Lewis Pies bakery was established in 1936 employing four people, now a large manufacturing company with approximately 120 full time members of staff and 260 years experience in baking, they needed a system that would replace all their isolated systems, and bring information into one place where every team could access up to date information easily.
Lewis Pies were looking for a company that offered a solution that could be implemented on a step by step basis, that would be coherent and comprehensive as a long term system and could cope with continually shifting priorities.
In 2014 Wilf Lewis joined the family business after a very successful career as MD of a cloud software company and immediately recognised there were many opportunities to reduce costs, one of which involving the overhauling of their entire company back office!
The existing systems at Lewis’ were largely paper or spreadsheet based and required considerable time and knowledge to maintain.
He was looking for an approach that would not only generate immediate operational savings, but that would also give him a platform to create systems of real strategic and operational importance over the long term.
From his days in IT he was all too aware that implementing large scale change initiatives in this way, particularly when on tight budgets, was fraught with difficulties.
Wilf was looking for a company that offered a solution that could be implemented on a step by step basis, that would be coherent and comprehensive as a long term system and could cope with continually shifting priorities.
Having looked at a wide range of off the shelf solutions in the market he decided they were all either too small in scope for his needs or so large there was a danger they would swamp the company during the implementation phase.
Wilf decided to approach a consultant he had worked with in his previous life and use him to help build an entirely bespoke system, one module at a time.
Agilebase Partner Richard Wilson, was a consultant with a huge depth of knowledge of the Food Sector, ERP systems and incremental development practices.
Over the past few years Wilf, Richard and his team at Lewis’ have implemented over 50 modules, introducing functions on a team by team basis at a rate of approximately 1 a month.
This has been achieved without disrupting the day to day running of the business.
Senior Management Team get a complete picture of everything from Technical, NPD, costings, profit margins, sales, technical and are half way through implementing a stock control system.
One simple solution helped reduce stock holding by a third and double stock turn in the first year.
The key to success is combining the drive to make evidenced-based improvements every day with skilled and knowledgeable partners and a platform that is truly agile.