The Ensphere approach helps Tangerine enjoy a Tastier business with Sage 1000

Image preview


Established in 1928, today Tangerine Confectionery (Tangerine) is the largest independent sugar confectionery manufacturer in the UK. The company manufacturers a diverse range of traditional and contemporary sweet products which are distributed under a variety of established household brand names as well as under their own label.

The company turns over £150 million and continues to grow. Headquartered in Blackpool, Tangerine has seven production sites across the country and employees around 1500 people.


Tangerine’s business involves a complex manufacturing and distribution process, combined with the need to adhere to food regulatory standards.

The manufacturing process involves the management of stock from raw ingredients through to final product and then dispatch. Manufacturing of the confectionery is carried out across the seven sites and eight factories in the UK. Each site is responsible for the management and production of its own ranges but also has to adapt the lines to meet the changing demands of Tangerine’s customers. The finished products are distributed via an outsourced supplier which further complicates the business process.

In addition, over the past few years the Tangerine business has grown considerably as a result of three significant acquisitions, most recently the purchase of Monkhill Confectionery from Cadburys Schweppes in 2008. In order to run an efficient business, Tangerine, therefore, needs to maintain full visibility and control of its significant amount of raw ingredients, finished products, distribution and any returns across all of its sites.

Tangerine had relied on Sage for all aspects of its business for over 10 years but now recognised a need to introduce a solution that was better suited to its larger operation. A key driver for implementing an enhanced system was the acquisition of the Monkhill business from Cadbury Schweppes. The Monkhill operation needed to be integrated into the core Tangerine system. However, with the significance of the acquisition Tangerine identified that this was the right time to implement a more robust solution that could be utilised across the entire business.


Tangerine had great confidence in the Sage product suite, having already used it for many years. The familiarity of the systems and the commitment from Sage to continually develop and invest in its products helped Tangerine to make a decisive, relatively easy decision that it would upgrade its solution within the Sage suite. Tangerine decided to upgrade to Sage 1000. They appointed the Ensphere team as their partner of choice to help integrate the Monkhill site and enhance the core Sage 1000 solution.

The Ensphere team had been assisting Tangerine for many years and had built up a strong working relationship in that time. This ingrained understanding of the Tangerine business enabled Ensphere to advise knowledgeably on appropriate enhancements and recommend choices that it knew would fundamentally improve Tangerine’s business process.

Today with Enpshere’s help, Tangerine runs a tailored Sage 1000 solution for 64 users across all seven of its UK sites. The system helps the company to benefit from complete visibility of its business operations from sales order capture to the managing, producing, packaging and distribution of raw materials and finished products.

Not to be overlooked, Tangerine also makes full use of the core financial and payroll functionality. Financials and stock control are completely integrated and used by all seven sites. This enables Tangerine to manage costs and forecast more effectively. In addition, user access is adapted according to site and job requirement. This results in staff only accessing the information that they need for their particular job which minimises human error but also enables users to retain a simplistic system based on their specific job function.

Effective forecasting was one of Tangerine’s key requirements so Ensphere developed the core functionality to suit Tangerine’s individual needs. Key decision makers are now more informed and as a result can plan production to further increase efficiency. This has improved the entire planning and production process because decisions are now made more quickly and with the confidence that they are based on accurate figures.

A barcoding enhancement and a range of tailored programming modifications designed by Ensphere exclusively for Tangerine, have added further benefits. This is especially apparent for visibility and allocation of stock. Ensphere have provided Tangerine with a bespoke solution that enables the business to automatically allocate stock and orders during out of office hours; a request from one of Tangerine’s largest customers. This enabled the business to benefit from the considerable commitment of future orders without the need to increase staff working hours or employ a team to meet the additional demand.

Ensphere have also enhanced the barcoding option for Tangerine. Handheld scanners are used across all seven sites and by the company’s outsourced warehouse and distribution providers. They help manage the complexities of stock movement, produce shipping notifications, electronically transfer files and confirm receipt of the goods by the end user.


Tony Farrar, Group IT Manager of Tangerine Confectionery explains what makes Ensphere different:

“I’ve worked with Wayne and his team for around 10 years. During that time Wayne has become a very trusted advisor. My team and I have complete confidence in the advice that Wayne and the Ensphere team give us. We have developed a working relationship that has evolved from supplier/customer into a successful partnership. Both parties work together seamlessly in order to ensure that our Sage solution continues to perform to its optimum as the needs of our business change.

What impresses me immensely about Wayne and Ensphere though is their ‘can do’ attitude and the speed at which they respond to our requests. We operate a 24/7 environment, Tangerine simply can’t function as a business without our ERP solution and this does bring challenges. However, the Ensphere team clearly put themselves in our shoes; they appreciate that we can’t always wait until a Monday morning to solve a query. I know that I can call Wayne personally at any time of the day or night and he will do his utmost to resolve my query quickly and efficiently.

Ensphere continually work with us to help Tangerine save money and improve our efficiencies. They are proactive, supporting and incredibly knowledgeable, to the extent that they probably know our business processes as well, if not better than we do!

For Tangerine it’s not just about the solutions, it’s about the team that support us every day to keep our business running. That’s what Ensphere do so well and that’s why 10 years down the line I still choose Wayne and his team.”