Oy E. Boström Ab is a traditional family bakery located in Lepplax, in Ostrobothnia. The company’s main market is in Finland and 20% of the turnover is from export to Sweden. The bakery delivers products both under their own brand and under store brands. The bakery follows the food industry standards ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 in their production.
As operations and production capacity grew, the manual production planning done using the old ERP wasn’t meeting requirements. At the same time, the need arose for better purchasing operation solutions. There was also a wish for help in fulfilling the quality standard requirements.
“Simply a lot of benefits and a great investment.”
Annika Boström, CEO, Oy E. Boström Ab
It was the bakery’s goal to find a transparent and flexible control model for the planning and management of production and tools to support it. The Expak solution was used to increase automation and predictability in daily work. The goal was an easy-to-use planning solution for the needs of sales, production and purchasing. The desire was to have planning serve the needs of production and purchasing as well as improve predictions, both on a short and long timespan. At the same time, the solution should cut down on manual work – no more manual maintaining of monitoring, predictions or control values in the ERP.
The bakery chose to use Expak’s program and Roima Intelligence’s MES, which were connected to the ERP.
Using Expak, production planning has become faster and more precise. Using the program, the production planner immediately knows whether there is a need for manufacture or not. At the moment, it is possible to plan the production need of the following week in a few hours and changes in situations can be responded to immediately.
Once the production plan has been verified, the restocking needs of purchasing are checked. The program updates data and restock suggestion calculations automatically. This way, the restock suggestion for purchasing is always up-to-date and it clearly shows what needs to be ordered and what does not.
Using the prediction views, Boström can also predict future campaigns well in advance. With help of the predictions, the bakery can restock its production stock with the right product batches also for longer periods. Unified planning enables the flexible meeting of customer needs in the short and long run.
Using the program, production planning and purchasing takes about 3 to 4 hours per week. That’s less than half the time it previously took. Additionally, human errors as well as raw material and material deficiencies have decreased while delivery reliability has increased.
Expak’s solution was implemented in stages. The first stage included the implementation of reporting, predictions and production planning and the restock suggestions for purchasing were implemented in the second stage. During the challenging project, supplier accessibility has remained good. Corrections and development work have been done smoothly along the way.
“The basic requirements need to be in order. The most important thing is that the balances are right and the calculation results are reliable. When a deficiency or need for change has come up, the boys at Expak have fixed and implemented changes beautifully,” says Boström.
“A common-sense and easy-to-use solution.”
Annika Boström, CEO, Oy E. Boström Ab
The family bakery has low staff turnover and many long-time employees. “The oldest employees were hired during my father’s time. The youngest employees were born in the 1990’s. We have a mix of people, from confectioners to BBAs,” says Boström.
A wide variety of employees requires the program to be easy to use. “It can’t be that some use it and some don’t. All employees should know how to use the system, and there can’t be many mistakes,” says Boström and continues “It is important that the system is easy to use for everyone.”
A lot of work was put into making the system easy to use. “We have developed a good solution using common sense. The parts that pertain to purchasing were designed with the purchasing department, the parts pertaining to production were designed with production,” says Boström.
Expak’s reliability has been excellent throughout. “The program has been 100% reliable. It has been out of use briefly only two times. Once during a power outage at our production facility and the second time was due to changing servers,” says Boström.
Using Expak, the bakery can now meet the requirements of customers, legislature and quality standards. The program uses production capacity in a more efficient way, optimizes stocks and purchases and automates reports for quality standard and customer requirements.
“Finnish bakeries struggle a lot with profitability and the import of goods from abroad is increasing. The more efficient use of machines, staff and raw materials is the answer to the toughening competition. You can manage well, if you do things smartly,” says Boström.
“This solution is already brilliant for our needs. In practice, the production predictions, purchasing suggestions and traceability reports produced by the program completely automatically equal the workload of one person or even more,” summarizes Boström. The development cooperation continues. “The program evolves all the time and I have a few suggestions to make it even better,” says Annika Boström.