Edwards Fine Foods, a premier manufacturer and marketer of desserts, has been satisfying appetites since its inception in 1950 in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded by T. H. Edwards, it has grown from a small storefront bakery to a national and internationally recognized provider of world class desserts. Edwards provides products to consumers in 24 countries.
As would be expected, the rapid growth experienced in the last five years had a significant impact on operations. To cope with growing demands and multiple acquisitions, Edwards implemented the PRISM manufacturing system to replace the multiple in-house programs that were in place. This implementation allowed the company to improve their production planning by staging the right ingredients in appropriate quantities when making the various desserts.
However, in spite of these improvements, Edwards soon realized that the PRISM system alone could not support the vitally important functions of estimating the overall demand for ingredients and packaging. Furthermore, without a forecasting tool, the system could do little to support the production planning needed to level-load the plants to meet demand in periods of the year with high seasonal sales. It became apparent that a reliable forecast tool was needed to help maximize all the capabilities of PRISM.