Lizzy’s handmade treats include café-style cakes and convenient food-to-go options.
With BRC grade A and SALSA accreditation, the 50 strong team at their West Sussex kitchen caters to a wide clientele, supplying retailers, distributors, coffee shops, visitor attractions, and even large-scale transportation customers.
We spoke with Alan Richings, who has been technical manager at Lizzie’s since 2020, and recently took over as co-owner of the company. Alan explained:
“My primary role is to ensure legal compliance and food safety as part of the leadership team here at Lizzy’s.”
“It’s about driving standards and change within the business.”
“Three years ago, we didn’t have BRC certification, so I’ve been instilling that and improving things to meet those ever-changing standards.”
Alan first worked with the team at AgileChilli a decade ago, when working at a company which used a predecessor system of today’s AgileChilli. He’s been advocating agile’s benefits ever since.
Today, Lizzy’s use the two core AgileChilli products. agile:SA which empowers technical teams to manage supplier approvals, track accreditations and risk assessments, and be audit ready. While agile:NPDtech enables speedy innovation without compromising process and quality management.
Prior to AgileChilli, Lizzy’s was running a combination of MS Access for back-office tasks and Hamilton Grant for customer specs.
“I just felt there wasn’t enough cohesion or control between raw material recipes and customer specifications.”
Alan continues: “Everything was accessible. But it just wasn’t user friendly, it wasn’t quick, it wasn’t intuitive, it wasn’t accurate.”
Alan took personal control of the project at Lizzie’s end, and working with Ollie at AgileChilli, found the migration of data from legacy systems straightforward.
“Ollie advised me on the format we required for the data. I got all the information downloaded, sent it over, he worked his magic, and managed to upload it all.”
Embedding AgileChilli to Lizzy’s system was timely for their BRC accreditation.
“Adding BRC helped open opportunities with some larger customers, who needed to have fuller specs.”
“The sales guy said: ‘wow that’s quick’.“
Lizzy’s were tendering out for a big new business opportunity and needed to get 35 specs together, fast. It was an existing customer who only bought a couple of lines, so this represented a massive step up.
Detailed specs were needed with information on allergens, shelf life, packaging, sustainability and more.
“We were late to the party. We hadn’t been made aware the opportunity was there. Our sales manager gave me a list of 35 products they were interested in. An hour later I was sending him the specs, all sorted as PDFs.”
Alan simply needed to tick the boxes he wanted and AgileChilli did the rest.
“I was able to quickly tick the boxes, create the specs, and send it to the customer in a very professionally laid out format.
“The sales guy said ‘wow that’s quick. How did you get it done so fast?’. Using MS Access that would have taken an hour per spec.”
“I’ve been using AgileChilli for a long time, I know the team and they’re very attentive and very professional.”
As customers and market needs change here at AgileChilli we want to make sure our product continues to have all the features our customers need. Agile by name and nature, we encourage people to tell us what they need, and in common with many customers Alan found his changes made the cut.
“I threw in a few suggestions, agile evaluated them, and they’re now part of the agile products.
Finally, we asked Alan what he liked about using AgileChilli and if he’d recommend it to others.
“I would recommend it. It is a very good system technically. And I have used just about every retailer spec system there is in my career.
“The simplicity of agile really is key, that and the fact it is such an adaptable system.”
Alan Richings, formerly technical manager,
now Owner of Lizzy’s Cakes and Bakes