Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Paul Hanan, chief financial officer, Hanan Products, Hicksville, NY, about the company's history and also their COVID-19 response.
Liz Parker: How did Hanan Products get its start?
Paul Hanan: The company was founded in 1954 by our grandfather Stuart Hanan, who was a research chemist. He was approached by a friend of his who was in the flavor business about developing whipped toppings. Knowing nothing about whipped toppings, he tried his hand at it and was able to develop our first product, Tasty Whip. In the early days of the business, Stuart would deliver the products himself, lugging tubs of products on the subway if he had to.
LP: With the COVID-19 pandemic, has Hanan made any changes to its operations?
PH: Right before, and during the shutdowns, we implemented a number of new software platforms to help with communications and operations. First, we started using Slack company-wide, since we knew we would need better communication across the company, including the employees who work on the factory floor and don’t have company emails. Slack’s tools let us seamlessly put out company-wide announcements, which were daily during the pandemic shutdowns, while also lets us easily communicate to an individual or an entire department.
Second, we implemented Sage Inventory Advisor, which uses artificial intelligence to forecast proper inventory levels. We knew that if situations arose where we couldn’t operate at full capacity, it would be beneficial to have a cloud-based system totally on top of our inventory where we could check inventory levels remotely, receive daily purchase recommendations, and see potential stock out updates.
Third, we integrated our CRM (Salesforce) with our ERP (Sage) to fully leverage Salesforce’s cloud capabilities. This now gives employees the ability to create sales orders and check customer data while at home.