is an innovative manufacturer of baked goods from the United States. It has supplied baked goods to restaurant chains in 20 countries worldwide for more than 70 years. Bama emphasises the importance of “business to business” relationships in the food and drink industry; focusing its efforts on cooperating with quick service, fast casual and casual dining restaurants.
Bama opened its first plant in Europe, in Stanowice near Wrocław, in 2012. The plant employs about 50 people and features state-of-the-art production equipment.
Bama Companies’ first plant in Europe was a “green field” investment. The plant needed an ERP solution with features and modules that would support the introduction of efficient processes in key areas of the company’s activities: finance, sales, purchases, resource management, and above all else, production and quality control. Focus on product quality that was the key determinant in how processes were organised. For this reason, it was needed to implement mechanisms that would allow for supervising the production process by monitoring ingredient consumption and time workers spent in individual workstation groups, as well as a flexible scheduling of production orders. The system also required implementation of product lot tracking functionality during the production stage and in the warehouse.
The company decided to work on a proven solution adoptions, adopting it as a set of best practices and processes for company organisation. That is why it chose to implement standard Microsoft Dynamics NAV functions in areas such as accounting, reporting, sales and purchasing.
The project was split into stages, according to Microsoft’s Sure Step methodology. In stage one, accounting, purchases, sales and production processes were implemented. Stage two included sophisticated production order control logic and warehouse logistics based on designated storage areas and SSCCs, as well as the add-on modules: Advanced Accounting and Banking Systems.
A benefit of Microsoft Dynamics NAV‘s architecture that was particularly essential for Bama was that the system enabled a flexible approach to defining application components within the standard solution framework. For example, due to the necessity of defining specific analytical overviews of accounting data, additional dimensions had to be defined. The capability of creating and validating custom dimensions is a standard feature of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Similarly, when processing currency operations, the system enables the user to customize them using the multicurrency finctionality.
Bama uses Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s standard production planning tools, such as production forecasting, planning sheets and schedules, production calendars and process routes. Due to the necessity of using SSCC codes to log finished products, we added a custom table to store finished product data. Finished products are registered using barcode scanners immediately after SSCC labels are printed. This significantly improves product transfer to the warehouse and logistic processes.
We introduced similar facilities as part of efforts to log the worktime of individual workstations and workstation groups Due to the large number of workstations and workstation groups, we also automated the time logging process. We upgraded the production log to offer an option for scanning barcodes printed on dedicated workstation or workstation groups’ work reports. The data included in the code (production work order, ID of the workstation/workstation group or the operation ID) is read and validated in individual lines of the production log and subsequently handed over to the production manager.
By using bar codes, accounting for raw material usage was also improved. The code on the inventory usage form enables the system to read information such as work order ID or route linking codes. The system then uses this information to add another line in the log to account for inventory usage.
The solutions introduced during the production stage, related to marking individual finished products and batches, are essential for quality control. In addition to the lot tracking feature, the quality control process relies on the quality data recorded in the lot directory in the form of descriptive comments. Moreover, Microsoft Dynamics NAV supports blocking and unblocking of batches in the batch directory during the quality control stage. Should any irregularity be discovered in a batch, such as a defect or deficiency, the system will record all actions taken.
Quality issues are also important in the warehouse. Dividing the site into zones has made it possible to group materials and finished products accordingly. For example, it was necessary to distinguish “Allergenic” and “Non-allergenic” zones. Such divisions can be defined using the system’s standard features. However, we enriched the solution by adding automated blocking of allergenic material transfers to the non-allergenic zones. We also similarly expanded the standard lot blocking function.
One of the fundamental assumptions for the implementation project at Bama Europa was to accept, in the largest scope possible, the solutions applied in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Given that these solutions were understood to represent a set of best practices, tried and tested in numerous other enterprises. Due to such an approach, implementation process was streamlined and scope of necessary modifications was reduced. IT.integro‘s experience in process optimisation and its rich food industry portfolio were major factors in the project’s success.
Optimal use of system flexibility,
Minimized expenses for modifications,
Limited project costs thanks to smooth implementation,
Faster system deployment and user training,
Easier system usage thanks to utilization of standard solutions,
Streamlined processes in all areas of the company's operations: reporting, analyses, order processing and work order management,
Elimination of possible errors resulting from modification,
Simplified integration of required modifications, additional modules and features specific to Poland,
Barcode-based automation of inventory management, inventory usage monitoring and worktime logging,
Implementation of ready product identification based on SSCCs (Serial Shipping Container Codes),
Implementation of mechanisms supporting quality control,
Easier reporting to the US global head office,
Simpler banking transactions thanks to implementation of the Banking Systems module
Simpler and cheaper system upgrades in the future.