New Icicle ERP Features: Monitor Price Increases and Access New Reports for Smart Food Manufacturing
Creating an end-to-end solution for smart food manufacturing must be based in the complex realities of food and beverage manufacturers, and that’s the core of our approach to our product design. Like all aspects of Icicle’s development, the active members of the Icicle community who are capitalizing our QuickBooks Online integration are leading our development team in refining it. We’ll start off our latest Icicle ERP feature update with new Icicle features for accounting and sales users (like price increase notifications!) before digging into “quality of life” releases for production planning and ever-smoother operations. These latest features are laser-focused enhancements for traceability, food safety, and quality enhancements ranging from new reports and trending for inspections to inventory management tools for mastering your supply chain.
Icicle’s Purchasing interface now shows you price increases (and sends you notifications)
When was it released? February 27 2023
What does it do? This one is pretty cool – members of the Icicle community asked and received the ability to create alerts for price increases on ingredients and other raw materials. We liked that idea enough to add that information directly into Icicle’s user interface, so you can easily monitor price increases compared to previous purchases right from the Purchase Order Detail page.
You can also create alerts so Icicle sends you a notification if PO prices increase over a certain percentage.
Where did the idea come from? A big thank you to Stephanie from TMRW Foods for this great upgrade!
We tweaked Icicle’s QuickBooks Online Integration
When was it released? January 23 2023
What does it do? Our QuickBooks Online integration bridges the gap between inventory, production, accounting and more for food manufacturers that use the popular accounting software. Making this integration seamless can be tricky because QuickBooks Online can’t process the level of data that Icicle ERP can. This latest creative workaround makes it easier to associate purchase orders in Icicle with corresponding bills in QuickBooks, or sales orders with invoices. When you view your data in QuickBooks Online, you will now be able to see the correct purchase order or sales order number as a comment on the bill or invoice. You can then use the number to look up what you need in Icicle without having to search.
In December, we also noticed a tiny way to boost the last QuickBooks Online integration improvement, which improved syncing between the two apps by requiring Icicle users to finalize bills and invoices before saving that data in the accounting app. Now, if you try to navigate away from an unsaved bill or invoice, you’ll get an alert from Icicle to prevent you from losing your work.
Where did the idea come from? Thanks to power-user Sunny from Plant Veda for his keen feedback!
New reports and filters for Sales and Accounting
When was it released? March 23 2023
What does it do? Earlier this year, we released two new report types for our Sales and Accounting systems: Invoice Reports for customers and Bill Reports for suppliers. With those came new timeframe filters (current month, last month, last three months, six months, last twelve months) that were such a good idea, we extended them to other Icicle reports like sales reports, consumption reports, purchasing reports, and more.
Sales Orders and Sales Reports also got new filters. Users can now quickly review which sales orders have already been invoiced and/or shipped in one quick glance on the Sales Order list page. Just last month, we also added a “Ship By” date field to Sales Orders so you can look at shipments for a specific date, timeframe, or for a particular client. Whether directly from the Sales Order interface or in Sales Reports, these new fields and filters help you plan, schedule, and confirm important information quickly to ensure customer satisfaction.
Where did the idea come from? This series of feature requests came from a few Icicle clients, including the team at The BE-Hive, Stephanie from TMRW Foods, Sunny from Plant Veda, and Mehdi from Big Mountain Foods – many thanks to all of them!
Set default tax exemptions for food products in one step
When was it released? December 9 2023
What does it do? Food products are often exempt from sales taxes and other taxes, so it made sense to add tax exemptions as default options for products, as well as in all sales and accounting interfaces like Invoices, Bills, Sales Orders, etc. This built-in solution does that extra little bit to streamline data entry and reduce human error, right out of the box.
Where did the idea come from? This one came from Jules from Myrna’s Foods – thanks Jules!
Suggested Raw Materials Reports make picking ingredients for production runs even easier for Smart Food Manufacturing
When was it released? March 27 2023
What does it do? When you get to the scheduled production runs, we have you covered too. Icicle’s Suggested Raw Materials feature, which came out just a year ago, can now generate accessible reports that are easily shareable with workers on the production floor, even without an Icicle account.
The Suggested Raw Materials interface draws data from your sales orders and your current inventory levels to generate smart suggestions for the specific inventory you should use to meet production schedules. Our proprietary predictive algorithms minimize waste by automatically calculating shelf life based on best-before dates and pre-set shelf life thresholds. To generate an optimal list of raw materials for production – it’s organized by lot code and inventory location! – simply click the export button and share or print the information you need from an Excel file.
A month prior to this feature release, we also made it possible for Icicle users to generate a Total Bill of Materials, which captures all the materials needed for multiple production runs over a period of time.
Where did the idea come from? Our thanks for this one goes especially to Kim from Nutopia!
Default inventory locations can be added or changed en masse
When was it released? January 30 2023
What does it do? Icicle ERP’s abilities for inventory tracking make our software stand out among our competitors, and that’s because we’re always looking for ways to make it better and easier to use. Default inventory locations, which help Icicle users streamline warehouse logistics for Smart Food Manufacturing by suggesting where to put incoming items, can now be set for multiple items in one go.
