Forty-five years after
Holsum de Puerto Rico began producing sliced-bread loaves, the company
retains approximately 2/3 of the sliced bread market in Puerto Rico and looks forward to
keeping its productivity level on a par with the best companies in the
global baked-goods industry.
The company’s three
principal brands--Holsum, Bimbo, and Country Hearth--produce more than 100
SKU's of baked goods, including about 60 bread
and buns, and 40 in cakes, donuts and pies.
Holsum plant in Toa Baja produces approximately a quarter of a million
pounds of product a day. They also have two distribution centers in Ponce
More than 200 drivers
leave Toa Baja daily delivering fresh product throughout the island.
Holsum also delivers product to the island of St. Thomas, St. Croix and
Holsum de Puerto Rico,
formerly known as Holsum Bakers, a 215 route operation,
is the undisputed baking expert in the Puerto Rico and US Virgin
Islands. Holsum de Puerto Rico ranks No. 47 of the top 300 locally owned
companies and is the fourth largest
food products manufacturer on the island.
Holsum employs routed commissioned employees who sell a variety of products to
customers including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and hotels.
Holsum also employs merchandisers and area merchandisers at the Toa Baja
facility who are assigned to specific customers. The merchandisers and
area merchandisers visit these customers and make sure that the shelves
are stocked with fresh Holsum products, that the area is neat and clean,
and that the products are being properly displayed.
Meanwhile the delivery
employees deliver the Holsum product to their customers and place that
product on the shelves. The delivery sales employees arrive
at their respective facilities at approximately 4:00 AM, then load the
product into Holsum vehicles for delivery to their customers.
Additionally Holsum owns
Caribe Bakers also located in Puerto Rico. Caribe Bakers produces cookies
and crackers for the same market.
Holsum de Puerto Rico,
Road #2 Km. 20.1 Bo. Candelaria
Toa Baja, Puerto Rico 00951 USA
Business News 2003
In the early
1990’s, Holsum had invested in handheld computer technology which they
interfaced to their S/36 and AS/400 home developed systems. Since their
internally developed office systems lacked all the needed functionality of
a complete route accounting system, these interfaces were slow, unreliable
and cumbersome to maintain requiring continuous validation and cross
checking of the daily sales, collections, accounts receivables and
inventory transactions before and after posting to Holsum’s in-house
systems. Additionally, the handhelds generated more field level data
collected during the driver’s day than the office systems could accept and
The introduction of this handheld
technology brought much needed advantages to Holsum, such as moving from
manual to automated invoicing, improved inventory accuracy and tracking
stales & damages. When the handheld implementation was completed, Holsum
quickly realized that much more could be done with the handhelds and that
their home grown system was constraining their business operations.
Valuable data collected during
daily sales and deliveries were lost due to the lack of required
functionality of their legacy systems. Simply put, like many ERP or back
office systems, it could not speak the unique language required by
companies that deliver their products via direct store delivery (DSD).
"It was good to finally,
find a software vendor who understood the baking business and had
products to support our specific distribution needs..."
Raul Buso, Vice President of Finance
Holsum de Puerto Rico
By the mid-1990’s Holsum knew that
in order to get the most of their handheld technology investment, maximize
its functionality and to “tap” all the information that the system could
provide, they would need to replace their home grown systems with a true
route accounting application that supported the specific requirements of
the baking industry.
A search among software vendors
was performed and NCS was chosen based on their knowledge of the route
management and Direct Store Delivery or DSD arena and their leadership and
strength in the area of Information Systems Technology.
- Holsum’s objectives were
Replace the home grown systems
that were no longer supported.
Keep using their current handheld
computers without interruption or retraining.
Obtain and utilize detailed
information on sales, inventory transactions and accounts receivables.
- The move from Holsum’s home
developed system to NCS in 1997 took just two months. The installation of
the route accounting system, RMS, accomplished Holsum’s original
objectives and much more including:
On line audit of all inventory
On line display of all sales and
An accounts receivables system
that was designed for the specific needs of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Industry such as sales, stales, buybacks and high volume of transactions.
It also provided multiple ways of posting cash and drill down capabilities
to the sales detail.
Chain Customer Accounting
Date driven promotions and
multiple level pricing.
Promotion tracking and auditing
- In 2001 Holsum executives made a
decision to refresh their handheld technology. There was no need to look
at other solution vendors. Holsum chose NCS’s handheld application, HMS,
once more getting more that they expected like the ability to print
customer statements from the handheld, authorized product groups, “balance
forward” detail, surveys, asset tracking, and messaging.
Holsum’s Next Move
- Holsum is now reviewing the latest
products from NCS; eRMS and eXpress Route. eRMS, NCS’ latest generation
route accounting offering, will open Holsum’s business to eCommerce and
Internet capabilities, internal flexibility in a Universal User Interface
and a choice of hardware platforms and databases. eRMS is also
multi-language, multi-currency and double byte enabled.
eRMS integrates to eXpress Route
the latest generation of handheld technology. The .NET architecture is the
strength of eXpress Route. Microsoft® .NET is a set of Microsoft software
technologies that effectively erase the boundaries between applications
used in business and the Internet. It does this by enabling a high level
of software integration through the use of XML Web services which are
small discrete building-block applications that connect to each other as
well as to other larger applications over the Internet.
Holsum, through its continued
partnership with NCS, expects to continue to improve their bottom line by
lowering operating costs due to the flexibility these products provide.
They will drive more sales by providing the right information at the right
time to the right people in their organization.