“SYSPRO has been very positive for us. It gave us a manufacturing system we never had before, which has allowed us to control costs better and manage our inventories better. Now, we only buy what we need to buy and make what we need to make.”
– Mary Ann Yerage, Purchasing Manager, Gorant Chocolatier
Gorant Candies was founded in 1949 by two brothers, Sam and Charles Gorant, in Youngstown, Ohio. The company originally started as a mint candy manufacturer. As the popularity of Gorant Candies grew, the company expanded by opening several small stores in the areas surrounding Youngstown.
In 1977, Sam and Charles Gorant decided to further expand Gorant Candies and purchased a manufacturing plant within a few miles of the original store and factory. Built on a 7,5-acre lot on the outskirts of Youngstown, the plant opened in late fall of 1977. In 1986, Gorant Candies was sold to Shurman Fine Papers (Papyrus) where it eventually expanded further with sales of greeting cards, candies and fine chocolates.
Today, the company now known as Gorant Chocolatier operates out of a 55,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility where it manufactures fine confections and chocolates. Customers include wholesale accounts, resale stores and private label customers as well as online and mail order business. Currently, Gorant has more than 4,000 SKUs occupying its warehouse and fills hundreds of orders each month.
In September of 2009, Gorant Chocolatier was sold to a private ownership group and was given a little over a month to find, purchase and implement a new software system. Additionally, Gorant didn’t have a fully integrated manufacturing system in place and was recording data manually on spreadsheets.
“Before [SYSPRO], we did everything manually- everything from spreadsheets to handwritten delivery notes to our customers and it took a lot of labor to do that. In addition, if we were ever faced with a recall, it would have taken us a great deal of time to trace where those finished products went,” says Gorant Chocolatier Purchasing Manager, Mary Ann Yerage
Based on its requirements for fast, effective implementation and a fully integrated ERP System, Gorant Chocolatier selected SYSPRO ERP. As an FDA-regulated company, the SYSPRO Lot Traceability module was needed to track the history and future of every ingredient coming into their facility.
Yerage remembers, “We chose SYSPRO for two main reasons: The first is that they were very well known in the food industry for their Lot Traceability modules, which is something that we need. The second was their Fast Track Implementation program, and a quick implementation was a requirement for us.”
On October 31, 2009, Gorant Chocolatier began remotely implementing SYSPRO ERP. The system went live the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Since implementing SYSPRO, Gorant Chocolatier has seen a multitude of benefits from having an integrated software program. Not only did SYSPRO’s STARS Fast-Track implementation meet the company’s requirement for quick implementation, but the software also streamlined processes across the entire business.
Modules like SYSPRO’s Lot Traceability have given Gorant the capability to manufacture for large label private customers who require them to have that traceability. Yerage notes: “SYRPRO gives us the edge of having a two-hour recall and knowing the destinations of our products.
This makes us very desirable to the large and small private label corporations looking for manufacturers.”
Additionally, SYSPRO allows Gorant the ability to look at its job structures and determine its true manufacturing costs associated with manufacturing each product, enabling the company to operate more economically through tighter inventory controls and the ability to forecast.
Jack Peluse, Director of Operations, remembers, “Before, we didn’t have any controls in place – everything was basically a guess estimate on time studies. But now, with the ability to put jobs together, we have the controls of seeing where our losses and wastes are occurring.”