IT Rescue for leading provider of animal vitamins and minerals
by Lauren Tasker
Dynamite Marketing to Refocus on Animal Care
Efficient lot tracking, accounting, and forecasting lets leading provider of animal vitamins and minerals return to its primary mission.
About Dynamite Marketing CompanyDynamite Marketing of Meridian, Idaho, is a leading provider of vitamin and mineral supplements for a broad range of living creatures, from dogs, cats, horses, birds and elephants, to even humans
The company's presence in the animal community has grown significantly over the past ten years, and the firm's pioneering use of human-grade materials, organic ingredients, and chelated minerals is starting to attract an international customer base.Dynamite planted its roots back in 1933, when Carmelita and Gus Zamzow recognized the lack of high-quality animal feed in the Idaho area
. Rather than see animals continue to suffer, Carmelita and her husband undertook to develop and marked better feed. After decades of research in the animal feed industry, the founders' grandson, Jim Zamzow, spun off Dynamite Marketing.Dynamite also manufactures plant fertilizers
. “We're very holistic in our thinking”, says Callie Novak, daughter of Jim Zamzow and Dynamite VP. “We believe that health has to start with the soil so that's our first passion. Our company deeply values making the planet a better place, not just worrying about the bottom line, and that's what sets us apart from the competition.”Dynamite manufactures seven product lines plus private-label products in five plants in Idaho and Iowa
. The company also operates three feed mills for local farmers, and recently acquired PharmTech, a leading provider of feed manufacturing services in Des Moines.
While Dynamite sells directly to nurseries and garden centers, most of the company's 1,700 orders per month to nearly 4,000 customers is handled through a national network of independent distributors.
Tracking and tracing of foodDynamite had been using Cougar Mountain accounting software, and was looking for additional software to handle the distribution side of the business
. According to Novak, “We used to track our inventory on a macro level. We knew what we had in terms of finished products, but we weren't tracking losses or other things.”Their search also led to the realization that the company was lacking a strong back end system to control manufacturing operations
. As a quasi-food manufacturer, there was a critical need track inventory in real-time, especially in the wake of recent food and medical recalls. In addition, inventory control was vital now that they had over a hundred unique products subject to ingredient changes. Following two decades of steady growth, they realized it was time to tighten up their entire range of enterprise operations for the long haul.After reviewing several ERP solutions with strong manufacturing control facilities, Dynamite narrowed its choices down to SYSPRO and another company in Europe
. “We decided to go with SYSPRO because it was the best fit for us, plus it was the best overall value,” says Novak.
Since installing the SYSPRO in 2004, Dynamite has reaped several benefits. “Previously each center was on its own and we had no way to track overall ingredients and waste”, explains Novak. “SYSPRO tracks everything down to the gnat's eyebrow, so we literally know at any given moment what inventory traces back to where. We needed to clean things up and really know where our business stood, in both material and financial terms. SYSPRO has definitely provided that for us.”
Contribution to freshness and quality of pet foodIn addition to lot tracking, accounting, and inventory control, Dynamite uses the forecasting module to enhance its production planning
. For example, when they outsource production of a certain product to another factory, Dynamite can send the orders in intervals based on its forecasting data. This helps to prevent overstocking and ensure that customers always receive fresh, high-quality products.
Novak also speaks of SYSPRO's user-friendliness. “Our business is run by people who are really concerned about the animals, not software. Yet, our mill manager of 30 years had no trouble picking SYSPRO up and putting it to creative use.”SYSPRO's greatest benefit is that it has enabled Dynamite to return its focus to the animals themselves
. “Before SYSPRO, our focus was being diverted from our passion”, says Novak. “With SYSPRO doing its job, we can now focus on that horse that needs help in California or Wyoming.”
Novak adds that Dynamite continues to discover new benefits from SYSPRO ERP. “Every once in a while we think 'Wouldn't it be great if we could do XYZ?' We then call our VAR, and they tell us, 'You can!' So six years later, we're still discovering things in SYSPRO to make our lives easier!”
by Lauren Tasker