Litehouse Foods Leverages Ross ERP to Gain Visibility Into Operations

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ERP, Customer Experience, Aptean Ross ERP

Litehouse Foods has been a proud Ross customer for 20 years. Megan Owens, a business solutions manager, emphasizes Ross’s scalability, usability and cost-effectiveness. Though implementation can be challenging, Owens advises all new Ross users to trust the process and equip end-users with all the documentation and tools they need to be successful. To learn more about Litehouse’s success with Ross, watch the video in full here.

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We’ve been a Ross customer for 20 years at Litehouse. We went live in 1999, and we were driven to that because of Y2K; everybody freaked out a little bit about it, and started evaluating that stuff. We started looking at software, and we evaluated several different ones. And Ross floated to the top for us.

It was a question of features and functions, and of cost, obviously, but it was also about the company itself. One of the things that we loved about Ross is we had access to the people who were developing the software. We were able to come to them and tell them what we needed, and it really had a very family-like feel to it. And we really loved it.

I was there for the implementation. It was like any implementation: there is a lot of process evaluation that you have to review, a tremendous amount of training, and really making sure that you understand your business so that you make the right choices about how that implementation goes. All in all, it went very well.

Implementing Ross has really given us better control over our inventory. It’s given us better visibility; it’s given us more visibility into what we need to purchase, when we need to purchase it, what we currently have. Our scheduling is much improved; we’re using the Advanced Planning and Scheduling product from Aptean as well. All of those things come together and integrate. Having one single source for our solution is phenomenal.

One of my favorite things about the Ross product and about Aptean is that we have the access and ability to talk to the people who head up development of the software. To be able to come to that head of development and say, “Hey, my business needs this. I need this in the product.” That’s huge for us. Being able to help guide the product and where it’s going, you can’t do that with most software companies. I think that’s a unique feature with Aptean and the Ross software that has helped us tremendously. We’ve gotten a lot of functionality that we needed for our business by being able to sit down and do that.

I absolutely feel like our investment in Ross has paid off. Over the years, you’re going to evaluate your software from time to time. You’re going to look at it and see, is it meeting the business needs? Is it continuing to grow with us? Is this where we need to be? Do we need to look at other products? And we’ve done that evaluation multiple times.

Some of the key lessons learned for us is: make sure that you are providing appropriate training for your end-users; make sure that you have good documentation for those end-users. Most people want to come to their job and succeed every day, and so if you give them the tools with Ross they can absolutely do that, but you have to make sure that you’ve given then the appropriate opportunity for success.

For the future for us with Ross, we actually just finished an upgrade to 8.0. So we’re on the latest greatest. There’s a tremendous amount of new functionality that we want to rollout; one of them is the new allergen functionality. We’re really looking forward to that piece, that’s huge for us. We’re also in the process of implementing Ross in our new Danville, Virginia location. So we’ll go live with that at the first of the year.

I would highly recommend Ross as an ERP solution. I think that any time you go into a software selection, you want to make sure you absolutely understand your business and what it is that you need. Over the years we have seen success in many other companies who have come to visit us to see what it is that we’re doing with it, and really, I would recommend doing that.

Ross has exceeded my expectations because you don’t get to talk to people on the back end with software companies. You don’t get to talk to development and say, “Hey Jack, I’d like to see this in the product.” I can pick up the phone and call him; I can send him an e-mail and know I’m going to get a response. You don’t get to do that with other softwares.