King & Prince Seafood

A Recipes & Specifications Case Study
Getting Recipe Data Under Control With Food Focused Software

Established in the USA for over 65 years, King & Prince Seafood® is one of the largest seafood companies in the United States and operates under the umbrella organisation Nissui. They have three production facilities in the US – in Bellingham and Redmond, Washington and Brunswick, Georgia.

Their broad portfolio of fish, shrimp, calamari, crab, surimi and seafood blends is supplied direct to the hospitality and restaurant trade, and their wide range of customers illustrates the high standards and consistency they operate with.

Quality is paramount to King & Prince Seafood. They opted the Global Standard for Food Safety, the benchmark for best practices in the food industry. All plants achieved certification according to the BRC Standards and were awarded an A grade for food safety and quality systems.

Benefits
  1. Highly configurable software allows end users to adapt the templates to exactly meet their needs – there’s no need for additional IT involvement.
  2. Painless compliance with the US Nutrition Facts label regulations means a lower workload and peace of mind.
  3. Complete visibility of all data means this is one solution that is readily accessible to everyone, no matter what their role or department.
  4. Flexible training solutions are adapted on a client by client basis – sessions are adapted to focus on each organisation’s requirements – there is no one-size fits all approach.
  5. Improved relationships with customers and suppliers thanks to increased responsiveness.
Constrained by Inconsistency

With an enormous focus on quality and customer satisfaction, King & Prince Seafood found themselves increasingly hindered by an inconsistent and low-tech approach to recipe development, ingredients statements and allergen listings. The team suffered a couple of  close calls when mislabelled allergens were identified in the NPD process. Existing safety procedures meant these allergens didn’t make it to the finished product, but alarm bells rang loudly for the King & Prince team. The way R&D technologists were working was inconsistent and time consuming; each technologist had their own way of working, all using flat Excel files unrelated to one-another. It
was time to upgrade.

One Application for Everyone

“It was clear we needed something new to help us get our data under control” said Tracy McConnell, VP of Technical Services. On the face of it, their requirements were simple: King & Prince needed one application that would be the same for everyone, and they needed a database where they could store their ingredients information safely, instead of storing them in unrelated flat Excel files.
After an in-depth benchmarking process, Tracy and her team established a long list of requirements and put the project out to tender. Of the six software companies they initially interviewed, three were brought in to provide working demonstrations. “It was instantly clear to us that the Hamilton Grant templates were incredibly configurable”, says Tracy. “We’d be able to design the templates to exactly suit our requirements and wouldn’t be limited by the software.” Another important factor for Tracy was the way the software would allow end-users to lead the project. “The user-friendly interface meant R&D technologists could develop the software to suit their needs.

I’ve seen software where IT generates a template without a full understanding of its use and it ends up a complete disaster.” Tracy was determined the configurability of the software would be used to full effect. Kicking off the project, Hamilton Grant trained the R&D technologists in the King & Prince headquarters in Brunswick, Georgia, USA. Initial training focused on recipe development and learning how to configure the system to meet their needs. This first-round training gave technologists the knowhow to create and manage their own templates. Regular conference calls supported this training to help the team and new starters get the most out
of the software. Two years into the project, the Hamilton Grant Team spent another week with King & Prince to review recipe development and work on additional equation and template training. Confident in the success of these training sessions, Tracy is working on a further on-site training session; “we really benefit from the face to face training sessions because we’re able to really focus in on the King & Prince-specific issues,” she explains.

 

A Streamlined and More Reliable System

The impetus for the project – the mislabelled allergen – means King & Prince is using the Hamilton Grant System to meet the US Nutrition Facts label regulations. The software ensures accurate real-time label information; mislabelling can be confidently consigned to the history books for King & Prince. Additionally, the team at Hamilton Grant adapted the software to allow labelling information to be translated into customer specifications and POS information, reducing workload for the team.

Tracy has been true to her intent and is exploiting the Hamilton Grant System to its full extent. The King & Prince team has embraced the HG System. “We’re working in such a way that the HG System is the fulcrum from which data is extracted into other software. It’s really helped streamline our SAP process” says Tracy.

King and Prince has embedded the HG System into the core of their business. “I knew when I first saw the configurability of the template that I could really make it work for us”, says Tracy. “It holds all our data and specifications, as well as all the supplier information. In fact, all data and verifications are done within the system”.

Moving beyond R&D, the system is of huge benefit across the organisation. Every department inputs data into the HG System. For instance, category management input forecasting into the system and supply chain uses it to document costs and other raw material information. Customer complaints and claims are held in the system, with the investigation and outcomes stored in the same place. King & Prince even use the HG system to carry out and store their risk assessments.

Keen to keep momentum in place, Tracy is eager to work the HG system even harder. “Our project for the next quarter will be to add the action claims documents to the system. This will give everyone in the organisation visibility of the technical services documents; anyone will be able to access the recall program, complaints procedures and so on at any time, as a read-only file”.

Outstanding Performance Against KPIs

The excellent performance against King & Prince’s internal KPIs demonstrates the impact the Hamilton Grant System has had. The NPD process cycle time has been transformed with an incredible decrease in specification review time from ten days to three days1
, whilst the CAPA cycle time (Corrective action, root cause, preventative action workflow program) has reduced by an outstanding 50%2 . And illustrating that the benefits go beyond internal processes, the customer complaint cycle time is a fraction of the 2015 figure of 21 days3 – meeting its goal of five days or less for root cause and corrective action.


Tracy is delighted with the way the Hamilton Grant System has helped transform the business to a more efficient and better-controlled organisation. The benefits have transformed the operation both within the organisation and with external providers and customers. The King & Prince team is determined to make the software work even harder and intend to configure the templates further as they move into 2018.

Tracy McConnell
, VP of Technical Services,
King & Prince Seafood, USA

The Hamilton Grant System has transformed King & Prince’s NPD process cycle time with an incredible decrease in
specification review time from ten days to three days, whilst the CAPA cycle time has reduced by an outstanding 50%.
And illustrating that the benefits go beyond internal processes, the customer complaint cycle time is a fraction of the 2015 figure of 21 days