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Welcoming Sam Hopson: From Client to Employee

Team NotaZone welcomes Samantha Hopson and discusses her journey from being a NotaZone user to NotaZome implimentation Consultant


We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Sam Hopson as NotaZone’s new Implementation Consultant. Sam, formerly the Head of Operations at Bakedin, one of our valued clients, brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to our team. 

What makes Sam’s appointment special is not just her wealth of knowledge as an operational manager within a growing food business but also her intimate familiarity with NotaZone’s product suite. 

How are you feeling about joining NotaZone as our new Implementation Consultant?

Having spent 7 years working for a food producer, I am thrilled to be part of NotaZone’s team and assist new businesses with onboarding and utilising NotaZone to its fullest potential. 

Honestly, it’s a little nerve-wracking to join an IT company, when I would describe my skills as intermediate at best. But having used NotaZone for years as a Production Manager, and then Head of Operations, I know it can be really user-friendly. 

NotaZone allows its users a lot of options on how to make it match what you do and the way they produce, so I am excited to see how I can help other businesses, as I have been in their shoes.

How did you find using NotaZone as a Production Manager? 

When getting started, it did take a little trial and error to best decide how to fit what we had been doing for a couple of years on paper, to digital, significantly changing the mind-sets of ‘we’ve always done it this way’. 

But once the benefits of knowing what you’ve got in stock at that time (so yes, sales can squeeze in one more order onto a production run), and not needing a filing cabinet's worth of clipboards to keep track of all the current paperwork came through, it won even the most stubborn of us over.

How helpful was NotaZone during Audits?

It was during our first audit that I knew I was smitten with NotaZone. A few clicks produced multiple traceability reports in minutes! This was something that had previously taken us up to 90 minutes due to the need to go back through our physical record keeping to meet requirements.      

How flexible did you find NotaZone as a user?

As we scaled up, we had to change things up again. We were regularly utilising interim to be able to manage our production stages more effectively, adding sales formats, and being able to produce custom labels and documents for our bigger (and more demanding) supermarket customer. 

With Kayleigh and Andy’s endless patience and help, we could meet new customer requirements, grow our processes, produce more cost-effective batches with forecasting, and better company communication regarding future orders and available stock. 

NotaZone was even able to develop ingredient inheritance into recipes at our request.  

How useful was NotaZone during the administrative process?

Sadly 2023 has been a tough year for food producers. We have all seen relentless price increases on our ingredients, staff and production costs have risen, and PRN’s cost is a small fortune. 

With dwindling spending on luxury products, and so many other pressures, the company went into administration. When we got the news (and after quite a few tears), we contacted NotaZone as the reports from NotaZone were essential in understanding the company’s assets for the auditor. 

The team continued using NotaZone until the last day as we cleared inventory and ran other administrative tasks.

Any last thoughts for the future?

While the last few months have been challenging, it has opened a unique door for me professionally. I am excited to see behind the curtain of NotaZone and try out some of the tools and functions I didn't get to utilise before in my previous company.  I have still got a lot to learn and I’ve joined a great team so I am enthusiastic about this next chapter. 

I look forward to meeting businesses as they begin their journey with NotaZone and geek out over all their HACCP plans (and hopefully try out some of their delicious products!)

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