Fresh Ideas Grows a Healthy Business with Original Approach to Food Service

When reflecting on fine culinary experiences, college dining halls typically don’t come to mind. But for students on the campuses served by Fresh Ideas, the dining hall, coffee shops and other campus venues are places to discover new foods and enjoy old favorites. Sites serviced by the company are much more like high-end eateries than traditional cafeterias, offering students the ability to simply tap their smartphones to order everything from salads, to Memphis-style pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce.


COMPANY

Fresh Ideas Management

LOCATION

Columbia, Missouri

INDUSTRY

Food Service

REVENUE

$50 million

EMPLOYEES

1,200

NUMBER OF USERS

70

NUMBER OF SUBSIDIARIES

2

SYSTEM REPLACED

QuickBooks

OTHER SOLUTIONS CONSIDERED

Sage, FinancialForce

NETSUITE PRODUCTS IMPLEMENTED

NetSuite OneWorld
NetSuite Advanced Customer Support

IMPLEMENTATION PARTNER

NetSuite Professional Services

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“Technology is really changing the way students interact in dining halls, and we are at the forefront of that change.” Kate Boatright, CFO, Fresh Ideas Management

Innovation on the Menu

No boxed lunches here
The company’s A-plus service, student-oriented menu selections and industry-leading technology, like its FreshX mobile app, have set it apart from its much larger competitors. For instance, FreshX can store meal plan information, track usage, and allow students and colleges to access and analyze that data.
No self-service to data
Prior to 2018, the directors of the many different business units within Fresh Ideas entered sales, inventory and vendor invoice data into a homegrown database. This data was then downloaded by the corporate accounting department and imported into QuickBooks. This process made it challenging to offer self-service data access and analytics for the business units.
A fresh approach needed
Fresh Ideas saw an urgent need to improve operational efficiencies and analytics before the academic year started in August. Led by a deeply experienced NetSuite Professional Services implementation team, the company was able to go live with NetSuite OneWorld in just three months, a timeline that included custom configurations to accommodate a unique financial calendar.
Growing offerings beyond food
With more than 1,200 employees across business units throughout the Midwest United States, Fresh Ideas now maintains and proactively optimizes its operations, with the help of NetSuite Advanced Customer Support. Next, it will look at further enhancements such as integrating its POS system with NetSuite to consume data from its FreshX app and utilizing NetSuite’s Planning and Budgeting product.

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