Processing innovation

Confectionery and meringue specialist turns to cloud technology to improve processing innovation and boost productivity

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Confectionery and meringue specialist Lees of Scotland runs nine production lines and relies on latest cloud technology for production processing to run smoothly
Confectionery and meringue specialist Lees of Scotland runs nine production lines and relies on latest cloud technology for production processing to run smoothly

Related tags: Technology, cloud, Innovation

Shift to technology-led approach to food manufacturing will allow Lees of Scotland to modernize its processes in a challenging landscape.

As regulatory and traceability requirements, along with rapidly evolving consumer trends, continue to put pressure on food manufacturers, having a system which is robust and scalable enough to support this changing landscape is crucial. 

Tim Russ from law firm Roythornes, who specializes in food law, said the method of food production labelling is fraught with challenges.

“A report by Label Insight, a company that collects and analyzes food label data, found 94% of consumers would be more loyal to brands that are transparent about what ingredients their products contain and where those products are sourced.”

Confectionery and meringue specialist Lees of Scotland runs nine production lines at its 82,000 square foot purpose built factory where all products are manufactured.

Consumer trends

Food manufacturing is an increasingly challenging industry as costs increase, consumer trends evolve at a quicker rate than ever before, and changing legislation puts pressure on processes​,” said  David J Simson, the company’s finance director.

He said that in order to maximize capacity across its product range, while supporting regulatory requirements, the company needed a system which allowed visibility of all business process from order processing and financials through to the supply chain. 

Lees of Scotland  are a long-standing user of Infor ERP, so it was relatively easy to upgrade its cloud-based system to maximize quality and service while ensuring the business was operating as efficiently as possible. 

Having a robust platform which looks after legislation and facilitates the visibility to drive efficient, demand-led production, is key to operating in the new digital economy and with Infor System21 Aurora in place, we have every confidence that we can embrace growth opportunities as the market continues to evolve​.” 

The enterprise asset management (ERP) application was deployed by Infor partner Indigo Software, and will provide access to more detailed processing insights, allowing the company to boost service levels and explore new growth opportunities.

Traceability has been a game changer in the food industry and for many manufacturers, has been a catalyst for new systems,” said Infor’s Mike Edgett, industry & solution strategy director, process manufacturing​. 

 Proactive approach

This shift to a more technology-led approach to food manufacturing means greater consistency and access to better information, which in turn expedites decision-making and allows a more forward looking, proactive approach to business strategy and increased market share​.” 

Lees was founded in 1931 when John Justice Lees, a grocer’s son from Coatbridge, invented the Lees Macaroon bar. He had been trying to develop a smooth chocolate fondant bar in the premises above his father’s shop in the town. He was unsuccessful in his attempts, so as an experiment he covered the bar in coconut.

This was to become the first ever Lees Macaroon bar that has now become a sweet Scottish favorite.

Lees' other products include teacakes and snowballs, confectionery bars, fudge and coconut ice bars and meringues.

The Scottish confectioner employs approximately 200 people and the company continues to grow in both the UK and export markets.

For any manufacturer, automating core process is imperative in reducing costs, boosting productivity and minimizing risk​,” comments Darren Baxter, CEO at Indigo Software.  “Whether the priority is harnessing complexity or protecting profit margins, Infor ERP allows access to business insights from across the entire organization in a user friendly format to enable the right decisions to be made in order to maximize business performance.​” 

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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