Cascade International Foods Implements NorthScope ERP and Manages its Grower Accounting in Half the Time

The Company

Cascade International Foods is global food company that has been providing a wide range of fruit products to its customers’ warehouses, factories and doorsteps since 2011. Family-owned, Cascade is committed to meeting their clients’ specifications as they provide ingredients for industrial remanufacturing. With processes ranging from crumble to IQF, puree and juice grades to straight and sugar packs, Cascade’s products list includes apples, apricots, avocadoes, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, cranberries, crimson grapes, figs, grapefruits, kiwis, mandarins, mangoes, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, raspberries, and strawberries as well as organic blackberries, blueberries, mangoes, pineapples, raspberries, and strawberries.

The Highlights

Cascade International Foods had been juggling spreadsheets, QuickBooks and more to manage its fruit processing business when it set out to find a more seamless solution. In its search, Cascade prioritized reducing manual processes, automating key aspects of their business, integrating their inventory and more. Struggling to find a system that understood their global fruit processing business and its unique grower accounting requirements, Cascade came upon NorthScope and together, they were able to implement a solution that allowed Cascade to:

Save time importing tickets instead of manually entering them (the process now takes about half the time as before)

Access grower reports in seconds (that previously took significant time to compile)

Track charges and accruals for grower receiving in real time

Manage pricing easier to manage and reduce errors (thanks to NorthScope’s ability to assign growers to price sheets)

Get real-time access to inventory levels (which helps improve production/sales planning)

The Challenge

Because of its vast product line and processes as well as its commitment to excellence in meeting its customers’ needs, Cascade International Foods purchases raw produce directly from a wide range of growers and, during peak season, manages hundreds of receipts per week at multiple processing locations. As such, Cascade must juggle multiple receipt, deduction, accrual and grower settlement requirements that vary by grower type. Without an intuitive solution to manage these needs, Cascade was stuck using a combination of QuickBooks and Excel spreadsheets, creating a time consuming and error-prone process. With these challenges, Cascade was in search of a system that could automate processes, give them better visibility into their business, and provide a platform for continued growth (no pun intended). Throughout their hunt for such a system, Cascade evaluated many that did not understand their business and were unable to meet their unique grower accounting requirements until coming upon NorthScope and the NLP team. Together, NorthScope and the NLP team offered industry-specific knowledge and functionality along with the flexibility to design a solution to meet Cascade’s specific requirements. This, combined with NLP’s reputation for world-class customer service and ongoing support and NorthScope’s cohesive, cloud-based solution with tools that would allow Cascade to grow were the ultimate factors leading to Cascade’s decision to implement NorthScope and partner with the Northlake team.

The Approach

With Cascade’s goals of reducing the number of duplicative and manual processes, automating their accounting and grower settlement rules to improve accuracy and speed, integrating their receiving process with perpetual inventory, and moving their inventory off spreadsheets and into a formal system, the NLP team worked with Cascade to plan out a phased approach that could be absorbed by the Cascade team during their busy season. This involved starting with Grower Accounting and, upon completion, moving on to Inventory, Sales and Financials.

The Solution

Before implementing NorthScope, Cascade’s Grower Accounting transactions and reporting were all kept on spreadsheets. For implementation, the NLP team was able to run NorthScope parallel with Cascade’s existing process and then transition to NorthScope once the Cascade team was comfortable that NorthScope’s Grower Accounting solution was configured properly. With NorthScope implemented, the Cascade team can integrate and trace their Grower Accounting process with their physical inventory movements. Additionally, upon completion of the sales and financial pieces of the implementation, Cascade will have replaced QuickBooks and have a completely integrated system.

The Results

With NorthScope’s ability to import tickets, Cascade has saved significant time versus their previous method of manual entry as the process now takes about half the time as before. Similarly, grower reports that previously took significant time to compile are available in seconds. Additionally, Cascade’s charges and accruals for grower receiving is tracked in real time, pricing is easier to manage, and errors are reduced, with the ability to assign growers to price sheets, and NorthScope provides Cascade real-time access to inventory levels, which helps improve production/sales planning.

The Review

The NorthScope implementation for our Grower Accounting process was smooth and achieved the goals we had set. The team from NLP took the time to understand our business and their support through the process made a big difference because we didn’t have to learn everything on our own.

Sarah Owen, Accountant