Manufacturers Protect Food Profit Margin and Super Secret Formulas with Icicle
The latest batch of new Icicle ERP features includes the introduction of super secret formulas for the companies that want to keep the tightest control over their recipes, as well as improvements to Icicle’s costing functionalities and tools to help maximize sales with shelf life commitments and quantity thresholds in price lists. We also released new shelf life notifications and some “quality of life” upgrades that just make the work day a little bit easier and protect food profit margins for Icicle users. Check out more below!
Super Secret Formulas
When was it released? January 25 2022
What does it do? In the food industry, everyone knows stories about the lengths some companies will go to to keep their trade secrets, whether for a spice blend, famous concentrate, or other recipe. This new feature can be enabled to make some or all formulas invisible to all users except for those specifically authorized to see it. It even works across departments, so each team only sees the parts that they need to complete production. This also applies to the Icicle team – based on the privacy provisions in our user agreement, we strictly limit access to user data to only our database administrator and Icicle creator Steve Burton. With this extra secret feature, even those senior Icicle staff will be unable to view your recipes.
Where did the idea come from? A big thanks to Sunny from Plant Veda for this feature request!
Shelf Life Commitments and Notifications Protect Food Product Margins
When was it released? February 27 2022
What does it do? With Icicle’s Expiration Management features, every time you ship a product, Icicle can suggest which items to ship based on the remaining shelf life so the oldest product ships first (thereby avoiding stale inventory to protect food profit margins). However, sometimes you need to set a minimum shelf life (for example, 30 days or longer) to meet a shelf life commitment to some customers. Another scenario to consider is that Icicle users may want to set different prices for different lengths of shelf life (that is, sell at a premium for longer shelf life, or discount product for shorter shelf life).
Icicle users now have the ability to specify shelf life commitments both at the customer and price list level, and set prices accordingly. This helps food manufacturers in the Icicle User Community to maximize their profits, derive additional revenue, and avoid losses from stale inventory according to their specific needs. It also streamlines workflows for shipping, production, and sales teams while also reducing food waste!
Another add-on for this one: Icicle users also requested a shelf life notification feature to notify you when ingredients are set to expire, so you can take action to consume them before that point. Users can set the notification for the timeframe that makes sense to them. This notification means that you can receive this information easily without having to go to shelf life reports directly.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks once again to Sunny from Plant Veda, Stephanie from TMRW Foods!
Changes to Entering and Displaying Cost Information
When was it released? March 10 2022
What does it do? For over a year now, Icicle enables food businesses to track and predict costing information with precision and confidence to optimize food profit margin. The system typically pulls cost information for ingredients, materials, packaging, and parts from purchase orders, and then automatically adds the data into your inventory when the items are received at the warehouse.
Some Icicle users, however, don’t always use purchase orders for every type of item received. This new small improvement adds a cost field so that users with sufficient permissions at receiving can add the relevant data when needed. It also opened the ability to implement a mass update via the inventory interface in the case of mistakes or last-minute changes. The addition of the cost field will help Icicle users get the most accurate actual cost information for each batch of product produced.
We also changed Icicle’s Transaction History Interface to display costs so that finance and accounting teams can easily view and use that data in their work.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Sunny from Plant Veda and Stephanie from TMRW Foods for suggesting these improvements!
When was it released? April 14 2022
What does it do? For Icicle users who have to navigate long lists of information in Icicle, you can now freeze the top row so it “floats” as you scroll down, helping you keep track of columns without needing to scroll back up.
Where did the idea come from? This handy improvement comes by way of David from Anita’s Organic Mill, thanks David!
Quantity Thresholds in Price Lists
When was it released? April 6 2022
What does it do? This new feature builds on Icicle’s Price List and Price List Tiers functionality to introduce pricing for quantity thresholds. Say you want to set the price for a dollar a unit for the first 20 units, but if someone buys 30, you would charge them $0.75. Now you can set different prices for the same item with a quantity threshold, e.g. for bulk deals (like the example above) or other pricing options like “two for one” deals and so on. In addition to increasing accuracy by eliminating the need for manual changes (and therefore human error), this feature can help you generate more revenue from existing customers by incentivizing them to buy more, with little to no effort on your part.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Ariel from Made-Rite Meats for this useful new feature!
Sales Order Details Dropdown
When was it released? February 2 2022
What does it do? If you navigate to the Sales Order Details page, you will notice that you can now use a dropdown menu to quickly display which lot codes were shipped from that sales order.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks to the warehouse wizard, Neil from Snow Cap!
Improve Food Product Margins with Enhanced Ingredient Costing
When was it released? February 23 2022
What does it do? Icicle already gave users the ability to define packaging and material required to make a product from the Formula Details interface. The Formula Details interface can now also display cost as a percentage so you can see which ingredients, materials, or packaging are contributing the most to cost at a glance. This information is super useful for optimizing formulas and maximizing food profit margins.
Once we put out this feature improvement, it made sense to display the actual numbers as well. You can now also see the finished cost per unit in relation to the formula so that all cost information is directly at your fingertips.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks again to Sunny from Plant Veda for working with our team on this!
When was it released? April 4 2022
What does it do? A small but handy feature, managers can now turn on a notification to alert them when items in Icicle are deleted, helping them catch accidental deletions and other kinds of record keeping problems. This change will help managers respond quickly to mistakes before they become problems later on, and help identify causes or patterns of error over time. It is also a good idea to get in touch with the Icicle support team to see if there are changes to your workflows or permissions that could help address the problem even more directly (with no oversight needed).
Where did the idea come from? Thank you to Dayna from Country Prime Meats for this helpful feature idea!