Move it or lose it: the ins and outs of catering for a niche market

At Temptation Bakeries, continuous improvement isn’t just an industry catch phrase – it’s absolutely vital.

Temptation Bakeries started as a small regional bakery on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, but 21 years on the bakery has completed construction of its $2.5 million manufacturing plant in Melbourne.

Niche Markets

“As demand has grown, so has the need to increase productivity, along with having to regularly come up with new products,” CEO, Temptation Bakeries, Michael Ratcliff says.

“Things really started to ramp up and we had to keep pace. We knew we had to innovate if we were to be taken seriously for large contracts, but we had the willingness and creativity to think outside the square and come up with our own niche markets.”

Ratcliff says the up-front challenge was to be able to deliver a marked point of difference and maintain that, while the ongoing challenge has been to stay competitive in a country with high costs and low margins.

“We have actually capitalised on the advantages of being small and having the flexibility to bring together timely innovation, technology and business operations aimed at keeping costs down, while at the same time being able to deliver on rapidly shifting market demands,” he says.

“Finding and keeping business for Temptation means constant quality improvement, introducing new products to keep up with the changing demands of supply chain consumers. But that, says Ratcilff, is the advantage in being able to make short production runs profitable.

“Our company’s competitive advantage leverages off the combination of innovative and sustained new product development and a flexible manufacturing culture that expects and welcomes change.

“Running in tandem with all this, is the need to up the ante on our research and development to enable us to convert great ideas into manufacturing reality. This can require considerable investment of time and money.”

“It is a challenge,” says Ratcliff, “with the constant need to introduce new lines, but it helps ensure we stay at the top of our game.

“So continuous improvement isn’t just an industry catch phrase – it’s absolutely vital for us and for that matter, any business deadly serious about what they’re doing”.

Quality assurance has also been integral to their planning and development which has helped grow opportunities for their branded and house branded products and has been at the forefront of the company’s latest expansion.

Manufacturing Plant Upgrade

Last financial year, Temptation produced around 32 million individual products. With the completion of its new $2.5 million plant and expansion of its technological capabilities, the company is aiming to double its output within 3-5 years.

“We now have the capabilities of a complete, high efficiency, test kitchen-to- consumer -ready production line,” Ratcliff explains.

The blueprint included segregated zones aimed at meeting the most stringent quality control standards for manufacture and hygiene.

Separate areas for preparation and post baking are designed for the premium care of products prior to wrapping and packing to ensure sustained quality and freshness. The facilities also accommodate increased storage of finished goods. Overall, it means significant efficiencies in the production, packaging, storage and dispatch all on the one site.

The company employs around 100 people and Ratcliff hopes to be able to recruit more as they progress.

Temptation Bakeries

W: www.temptation.com.au

P: (03) 9773 4800



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