What Every Bakery ERP or Inventory Solution Should Have

A group of workers working in a Bakery factory and using Panni bakery ERP software in Canada

A thriving bakery produces high quantities of delicious goods with extremely limited shelf lives. So, running a successful bakery is largely a balancing act of producing enough high-quality products to meet demand while also being sure to minimize the waste caused by short shelf lives – and that is just one part. 

To maintain its reputation and high levels of efficiency, a bakery should use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system like Sage X3 and customized especially for the baking industry. 

What kinds of features and functions should we expect such a system to have? Here is a list of non-negotiable functions that every bakery ERP solution should have. 

Ingredient/Inventory Management

Your bakery needs to keep an optimal stock of ingredients at all times. You don’t want to near a production run only to find you don’t have enough of a key ingredient. You will most likely experience delays in restocking, resulting in shortages of products on shelves. With a bakery management system, this won’t happen. You will be able to keep track of ingredients and receive alerts when stocks start to get too low. You can add items to a database, along with costs, measurements, vendor information, and more. As you bake and sell your goods, the system will automatically adjust stock levels, keeping you up to date on the status of your pantry. You can also note the expiry date of perishable ingredients, and the system will help you ensure that you use them in time. This leads to better shelf-life management and customer experience.

Order Management

Order management helps you keep track of specific orders, whether regular or customized, bulk or individual. With effective order management, you don’t get quantities or special requests wrong, and you don’t lose or forget orders. The software will present orders in an all-in-one view. You will be able to scroll through past and current orders, cutting down on confusion and delays. You can also go through your past orders and get a good sense of which items are most popular overall, or at certain times. You can thus plan ahead, prepare for seasonal demand changes, develop more effective marketing strategies, maintain the efficiency of your processes, and never miss an order or get one wrong. 

Detailed Reporting

Detailed reporting is essential for any business. With a customized ERP system, you can create detailed reports for your bakery business. These reports will give you valuable insights into your operations so that you will know where your money is being invested, how it is being used, and how well your investments are doing. You can get a bigger picture view of your business, as well as detailed examinations of every aspect of your business. With these reports on hand, you will be better equipped to identify bottlenecks in your operations and implement strategies to fix them.

A bakery management system has daily, hourly, monthly, and annual reports, which will help you carry out a more in-depth analysis of raw materials and sales. Reports might include sales reports, serial item reports, tax reports, tips reports, inventory aging reports, time clock reports, and stock reports.

Central Kitchen Management

Central kitchen management makes it easier to handle many orders across various outlets simultaneously. You can view lists of all the items you have baked, sold, delivered, or wasted and use these numbers to make decisions about your business going forward. Managing receipts will also become more streamlined, as each invoice can be accessed from this central point.

Expiration Management

One of the most important parts of running a bakery is shelf life management. You need to ensure freshness and ensure that goods are sold before they can go stale. Your staff must make sure that date ranges are recorded correctly and that goods are sold using the first-expiry, first-out (FEFO) system. 

Expiration management does not only apply to your final products but to your ingredients as well. Any ingredients that you don’t use before their expiry dates can’t be used to make your delicious baked treats and, therefore, go to waste, costing your business money. Spoilage is extremely bad for business. Anything you need to throw away because you are not able to use it in time constitutes a financial loss. It is a cost that you need to write off. 

It is not always easy to avoid these losses if you are managing your facilities manually. Your bakery ERP system has tools that are dedicated to expiration management. It will help your staff to pick the right quantities of raw materials at the right times so you can effectively use your inventory while minimizing wastage. It will also help you ensure that items are sold well before their shelf life ends so that you can maintain your reputation for selling fresh, quality baked goods. Automatic alerts can be set up to notify your employees of any products approaching the end of their date ranges. You can then make sure to focus your sales efforts on those products before they go to waste and cost you money unnecessarily.   

Automation and Integrations

Good inventory management is a difficult job. There is so much to manage and so many variables up in the air, so it can become a tremendous challenge to keep everything under control. Doing it all by hand is time-consuming and prone to inaccuracy. Automating processes through barcode and QR code scanners is the preferred approach in bakeries. Whether capturing new stock or making a sale, the simple touch of a button enables you to record volumes, varieties, and other essential data. The system then uses that data to track your inventory from intake to production to final sale.

Your ERP platform has the capacity to integrate with your scanners wirelessly so that the system updates instantly with each item that is scanned either in the stock room, at the point of sale, or in the front of your store. Your staff can take care of data collection with greater ease and efficiency, freeing up more time to focus on other functions. In this way, automation boosts the overall functioning of your business. 

Inventory Forecasting

A thriving bakery doesn’t just run from day to day. You need to plan months in advance to ensure that you have sufficient supply to meet your customers’ demands in the future. You can then finetune your raw material orders, as well as your output schedules and quantities. By optimizing your stock levels with these insights, you can ensure that you’ll have enough supplies on hand at all times. You can anticipate surges in demand and seize revenue-earning opportunities. You can also foresee possible reductions in demand and scale back your purchases and production accordingly. You can prevent unnecessary waste and reduce costs. Seasonal declines are certain to occur in the baking industry, but your system can help you keep up with these cyclical shifts in demand. A bakery ERP system combines past sales data with upcoming trends to give you a complete and reliable picture of what your business is likely to experience in the coming months.

Real-Time Updates

Real-time updates help you ensure that you always know exactly what you have in your inventory. You will always have sufficient stock of ingredients, and you’ll know precisely how many items you still have available to sell. You can avoid critical shortages that result in lost income or could potentially prompt your customers to go to your competition.

You can also use inventory updates to improve your business practices and generate cost savings. You could take advantage of bulk discounts, for example, by keeping a close watch on your inventory and the room you have in your stockroom or warehouse. 

An advanced bakery ERP places all stock data into a single, easily accessible, organization-wide interface. You will always know that the numbers reflect the latest changes, and you can make informed, agile decisions in both the outgoing and incoming aspects of your business.

Customer Relationship Management

Bakery management is not only about inventories and expiration. The real test of your business is whether or not you can continue to satisfy your customers and maintain good relationships with them. Delivering a customer experience that keeps customers coming back is not as easy as it might seem, especially if you are a wholesale business that supplies to retailers or if you run a custom bakery that produces bespoke goods for specific orders. An ERP system includes customer relationship management capabilities that capture data from various sources and update it in a central location for easy access. You can recognize customers’ purchasing habits, run loyalty programs and create personalized marketing tools and tactics. You can generate customer profiles that include basic information, as well as insights on what each customer buys and when. You can also track trends to help you anticipate specific customer requirements. 

Ultimately, the ERP system you choose to help streamline operations in your bakery can have a significant impact on your time, cost, and customer satisfaction. This is why choosing a system that has all the necessary functions and capabilities is so important. 

Panni is an innovative Sage X3 solution provider and we help provide 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 our bakery ERP.

Transforming businesses since 2009

For over a decade, Panni has helped companies transform their businesses to lead, innovate and be profitable. With the right combination of technology and experienced developers and consultants, we help companies with Change Management to achieve the organizational objectives. We believe in long-term relationships with our clients and provide top-notch support with fast turnaround times.

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