Business Challenge

When Li’l Guy Foods® outgrew its Peachtree software, the owners went looking for a way to blend sales, production, payroll, and accounting into an end-to-end system that was easy to use, secure, and affordable.



QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: Manufacturing & Wholesale Edition:
• Fast, reliable access to full year’s
worth of transactions.
• Advanced security provisions for multiple users.
• Live links to reports in Microsoft Excel™
• Wide choice of QuickBooks Compatible software, sold separately, including:
• NumberCruncher, providing production planning.
• Q-Route, supporting handheld devices for mobile sales force.



• Saved $25,000 in working capital tied up in inventory.
• Production is now based on daily demand, not guesswork.
• Precise lot numbers help track product quality.
• No need for full-time accounting person or expensive consultants.
• Complete system with add-ons cost just $10,000 – a fraction of the competitors’ price.


Customer Profile

• Mexican food producer and distributor in business since 1965.
• 30 employees.
• Located in Kansas City, Mo.
• Sales of $3 million in 2005.
• 30,000 square-foot facility with 2,000 square-foot restaurant and test kitchen.
• Using QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition since 2005; upgraded from Peachtree.
David Sloan

David Sloan
President, Li’L Guy Foods

“We couldn’t ask for a better-integrated solution. From sales transactions to payroll to live data in Excel reports, Enterprise Solutions is unbelievable
for the money. I bought Enterprise, the route accounting and MRP software, the handhelds, and upgraded the memory in all my PCs — and my whole budget came in around $10,000.”

Mexican Food Maker Finds Recipe for Success with QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions

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When you’re a $3 million company competing with a $2 billion giant, you have to be quick on your feet — or get squashed flat as a tortilla.

Mexican food producer Li’l Guy Foods has been a nimble competitor for more than 40 years now. And switching to QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions enabled this third-generation family business to move faster than ever.

Couldn’t Continue with Peachtree

Li’l Guy Foods used Peachtree to manage its business, but reached a point where the system could no longer handle the firm’s 500-megabyte database of transactions.

“We started running into problems,” says President David Sloan, the founder’s grandson and company president. “It was hard to work with such a huge file, and the database was crashing. Once, I even had to contract a company to get the database restored over the weekend.”

He also had to hire a full-time accounting person to go review every report because he could no longer depend on his numbers.

David envisioned an end-to-end system that could support handheld devices for his sales force, and link to materials resource planning (MRP) software to help streamline his manufacturing. He wanted quick access to an entire year’s worth of business — some 75,000 transactions — along with reports he could trust.

“We were being pushed to move to MAS 90. We looked at it, but didn’t think the interface was very impressive,” says David. “You’re dependent on consultants for the implementation, and it was going to be $50,000 before we even got to the handheld technology or MRP software. I didn’t think it was the solution for us.”

QuickBooks Compatible Software for Manufacturing

David kept looking, until he discovered Enterprise Solutions on the QuickBooks web site. “I found out QuickBooks was much more robust. Enterprise was a great package that we could migrate to, that could take us to the next level.”

David liked the powerful database that could handle all his transactions, the simple interface that made using it easy, and security provided for multiple users. And he was excited by the huge smorgasbord of add-on programs that all supported QuickBooks. Peachtree had nothing to match.

“QuickBooks is a lot faster now. Enterprise Solutions brings up results quicker than anything I’ve ever seen. If I want to see all our invoices, I can bring up $3 million worth of invoices. To me, that’s absolutely amazing, to have a year’s worth of transaction data at your fingertips in 30 seconds.”

“One of the reasons we switched to Enterprise Solutions was because of its seamless integration with certain manufacturing-specific software,” says David. He quickly put together a system with Enterprise Solutions for finances and payroll, and purchased the Q-Route add-on for sales routing, and the NumberCruncher software for production control. It was everything he’d dreamed of.

Fresher, More Consistent Products

The new system enabled Li’l Guy Foods to add precision to its whole production process. “Before, we used to guess how much of each ingredient we needed on hand to produce what we were going to sell,” says David. Today, with all his recipes and sales history online to look at, everything is measured precisely to produce just what is needed for the next day’s projected sales. “Now we can just say, ‘We need this much.’ So there’s less waste and an even fresher product.”

In just one month David dramatically trimmed back his inventory of raw materials. “We cut our inventory on hand by $25,000 within 40 days, so we got that immediate payback,” he says.

“We also had some productivity gains. We’ve been able to batch our production a lot better,” he says. “So that helped out our manufacturing tremendously, and saved us a ton of money.”

The precision also improves the production system, enabling Li’l Guy Foods to turn out more consistent products than ever — a necessary ingredient to hang onto repeat business in the face of tough competition.

Slicing and Dicing Sales Data

The new system integrates the front line too. David bought each salesperson a handheld device that combines a cell phone, PDA, e-mail, Web browser, camera, and receipt printer — all in one. Each device contains a secure digital flash card that captures every transaction from the daily rounds to retailers, institutions, and restaurants.

“At the end of the day, they hand in their card, I plug it into the server and upload their sales transactions right into QuickBooks. I can usually upload 50 to 60 transactions in a few minutes,” he says.

This quick turnaround on sales data helps Li’l Guy Foods see what’s actually happening in the field every day, so it can move fast when it needs to.

“Enterprise Solutions has really helped our sales analysis,” says David. “We can look at what items sell in a particular ZIP code, and make sure those items are in every store in that ZIP code. We can develop new ideas faster than a big company, which would have 20 people sitting on a committee to handle that.”

Payroll Done in Five Minutes a Week

David does payroll for his 30 employees with the Employee Organizer built into Enterprise Solutions, along with the QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll service, available by subscription. And he prints all the 941, 1099, and W2 forms in-house from the system.

“I get all the updates from QuickBooks, so everything is always compliant,” he says. “It takes me about five minutes a week to do payroll.

And he likes the online library as well. “I’ve downloaded probably 80 percent of the available reports, and we use 15 or 20 reports every day,” he says. “Enterprise Solutions is far superior to what I was using before for reporting.”

From sales support through production control to accurate accounting, David’s system is everything he wanted. With Enterprise Solutions at the center of his end-to-end system, Li’l Guy Foods got the whole enchilada.


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Copyright 2008 Li'L Guy Foods All Rights Reserved