Industry: Food and Beverage


Company Overview:

 ARYZTA is a frozen bakery business that provides breads and other goods to retail, foodservice, and quick service restaurants across the globe. It was originally founded over a century ago as the Irish Co-Operative Agricultural Agency Society, or the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society (IAWS), in 1897. After decades of successful service, IAWS rose to a position of prominence in the late twentieth century. The Irish Stock Exchange listed it in 1988, and it grew throughout the next decade under the leadership of CEO, Philip Lynch.

As part of its expansion, IAWS acquired a number of other bakery companies, including: Shamrock Foods, R&H Hall, Cuisine de France, Delice de France, La Brea Bakery, Groupe Hubert, Otis Spunkmeyer, and Coup de Pates. In 2001, IAWS established a joint venture with Tim Hortons, bringing its baked goods to the major Canadian quick service restaurant chain. To further establish its presence in the agrinutrition and lifestyle sectors, IAWS also created Origin Enterprises in 2006. This operating company provides basic nutritional products, shelf-stable food, and cereal milling in Ireland and beyond.

In 2008, IAWS Group of businesses merged with Hiestand Holding AG, a frozen baked goods company based in Switzerland. The next year, ARYZTA as a consolidated company was born. Over the past six years, ARYZTA’s growth hasn’t slowed in the least—the corporation recently acquired Fresh Start Bakeries (FSB, Pennant, and Sweet Life), Maidstone Bakeries, Honeytop, Klemme Frozen Bakery Products, Cloverhill Bakery™, Pineridge Bakery™, and the Fornetti Group.

ARYZTA has become a worldwide success by making its customers its priority. The bakery supplier provides par-baked morning goods, sweet baked products, artisan breads, tarts, pies, cookie dough, rolls, buns, muffins, donuts, pastries, and even savory fare, such as pizza. When its partners receive their baked goods, they can simply cook them through for fresh, delicious flavor. ARYZTA operates 60 kitchens and bakeries on five continents (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand). In 2013, the corporation’s revenue was 3.47 billion Euros ($3.74 billion).

The company is currently headquartered in Zurich Switzerland, but as one of the largest frozen bakery businesses in the world, it has numerous offices. The Excel Consultant team primarily worked at its Brea, California location.

The Challenge:

As a burgeoning multi-billion dollar business, ARYZTA needs sophisticated software to manage its accounts. In 2013, the company collaborated with Excel Consultant’s team to build a complicated budgeting, forecasting, and actuals (physical commodities) tracking system, in essence a premium Financial Tracking System.

This solution needed to automate and integrate files across three separate Microsoft applications: Excel, Access (Microsoft’s database management system), and the SQL Server. ARYZTA wanted push-button simplicity for this project, meaning that employees should be able to click a single command button without additional direction to make complex calculations and process large amounts of data.

ARYZTA’s executives also wanted to create, manipulate, access, and interpret the company’s economic information using PowerPivot tables. PowerPivot is an advanced Excel function (an add-on for the 2010 version of the program) that allows users to:

  • Import and interpret literally millions of rows of data from diverse sources (spreadsheets, workbooks, and more).
  • Analyze the relationships between this information.
  • Devise intricate formulas to measure, calculate, and analyze this data.
  • Predict business opportunities and make efficient, effective decisions based on the information available.

To date, this is the largest project Excel Consultant has ever had. It totaled close to half a billion dollars. Given the nuanced, particular nature of this assignment, it required months of on-site development in Brea, as well as remote work. Only the most experienced, skilled Microsoft masters could have successfully conquered it. The previous team ARYZTA hired in the year before couldn’t finish this task, but Excel Consultant’s exceptional group of experts was up for the challenge.

Key Client Benefits:

To tackle this complex challenge, we deployed some of our most esteemed experts to ARYZTA’s Brea office. We recognized that only our best developers would be up to this monumental task. We flew in numerous Microsoft MVPs (Most Valued Professionals) from across the nation (San Francisco, Roseville, Texas, and Oregon) to execute this enterprise. Microsoft MVPs are certified directly by Microsoft on an annual basis, so they must meet the company’s rigorous standards to maintain their status. Preserving this prestigious title requires earning the nomination of peers, remaining up-to-date with the latest technology, contributing to the Microsoft community, and more.

To manage ARYZTA’s massive undertaking, we put together an outstanding task force. Our Premier Developer and Microsoft MVP, Jacob Hilderbrand, led the project. We employed four full-time developers and other part-time programmers as needed. Four Excel Microsoft MVPs and one SQL Server MVP served on this project. These MVPs are some of the brightest in the world—one holds a graduate degree from MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the premier scientific research universities on Earth), one has completed over 2,500 projects, and one is a well-known author of books on Excel. ARYZTA’s requested PowerPivot functionality was so intricate and involved that Excel Consultant also brought on Rob Collie for assistance with the toughest aspects of this assignment. Mr. Collie is not only a Microsoft MVP, but he helped to create PowerPivot, making him a veritable virtuoso in this type of programming.

Our talented team worked tirelessly for almost a year, often putting in more than 100 hours over six to seven days per week. Our developers stayed at a local hotel and worked virtually non-stop. In fact, this project was so all-encompassing that Excel Consultant’s MVPs missed much of the Microsoft MVP twentieth anniversary global summit event. This demonstrated their admirable commitment to completing this project.

After nearly a year of work, Excel Consultant delivered excellent results for ARYZTA. The application we designed leveraged VBA (Visual Basic for Applications, a programming language) at the expert level to provide push-button automation, customized PowerPivot tables, and other state-of-the-art features. With our system, company employees can process corporate data and important financial files with just one click. This makes forecasting accounts, budgeting for expenses, and managing actuals simple, swift, and successful. Optimizing these operations and making them as efficient as possible is paramount for a rapidly expanding international heavyweight conglomerate like ARYZTA.

If we can successfully handle a task as tremendous as the assignment we tackled for ARYZTA, imagine what we can accomplish for your company! To learn more about our services or find out what software solutions we could devise for you, contact Excel Consultant today.

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