The road ahead to the future
Case Study

Server Products completes IFS Advanced Quality module implementation 7 weeks early

The road ahead to the future
Case Study

Server Products completes IFS Advanced Quality module implementation 7 weeks early

Client background

Food service equipment manufacturer Server Products Inc. has been creating innovative warmers, servers and dispensers for condiments, sauces and toppings since 1949. The family-owned business has grown to more than 135 employees in its 120,000 square-foot facility in Richfield, Wis., serving some 1,200 customers worldwide. The company continues its mission to manufacture the highest quality and most cost-effective products in the industry, and to expand its position in the global marketplace by continually improving its products, equipment, processes and resources.

Utilizing Baker Tilly allowed us to expose additional members of the organization to the approach that was so successful previously.
Robby Burmeister, Director of IT at Server Products

The business challenge

For more than two decades, Server Products had relied on its homegrown databases to track quality-related issues with its products. In 2017, business leaders knew that the old method of quality management (QM), with disparate data and manual processes, couldn’t keep pace with mature QM processes required in the digital-first era.

When a product discrepancy arose, the quality technician would be called to the production floor, the discrepancy would be confirmed by searching through manual documents, and then the technician would hand-carry the issue through the company, consulting with various departments, until it could be resolved. The issue and resolution were recorded in a database, never to be cross-referenced again.

The company had just completed a major implementation of the IFS Applications ERP system in June 2018, the centerpiece of its digital modernization. With the system in place, Server could now add the IFS Advanced Quality module to streamline, document and escalate inquiries in a mature system that could add value and lower risk for business processes in the entire organization.

But could Server do it alone? The subject matter experts that were identified for the Advanced Quality implementation were not a part of the original core team that implemented IFS, so Server Products turned to the expertise of trusted partner Baker Tilly, which had guided them through the previous IFS project, for implementation help.

Our goal is to enable Server to be self-sufficient. The Server team was self-sufficient basically on day one of go live. Their ability to own the solution, to troubleshoot issues and be able to manage the process right out of the gate should really be celebrated.
Pat Mayer, Experienced Manager at Baker Tilly

The Baker Tilly approach

Baker Tilly helped the Server team define and follow a strict implementation process that would be critical to the project’s success. Together the team added new capabilities to Server’s quality operations and replaced an outdated legacy system. Baker Tilly conducted training and provided on-site support. Most notably, Baker Tilly helped Server navigate one of the most critical steps in a module implementation – the testing process and development of effective test scripts.

The new module went live on August 26, 2019, seven weeks ahead of schedule. On the first day, the Server team simulated a problem with one of its product components to make sure the system worked correctly. They ran the issue through its Materials Review Board function and escalated the problem to the Non-Conformance Report (NCR) function for third-party product inquiries. They also conducted a finished goods audit in the system, a unique piece they had set up themselves. “Everything was working well from the first day. All the testing we did helped make sure that it worked like it was supposed to,” McMahon says.

We were surprised by the level of tests that were needed. Those of us on the Server Products team didn't appreciate what it took to write a good test script. Baker Tilly consultants did a great job of writing those test scripts and helping us understand how to conduct them.
Jodi McMahon, Director of Operations at Server Products

The business impact

The Advanced Quality module now allows Server to streamline documentation and communication, eliminate the manual handoffs, and elevate issues for resolution in a timely manner.

Now when a product discrepancy arises, all of the component inquiries -- the notifications, research, communication and resolution – can be done in one system.

Among the many other benefits of the Advanced Quality module:

  • Seamless escalation of third-party component issues to NCR and the Corrective/Preventative Actions (CAPA) functions
  • Quality Management System auditing -- the ability to plan and track product compliance audits in IFS, and track the corrective and preventive actions.
  • The ability to gather and analyze data, once on disparate systems, to generate reports and track product quality improvements.
I cannot say enough good things about the support we received from Baker Tilly. Everybody was professional at all times, and they kept us on track through weekly status reports and making sure we kept checking in against the scope of the project and to make sure we were meeting our deadlines. I am absolutely confident that we finished early because of the support of Baker Tilly.
Jodi McMahon, Director of Operations at Server Products
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