How Wonder Meats Continues Its Legacy of Innovation with Automated Reporting & Analytics

Family owned & operated since 1971, Wonder Meats is a Carlstadt, NJ-based wholesale meat producer specializing in burgers, ground beef, Philly steaks, & New York-style deli meats. The company operates 5 business units, employs more than 500 individuals across its various meat processing plants and corporate office, and supplies its products to foodservice giants like Sysco and U.S. Foods for restaurant chains, sandwich shops, schools, cafeterias and pizzerias. A retail version of Wonder Meats products is sold through Whole Foods and Giant under the Broad Street Butcher brand.

Wonder Meats

Rapid Growth and the Need for Visibility

When George Papapetridis joined Wonder Meats in 2020 as Director of Margin Management, the company did not have a central reporting tool in place beyond the use of standard Excel spreadsheets. “We were really growing at that time and our CFO wanted to bring a solution onboard that would enable us to handle reporting across the entire business so we could plan and manage it more effectively,” said Papapetridis. “Our practice of using spreadsheets at that time wasn’t efficient or reliable, hindering effective data analysis, and it didn’t provide a good way for us to analyze and share data both internally and with our brokers and distributors. That’s when the decision was made to use the Stratum business intelligence and reporting system from Silvon – a reporting software vendor for manufacturing and distribution businesses that our CFO was familiar with.”

Leveraging Dynamics 365 / NAV Data

With Stratum in place, Wonder Meats is distributing key reports across the business and to its channel partners based on sales, open orders and open A/R data stored in its Microsoft Dynamics NAV system (now called Dynamics 365 Business Central). The actual sales data they report on includes cases sold, pounds sold, dollars sold, along with various rebate, commission and customer program amounts.

Wonder Meats relies on Silvon to handle the data loading process, maintain the application, and provide support as needed to Papapetridis as the company’s main user. The data is extracted from Dynamics NAV into the Stratum data hub, which aligns, manages, and makes the data ready for analysis by Papapetridis and other Wonder Meats users. Right now, data is loaded three times a day to accommodate the varying processing times of each Wonder Meats plant. As a result, all sales and production activity that occurs each day is available for analysis by plant management and corporate executives alike while yielding more accurate numbers for production planning and sales performance analysis.

Automated Information Sharing

Papapetridis creates and automatically distributes on a weekly and monthly basis more than 300 reports using pre-defined analytic templates to start with. This includes 85 sales budgeting reports, 50 executive summaries, and almost 180 broker / rebate reports. Each report is easily tailored by Papapetridis to a recipient based on the information they are entitled to view, such as specific rebates, customers, items, and more.

“While we broadcast many reports to our internal and external users, many of them are based on the same views of data, just from different perspectives, Papapetridis notes. “Stratum provides so much information and different ways to look at your sales and your business using any angle you want, like at a distributor level or a brand level. It’s a very versatile and easy-to-use tool for creating and delivering sales and other important data to a broad base of stakeholders.”

In addition to Stratum’s data management, analysis and report broadcasting functionality, Wonder Meats takes advantage of a noteworthy function within the application to import sales projections (or forecasts) in both dollars and pounds and leverages Stratum analytics to track actual sales against those projections.

Gaining Multiple Ways to Look at Information

“Stratum’s a very powerful tool. I love how there's different dimensions and attributes that you use. For example, if you just want to look at year-over-year sales for a specific product category, you can easily do it. Plus, we have a lot of salespeople here and Stratum’s reports help them manage their accounts, like identifying ones in which certain product sales have decreased and providing opportunities for them to bring those numbers back. Stratum also helps us rationalize our broker relationships by helping us assess what we are paying them against the volume they’re bringing in for us. Of course, for our brokers, the reports easily show what their volume is and how much they’re owed by us. So yes. Stratum tells you a lot … and it has become a strategic tool for us,” adds Papapetridis.

Besides Papapetridis, a few of the company’s corporate VPs and AP managers have on-line access to Stratum so they can view and explore their data on-line for more granular levels of analysis, easily customizing and saving their views for use later on.

The Future: Costing and Inventory Data Analysis

While Stratum is currently being used to analyze and report on sales revenue primarily, Wonder Meats plans to bring costing and inventory data into Stratum in the future to enable them to better assess their margins and performance of inventory-to-sales across all business units.

Papapetridis adds: “Before Stratum, we didn't have any real visibility to our business. It was all disjointed. Everybody was doing their own thing. But with Stratum now, the entire company has access to accurate information within seconds. It's that fast.”

Wonder Meats’ integration of Stratum has transformed its reporting and data analysis capabilities, providing a solid foundation for continued innovation, growth and efficiency in the competitive meat production market.

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