (continued...)