As a business, baking requires a notably high skill level – precision is needed both in the kitchen and the shopfront. It’s been said that cooking is an art, but baking is a science. Each cake or loaf of bread needs a precise blend of just the right ingredients in just the right proportions, baked at a specific temperature for a specific amount of time. Once the goods are ready to be sold, an equal amount of precision goes into managing the stock for factors such as freshness, hygiene, and overall customer satisfaction.
Maintaining a successful bakery business, therefore, involves a number of challenges. Luckily, these challenges can easily be managed and overcome through effective bakery ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems.
Shelf Life Management
Freshness is perhaps the most important variable in a successful bakery business. It is vital to ensure that every customer has an enjoyable experience with every cookie, loaf, muffin, or cake sold. Bakeries need to make sure that only the freshest and most appetizing goods are sold. Ensuring freshness can be a difficult task at times, especially since most baked goods have a very short shelf life. Recording and tracking expiration dates by hand or using a simple spreadsheet is too time-consuming. Plus, these methods are not guaranteed to be accurate, and mistakes can be extremely costly to your business.
The solution is effective electronic expiration date management – a key feature of bakery ERP systems. Tedious, inaccurate, manual processes (such as tracking your inventory and its shelf-life) can be minimized, so you can save time and money and ensure that freshness is prioritized in the products you sell.
Supply Chain Disruptions
Broken supply chains are something that food and beverage businesses often have to deal with. The emphasis on freshness, as well as the fact that certain products simply cannot be produced without key ingredients, mean that supply chain problems are a serious issue for bakeries. Bakery ERP systems overcome this problem with enhanced planning and distribution functions. These systems help bakers to keep the right balance of inputs and materials by making sales order lines visible to managers.
Food safety is non-negotiable for bakeries. Failing to manage health concerns, like allergies or food sensitivities, can potentially lead to the closure of your business, government penalties, or bad reviews at the very least. Many of the foods listed on several countries’ lists of most problematic allergens – eggs, milk, or wheat – are used in the majority of baked goods. Allergen control is therefore also important for the successful running of a bakery.
Bakery ERP systems provide ingredient segregation and proper labeling functions to help you keep allergens away from allergen-free products and cross-contamination. Clear, accurate labeling ensures that allergic customers can avoid problematic food products, maintaining their health and your reputation and compliance.
Keeping Up With Customer Preferences
Customers are always on the lookout for new food products that either offer a novel taste experience or satisfy their dietary requirements, for example, low-carb, gluten-free, etc. With customer demands quickly and consistently changing, it can be a challenge to keep an eye on these shifting preferences and adjust your product offerings accordingly.
Bakery ERP systems include product lifecycle management (PLM), giving bakeries the ability to conceptualize, formulate, and test new baked goods tailored to these emerging preferences.
Panni is an innovative Sage X3 solution provider. We help numerous businesses every day by providing flexible, comprehensive, and customizable ERP systems for every sector, including bakeries. Our systems enable you to gain and maintain complete control over your production process from start to finish. Contact us to find out how we can optimize your business through bakery ERP.