Bowen Pies Logo

Case Study – Bowen Pies, Wigan

Background

Bowen Pies are an established, award-winning producer of homemade pies and puddings. Initially operating from a butcher’s shop in 1994, today, the Lancashire firm operates from their dedicated bakery in Chorley, supplying to their retail outlets as well as to wholesale customers across the North West.

Challenge

Bowen Pies wanted a system that would complement their processes but would automate and give traceability for ingredients used in their pie production.

Solution

After discussing Bowen Pies’ requirements, Stevens proposed and implemented the Essentials Traceability System. The Essentials Traceability System is a modularised system, meaning software modules can be added or switched on as and when the customer needs it, and this was the case for Bowen Pies.

Bowen Pies invested in the Essentials Traceability System to utilise its ‘stock’ functionality, together with benefitting from accurate weighing and recipe consistency. Despite not yet switching the ‘stock’ function on, Bowen Pies are utilising the ‘production’ module, and have an Essentials station in their weigh-up area, where their operators use the Essentials unit to accurately weigh ingredients for their pie recipes.

Within ‘Stevens Management’, recipes are input into the software, together with the ingredients and commodities used within Bowen Pies’ production process. Certain information, such as ingredient weights and tolerances* are shared to the operator terminal (*dictated by Management), giving operators accurate information to produce batches.

When operators bring ingredients from stores for weigh-up, operators either scan the product barcode or enter the LOT number into the Stevens system. This means that ingredients used in product batches are traceable, and this information is visible on Batch End Reports which are an automated report from Stevens.

When weighing-out ingredients, the ingredients will already be pre-entered within the Stevens software, and tolerances will have been set. On the Stevens terminal, there is a dial, and when ingredients are put onto the scale, the dial indicates that the quantity poured is within tolerance. This means ingredients are weighed accurately and there are no wasted ingredients.

A batch-end label is then printed from the Stevens system and applied to the ingredient filled container. The label details the product type, batch number, recipe and quantity which is used in the mixing area by the operators mixing the ingredients for the recipes.

 

Result

Bowen Pies are at the beginning of their electronic traceability journey; however, they have already benefited from implementing the Essentials Traceability System. Operators are accurately weighing ingredients thanks to the set tolerances in the software and easy-to-use operator terminal. This has already reduced ingredient waste.

Through the reports package and automated process, the management team has better visibility and traceability of ingredients used in their pies and puddings.

The Batch End Report provides Bowen Pies with information about all batches, including completed batches and ingredients used in these batches, so that they can order stock accordingly. They can also see on the report any suspended or aborted batches so they can investigate why this has happened and identify any patterns and change their processes if required.