Aryzta Chooses Blacksmith Applications TPM to Replace Vistex

Blacksmith Applications comes out on top in a head to head competition with Vistex.

ARYZTA’s VP of Commercial Finance tells us why Blacksmith’s tools, team and thought leadership made the decision to switch simple.


Welcome to one of our newest customers:


“Blacksmith Applications is the leader in the space.”


Brian Miller, Vice President of Commercial Finance @ ARYZTA


Brian Miller started as the Vice President of Commercial Finance at ARYZTA in March 2019 and immediately set out to assess the company’s trade tools.

ARYZTA, an international leader in frozen foodservice baked goods, had been using Vistex for approximately twelve years.

The company needed to find a new trade and sales planning platform that would give Miller’s finance team the visibility they desperately needed while enabling niche functionality that would better support their indirect-heavy business model.

Miller was familiar with Blacksmith Applications from his involvement in the Tyson Foods decision to implement Blacksmith’s enterprise TPM solution, FORGE.

He knew Blacksmith’s team and tools would work for ARYZTA and provided the following insight on perspectives that motivated the decision to choose Blacksmith:


Perspective on Vistex
Perspective on Blacksmith Applications 
Inability to manage indirect business programs and transactions.
Mastery of indirect business transactions and processes.
Claims processing was poorly designed.
Ease of use across settlements and contracts – a major benefit.
Virtually no reporting available.
Immediate access to a suite of reports available at go-live. Visibility and insights right away.
No industry insight from personnel.
A strong pool of talent with folks who understand the industry. Deep foodservice knowledge.
Lacking best practices for implementation.
Supportive in determining the best implementation design for Aryzta’s business.
Lacking innovative business-specific functionality for CPG foodservice needs.
Purpose-built and continuously innovating. Especially well designed for an indirect, foodservice-heavy business.
Lack of financial control across the business.
Demonstrated ability (backed by customer referrals) to deliver strong financial control. Audit friendly.



Watch 2-minute demo videos to learn more about
FORGE and our other applications.


The Challenges:

Miller described the preexisting state by saying, “Things were just broken. Indirect accruals weren’t working. Fund close-outs weren’t working. Claims processing was poorly designed. There were probably five or six things that simply didn’t function properly.”


“Things [with Vistex]

were just broken.”


The legacy system would allow you to overspend accruals and didn’t have anything in place to stop it. Key controls were missing across the board in the design. Miller attributes this to a lack of industry knowledge.

ARYZTA had been trying to work with Vistex to get the foundation right for some time without success.

This made it an easy decision to switch to Blacksmith Applications. ARYZTA really needed to start from square one and the best reset would be with a partner who could fix the problems of the past.

While some IT stakeholders questioned the decision to move away from their SAP-native legacy system, Miller countered by pointing out that a native integration poses no benefit in this case because the tool was not working as it should.

Since ARYZTA didn’t have any reporting coming through Vistex, this further nullified concerns about interfaces vs. integration. After several customer referral conversations, IT was convinced.


Does your company need proof that a new TPM system will work better than the legacy approach? Let us know and we’ll put you in touch with one of our customers to learn more about Blacksmith Applications.


Blacksmith Applications will Restore Financial Control:

Doing nothing would have serious consequences. The lack of existing financial controls would require offline file management to mitigate risk and Miller knew that option would be error-prone.

Bullish for change, he put together a cost-benefit analysis for his CFO supporting the decision to switch TPM vendors. The evaluation addressed cost avoidance, cost savings, and efficiencies.

He explained how ARYZTA will gain visibility to indirect volume and spend with better analytics against contracts. “With Blacksmith, you start with a strong suite of reports right out of the gate,” Miller confirmed.


“Blacksmith starts you off with a strong suite of reports right out of the gate.”


This visibility will allow ARYZTA to set pricing from a more informed position. It will help with RFP pricing. The internal P&L in Blacksmith’s application is incredibly thorough. The list of benefits is measurable and long.

Miller describes Blacksmith Applications as “the leader in this space.” ARYZTA will be using the FORGE TPM solution for both foodservice and retail trade planning and management. Miller raves that FORGE is user-friendly.

“It has all the core functionality and there’s always an effort to improve the tool. I’ve seen it in the past and it’s come a very long way since day one because of Blacksmith’s commitment to innovation.”


Brian Miller won the award for TPM Evangelism in 2017 for his work at Tyson Foods



DISCLAIMER: Information shared within this article related to perspectives on the Vistex product is purely rooted in singular customer feedback. The experiences of other customers may vary.


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