GoldFinch Case Study: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

Feeding More People More Efficiently


Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is committed to eliminating food insecurity throughout Central Florida, which inspired the development of a production kitchen that supplies thousands of meals each day to nearly 100 local meal sites. Management of this kitchen program created a time and resource-intensive challenge for the private nonprofit organization, preventing growth in new partnerships due to a lack of supporting infrastructure. In order to provide a more efficient program, Second Harvest needed to develop highly effective automated processes to streamline everything from meal selection to production and delivery. These processes were necessary across the business to increase daily productivity, maintain governmental compliance through flawless reporting, and simplify billing.

GoldFinch has helped us to work at peak efficiency during this pandemic, when we need to feed more people more efficiently.

– Santos Maldonado, Senior Manager, Childhood Hunger Programs at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

The Challenge

The Second Harvest Food Bank team has been highly reliant on manual processes in this specific area of their business. The organization’s Production Kitchen provides meal planning, production, and delivery to nearly 100 locations where meals are served in the community. Excel spreadsheets are used for tracking and management, allowing for a high likelihood of human error and substantial time spent tracking menu preferences, partner preferences, and delivery options.

The local meal sites require detailed compliance reporting in order to receive the funding necessary to continue providing food for their clients in need. Maintaining governmental compliance documents for each partner involves extensive document management, costing Second Harvest employees hundreds of hours a year. Without standardized processes in place, Second Harvest has been limited in the growth potential for expanding its Production Kitchen partnership.

The Approach

GoldFinch saw that, while Second Harvest was impactful in its partnership development with dozens of meal sites, many opportunities remained to improve the partner program effectiveness and simplicity of managing those relationships through automated process development. The current
system limited the organization’s ability to consider further growth of the program due to the amount of manual reporting required to maintain each partner relationship.

To determine the best software solution to meet Second Harvest’s needs, we reviewed and documented current business practices around creating partner-specific menus and combining partner program requirements to create a functional daily production flow. To do this, the customer relationship management tool needed to work in tandem with the manufacturing process automation to ensure the correct partner received the correct order on a regular recurring schedule.

GoldFinch’s combined ERP & CRM software was integral in building out automation. This software, built entirely on the Salesforce platform, communicates in real-time, so orders are recorded, processed, and delivered on time, no matter where the Second Harvest employee accesses the system. Plus, our software offers Second Harvest the added comfort of having all of their data saved to the cloud, ensuring that federal compliance documents, partner data, and billing information is protected against accidental loss or cyber attacks.

The Results

Using our combined ERP & CRM software, we developed a robust manufacturing process with an automatically generated 5 week rotational menu for each partner site. From here, we established detailed production instructions, which are automatically sent to production line employees every morning to detail the specific work needed to fulfill on that day’s partner orders. Completed orders are then prepared for delivery and delivered successfully to partners twice a day by truck. Our real-time data exchange across these programs built on the Salesforce platform eliminates downtime between each stage for maximum productivity. All information processed within this system is tracked within the ERP & CRM software for simplified compliance, partner relationship management, and billing.

With the help of GoldFinch + Salesforce we were able to respond to this crisis by producing over 250,000 meals between mid-March and mid-April.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

Ultimately, we worked with Second Harvest to turn a highly manual partner program into a self-perpetuating daily process by:

  • automating the planning, production, and delivery of daily meals to nearly 100 meal sites,
  • increasing meal and delivery options for partners,
  • simplifying compliance management and billing per partner,
  • and eliminating manual management of the partner program.

These processes allow Second Harvest Food Bank to expand the great work they are doing across the Central Florida area by simplifying the management of current partners and focusing efforts on developing new partnerships.

Increase Efficiency

The components of our menus change daily- if it’s week 3 day 2 the menu may call for hot dogs, but what if one of our customers wants PBJs instead. Tracking, swapping out, generating the manifests for our drivers is very complex. We were doing this on spreadsheets.

Our production kitchen went from 2 people putting in 2 hours a day each to build the required spreadsheets to 20 minutes a day for one person. Now, with just a few keystrokes we can churn out instructions for everyone, and have it ready for 6am tomorrow.

Decrease Errors

Previously, our error rate – sending the wrong meals to the wrong customer- was in the teens as a percentage of total deliveries. We had to redo every order that was incorrect, increasing our cost without increasing revenue and putting additional strain on our people and resources.

Now, errors are negligible.

GoldFinch+ Salesforce Makes All the Difference

With GoldFinch we can reliably configure complicated menus, standing orders and kitchen directions because the system will know it’s week 3 day 5. It generates the driver manifests and delivery slips. It’s relatively easy to make changes for our customers. We have dashboards to reference. And, the system is reliable.

GoldFinch totally customized their solution to our needs. I would recommend them. We are able to feed more people, more efficiently.

GoldFinch has made a generous donation of consulting time to help Second Harvest through this pandemic so they can service even more people in need.

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