The History of Ideation:
Ideation started in 2008, known then as H&F Bread Co – offering the best fresh bread in the Southeast to the Atlanta Market. After twelve years of supplying the finest bread solutions to restaurants throughout the state of Georgia, Joseph F Best III (Ideation Owner and CEO), orchestrated a dramatic shift in H&F’s business model. Bringing to life Ideation and their mission “To be a disruptor in the “Better for You” bakery industry by supplying product solutions that exceed our partner’s expectations in quality, innovation, safety, and speed to market.”
Ideation operates in two facilities located 17 miles apart in Marietta and Atlanta, Georgia. They have a dedicated gluten facility and dedicated gluten free facility. They specialize in contract manufacturing of gluten free, allergen free, keto, and better-for-you bakery products.
FlexiBake eased the shift to co-manufacturing, benefiting the business and their clients. Allowing Ideation to readily access metrics such as raw material usage, waste generated, quantity produced, finished goods and finished inventory levels. This data enables them to plan and optimize the next production run effectively. Pricing, inventory management, and other critical aspects of their operations are now handled seamlessly by FlexiBake. Gone are the days of manual, labor-intensive processes where everyone had to scramble to gather information. “The upfront effort invested in the setup has paid off tremendously.”
Now, Ideation can easily gather all the data needed on a daily basis. This is a stark contrast to the painstaking processes previously used. This time savings has allowed them to shift focus to more critical, detailed aspects of their operations. Tasks that once took days, such as physically searching the warehouse for inventory or creating order guides in Excel, can now be completed in just one hour. This transformation has liberated valuable time for more in-depth and strategic work.
The Benefits of a Cloud-Based ERP:
Ideation has been using FlexiBake for over 10 years. Their journey started with an on-premise installation of FlexiBake and in 2015 moved onto the cloud. This is a decision that has greatly impacted their business for the better – “I can access FlexiBake from anywhere in the world. All I need is an internet connection. I’ve loaded it onto iPads, so people in our company have instant access to not only inventory, lot codes and numbers for traceability, but they also are able to report on so much information while they’re standing in the warehouse.” During COVID this was a game changer to help adhere to social distancing protocols.
Choosing a cloud-based deployment offered Ideation flexibility, data security, and quick access to support, ultimately enhancing their peace of mind and operational efficiency. “I find the thing that I really like is when we need assistance, your support team is able to jump in straight away.”
Ideation currently utilizes FlexiBake’s Enterprise Plan with 20+ users in the system on a daily basis. Using most features such as purchasing, receiving, sales, production, multiple warehouses and more. “We use the software across 2 sites seamlessly and I would not be hesitant to add more and more in the future.”
When asked what advice they would offer to other bakery owners considering FlexiBake to enhance their bakery operations, they said “First of all, it has to be top-down approach. It can’t be anyone other than whoever’s at the very top saying we need to do this. If you’re going to pay for it, use it. And don’t expect it to be something it’s not. You still have to put work into it. We’ve been able to enhance the service to our customers and get better, more accurate data, which I guess somebody could put a price tag on, but I can’t.”