Mass edits for default inventory locations is a fantastic way to manage big inventory changes or to start using more of Icicle’s powerful Inventory Management tools.
Where did the idea come from? Another great idea from Stephanie of TMRW Foods!
Icicle’s smart Production Forecasting interface boosts efficiency for complex production runs
When was it released? December 21 2023
What does it do? Icicle’s Production Forecasting interface uses real-time data from your inventory and production systems to help you plan production runs with maximum efficiency for smart food manufacturing. When the system generates production run suggestions for users, it’s taking into account all of your moving inventory so you always have what you need in stock to meet production targets: current inventory, what you’ve consumed or committed already, what you’ve ordered, plus shelf life thresholds for all raw materials and real-time costing for each step.
The latest update to this interface enhances Icicle’s predictive algorithms for production runs for precursor products, or items you make in order to use in a finished product that you sell, as well as regular products.
Where did the idea come from? Direct your praise to the Icicle team’s very own Ethan Chen.
Access the Nutritional Facts Panel directly on the Production Run Details page
When was it released? January 11 2023
What does it do? Simplified workflows enable Smart Food Manufacturing. We’ve introduced another simplified workflow, this time for users who access the Production Run Detail interface on the production floor – they can now see the Nutritional Facts panel alongside other packaging and labeling information so it’s easier to confirm details on the spot, from one convenient place.
Since labeling errors are a major cause of product recalls, making the Nutritional Facts panel accessible to workers on the production run floor (who might not have user access to view Product Details) boosts transparency and food safety culture.
Where did the idea come from? Hats off to James from Country Prime Meats, who sent in this idea!
Icicle’s BarTender integration has more traceability detail
When was it released? December 7 2022
What does it do? Icicle users who also use BarTender for their labeling will be happy to hear that our BarTender integration now has more traceability data: in addition to all the traceability data included previously, Icicle will automatically provide BarTender with information on specific production lines for facilities with have multiple production lines.
The extra layer of traceability detail, encoded on labels for your whole supply chain, makes this particular integration even more useful for rapidly getting to the root of problems, responding to recalls, or any other kind of track and trace activity.
Where did the idea come from? James from Country Prime Meats deserves the credit for this one too!
Icicle can auto-generate Contact Sheets for mock recalls (and the real thing)
When was it released? March 23 2023
What does it do? Recall Management is a big part of Icicle ERP’s food safety management capabilities, dating back to the early days of its development (being able to do a mock recall in 30 seconds or less is one of the things the Icicle community really loves). For easy reference, Icicle now also automatically generates a contact list that you can use to notify all recipients of a recall via email (and for a mock recall too, of course).
Where did the idea come from? Diana from The BE-Hive caught this omission and helped us correct it!
New “Terminate” button protects security while maintaining traceability records for Smart Food Manufacturing
When was it released? March 7 2023
What does it do? Delivering enhanced security and traceability in one package, the new “Terminate” button in Icicle allows managers to terminate user access to their Icicle account from the User List page instead of deleting the user from the system (which could impact your traceability data). This new button makes addressing any user problems clear and simple.
Where did the idea come from? The requested information is highly classified.
New Signature fields enhance accountability at Shipping and Receiving
When was it released? February 13 2023
What does it do? Icicle’s Shipping and Receiving interfaces now have new sections to add signatures confirming deliveries and pick ups from drivers, which can be used directly from a tablet or other secure, internet-enabled mobile device. The signatures are then automatically added to shipping and receiving records, eliminating the need for paper copies, scanning, etc. while consolidating your data in one, centralized place.
We also added signature fields to First Aid Reports in December to streamline Occupational Health and Safety documentation. When you create a First Aid Report in Icicle, the system will ask for signatures from relevant parties (like the Injured Party and the Attendant), which can be added digitally like any of Icicle’s other signature fields.
Where did the idea come from? Many thanks to both Sophia and David from Anita’s Organic Mill for their comments and feedback!
Additional Incident Types help you manage safety and quality during transport
When was it released? December 21 2022
What does it do? Two new additions to Icicle’s range of Incident types and templates last December help users track and respond to problems with suppliers and carriers that can endanger food safety and quality. Icicle’s robust Incident Management infrastructure already covered supplier incidents, but these new types, located in the Receiving and Shipping interfaces, expand those capabilities for issues specifically relating to transportation vehicles (like trucks).
In January, we also added the ability to view and create Supplier Assessments directly from the Supplier Detail page, which helps streamline workflows during supplier reviews.
Where did the idea come from? These upgrades come from the Icicle development team, and, as always, informed by user needs.
Icicle’s Inspections interface has more reporting and trending capabilities for Smart Food Manufacturing
When was it released? February 21 2023
What does it do? Icicle ERP users can now view Inspections across specific timeframes with new date range filters directly from the Inspections List page, in addition to generating Inspection reports from the Trending interface according to a wide range of criteria from inspection scores to product costs.
The Inspection List page now also displays pre-op inspection scores and indicates how many items from the questionnaire were filled out – details that are now displayed when Inspections are exported into Excel too.