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May 16, 2014

Business management system makes food manufacturing a piece of cake

Cottage Delight now has tighter inventory control and improved reporting and forecasting information.

By Duncan Macrae

UK-based speciality food manufacturer, Cottage Delight, has exceeded its two-year transformation targets with the roll out of a tailored Microsoft Dynamics AX solution from K3 Business Solutions.

The business management system has integrated supply chain management, trade and logistics, finance, accounting and production procedures, resulting in one version of enterprise data and improved operational efficiency.

In addition to giving departments across Cottage Delight better functionality, K3’s solution is said to have safeguarded future business growth by enabling the manufacturer to configure the system to the way it wanted to do business.

Following the success of the initial roll out, Cottage Delight asked K3 to expand its business management capabilities, including tighter inventory control and improved reporting and forecasting information. Among the core improvements made by the latest solution are automated labelling functionality such as batch expiry date, shelf life and best before days, and a pre-programmed ‘stop’ command when product availability runs out. Both these features have proven vital during Cottage Delight’s pre-Christmas trading, which accounts for 50% of its total annual business.

Jason Moody, Managing Director at Cottage Delight, said: "In order to keep up with constant demand and create new customer experiences, we have to be on top of our game. K3 is willing to grow with us at our pace and this is helping make the period of change a very positive experience for us all."

Microsoft Dynamics AX draws together the different phases of the manufacturing, sales and dispatch journey to highlight a more comprehensive reporting process, which enables cost savings in key areas of the business. Cottage Delight is now in a better position to review simple issues like managing procurement channels and planning for less waste in batch manufacturing.

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"When we went live with the new AX system we believed that we would see the first year of operation as being challenging, the second as a making up period, as we thought there may be internal friction within the business, and the third year as our blossoming period," Moody added."Already we are entering the blossoming stage earlier than expected and we are convinced that we can get even more out of the system during 2014."

Cottage Delight speciality foods to retail outlets, garden centres, farm shops and delicatessens throughout the UK. Established in Leek, Staffordshire in 1974 and owned by Nigel Cope, the company is a small, medium enterprise and is a family run operation with 150 staff.

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