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eSoftware Celebrates 10 Years Serving Food Banks with Ceres Software

Posted by on November 19, 2010

Ceres Software for Food Bank ManagementPortland, Ore. — November 19, 2010 — In February of 2000, eSoftware Professionals got an urgent call from Navision and America’s Second Harvest (now Feeding America). They needed an inventory management and financial system designed specifically for the unique challenges facing the nation’s food banks. And by the way, they needed it designed, developed and implemented as soon as possible!

eSoftware Professionals knew their knowledge of accounting and business processes would be important in creating a system for this distinctive industry. The project was kicked off in mid-February when eSoftware met with ten food banks and America’s Second Harvest staff to help document the industry’s unique requirements. Then the serious work began. The result: an unveiling of the new software solution, Ceres 1.0, at the America’s Second Harvest National Conference in mid-September of 2000. The first “go live” was also in September a short 7 ½ months total project time.

“Looking back, that phone call was a pivotal moment in eSoftware history,” said Sharon Jacobson, Vice President at eSoftware. “Until that moment ten years ago, we thought, like most people, that food banks were nothing more than a local church pantry helping a few folks every week. Now we realize the immense need food banks serve nationwide, and the logistical challenges they confront each day. I am proud we, as a company and as individuals, are able to use our skills and technology to make a difference in so many people’s lives.”

Imagine what it would take to move a million pounds of food from a donor warehouse or store, to a network of hundreds of food banks, and local pantries before the product spoils. The logistics and warehouse efforts alone are staggering. Now imagine moving a million pounds per month. That’s the size of the first food bank where eSoftware implemented the Ceres software solution in September 2000. Today the same food bank, Road Runner Food Bank in New Mexico, delivers over 26 million pounds of food each year, that’s over 200% growth in just 10 years. This degree of growth is not uncommon in the food banking industry.

Since the first go live in September 2000, Ceres has been deployed in over 110 food banks – that’s over half the nation’s food banks. The team at eSoftware Professionals has become specialists in providing financial and inventory management solutions for the food bank industry. The team appreciates the huge effort it takes to coordinate feeding the hungry across America and the importance of having the tools and technology to enable their growth.  Feedback from one of the recent upgrades: “I have found eSoftware Professionals to be knowledgeable, capable, and highly responsive,” Michael P. Miller, COO, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

Jody Leoni, President, eSoftware Professionals, “We pride ourselves on our long term relationships with our clients. We understand that companies grow and evolve and their tools should be able to grow with them. We are dedicated to a true business partnership.”

eSoftware Professionals values the ten year relationship with Feeding America, the national network of food banks, and the dedicated individuals at each food bank. The company is focused on delivering the innovations and solutions that will be needed for food banks to serve the rising need in their communities over the next decade and beyond.