Ventura Foods is a California-based food manufacturer whose consumer brands include Hidden Valley and Marie’s salad dressings, Sauce Craft and Smokehouse 220 sauces, LouAna and Odell’s popcorn (found in movie theaters), and many others.
The company also creates dressings, sauces, mayonnaise, and other prepared foods for food service companies and food manufacturers worldwide. Many of these customers need custom food solutions. They need to communicate often with Ventura on their ever-changing requirements and specifications for these products.
With customers across the globe, Ventura Foods needed a way to standardize and streamline communications, improve accuracy, and speed up response times.
The company runs 15 manufacturing plants, three culinary centers, and numerous distribution facilities. The company is headquartered California, and has offices in Singapore, Canada, and Mexico. This widespread reach of the company required a digitized and mobile solution that could be used successfully at any of its locations.
At Ventura, the Quality Assurance (QA) department handles customer communications involving new food solutions or modifications to existing ones. This department was using emails and attachments to manage interactions with customers. Essentially, QA was relying on emails to run this portion of its business. These emails and attachments had no business process built around them, which resulted in slow responses, dropped communications, and uncertainty over which attachment or document was the current working copy.
Once Ventura Foods moved to Office 365 as its global collaboration platform, it sought business solutions that could deliver automation, communication, and workflow management on top of Office 365’s cloud-based system. Specifically, QA needed a business process that would facilitate accurate and timely responses to customers.
“NITRO Studio conquered many of SharePoint’s out-of-the-box limitations and made it easier to do many of tasks that previously were labor-intensive and required coding and was much more affordable then other solutions we were looking at, such as, Nintex.” – Rodrigo Vargas, Sr. Manager Supply Chain Quality, Ventura Foods
The QA department at first tried to leverage SharePoint’s native automation capabilities. It tried to move the processes that were being handled via emails and attachments to basic SharePoint lists and libraries, but ran into obstacles with SharePoint’s out-of-the-box features. SharePoint development required coding, and, being a non-technical team, it was difficult for them to build and implement the tools they needed to automate processes.
After trying other solutions, Ventura’s QA department came across Crow Canyon Software’s NITRO Studio, a forms and workflows engine that delivers an easy way to streamline business activities using SharePoint in Office 365. NITRO Studio’s advanced forms, workflows and custom actions, printing and reporting capabilities, and other features gives organizations the power to build automation solutions without coding or any special technical abilities.
The QA department installed a trial of NITRO Studio and thoroughly tested it out. Within a short period of time, the company was convinced NITRO would meet its needs.
Once it implemented NITRO Studio, the QA team created four separate task tracking and management tools with ease. The forms designer and workflow engine in NITRO, along with its other components, proved a viable and practical way for the non-technical group to build the solutions they needed, and also to modify them on an-ongoing basis as requirements changed.
Crow Canyon’s NITRO Studio provided Ventura Foods with an intuitive and user-friendly set of tools that allowed non-technical SharePoint users to create the solutions they needed to manage customer communications accurately and efficiently, thus turning Office 365 into a true business process automation platform.