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Continental Biscuit Manufacturers

Continental Biscuit Manufacturers

New Production and Finance System Raises Baker’s Customer Focus


Established in 1976, Brisbane-based Continental Biscuit Manufacturers (CBM) produces baked goods for the infant and toddler market. The company’s manufacturing and financial systems were heavily dependent on manual processing so performance data took a long time to compile.

With output increasing and plans to upgrade its manufacturing equipment, CBM wanted a system that would help manage planning and production and enable ready access to key business data. Dialog Information Technology, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, recommended Microsoft Dynamics AX.

With a single enterprise resource planning system, CBM streamlined its production processes and gained access to up-to-the-minute financial information.

"Dynamics AX enables us to negotiate more proactively with suppliers, and ensures our orders are correct and delivered on time." -  Rod Bower, Operations Manager, Continental Biscuit  Manufacturers


CBM wanted to expand operations and upgrade its manufacturing processes, but its decade-old manufacturing management system threatened to hold the company back.

“The system was cumbersome and difficult to use, and we struggled to get our  month-end financial reports done on time,” explains Rod Bower, Operations Manager, CBM. “It could take up to three weeks before we saw our finalised financials.”

Data had to be transferred manually between the manufacturing system and other finance and logistics systems. This caused delays and obscured the overall view of essential business information.

“We didn’t have an instant picture of our inventory, supplier contracts and pricing information,” says Bower.

CBM relied on manual processes to track raw materials used in production. It wanted to link customers’ forecasts of how much they wanted to buy and when with production planning, which governs the purchase of ingredients and packaging.

CBM wanted to improve its ability to trace raw materials through more streamlined processes. If a product needed to be recalled from supermarket shelves, CBM needed to trace that product’s ingredients back through the supply chain.


CBM went to market in late 2007. Its goal: to find an integrated production, logistics and management system that could manage complex stock tracking in the food industry.

CBM spent a lot of time looking at how different systems managed the manufacturing process, in particular baking formulas. CBM needed a system that could give managers visibility on raw materials, blending, production, packaging and batch-tracking.

“Dialog's Dynamics Practice had experience in manufacturing and they understood our type of business. But they also took the time to understand what we were really looking for. They listened to what we wanted, and that’s really important when you’re a family owned and operated company.”

In addition, Microsoft Dynamics AX is being used to automate a part of the production planning process that previously relied on hand-written forms. This now enables the company to electronically link customer forecasts with sales order planning.

“This was a long-term investment for us, and we wanted to get the back-office systems right before enhancing the solution,” says Bower.



Following its successful initial deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX, CBM can clearly track company finances from month to month against key performance indicators.

“Instead of taking a month, compiling end-of-month financials now takes us one or two days,” says Bower. “But far more importantly, we can view up-to-date financial information whenever we need to.”

CBM can also retrieve customer and supplier information faster and track contractual agreements with greater accuracy.

CBM can now check multiple vendor prices quickly in Dynamics AX. It enables CBM to negotiate more proactively with suppliers and ensures orders are correct and delivered on time. And if a customer requests it, CBM can trace the relevant production information with minimal effort.

The Dialog solution can link customer forecasts with our sales order planning, and match quality-control testing with CBM's inventory data. Matching system inventory against actual stock on hand gives a better idea of the true financial position.

Future Plans

CBM will continue to work with Dialog to develop the Microsoft Dynamics AX solution. This includes deploying new modules: materials requirements planning, and quality control.


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