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Bakery ERP Features to Solve Your Business’s Key Concerns

Bakery ERP Features to Solve Your Business’s Key Concerns

Bakery ERP Features to Solve Your Business’s Key Concerns

Sep 14, 2021

Jack Payne
Freshly baked bread cools on a rack.

Your bakery business is a busy, complex operation. The variety of ingredients used in your products is substantial, and your processes are fine-tuned down to the tiniest of details. After all, that’s what it takes to bring premium offerings to market that will delight today’s discerning consumers.

But with so many responsibilities and considerations demanding your attention, how can you possibly juggle priorities and keep them all straight? From capturing complete data on your raw materials as they are received to shipping orders to the right customers and everything in between, there’s far too much for any team to handle on its own.

Technology—specifically, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed for bakeries like yours—is the answer to this conundrum. Only food ERP solutions that are purpose-built for the sector will have all of the functionalities necessary to navigate your unique challenges.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key features of bakery ERP and how they can serve your company. With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be equipped to compete in even the most competitive of marketplaces.

Bi-Directional Traceability and Allergen Tracking

Traceability is a hot topic in the world of food and beverage, and it may well be more crucial in the bakery segment than in any other. The nature of your processes—which entail the combining of many different ingredients and rendering them into a wholly new form—complicates the matter of maintaining complete information on both raw materials and finished goods.

Luckily, advanced ERP solutions like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP have the capabilities necessary to trace everything that moves through your facilities back to the source, forward to the final destination and at all critical tracking points along the way. Capture of even the most granular of data is made easier via integrations with smart technology, including connected sensors and handheld scanners.

Critically, the best ERP for bakeries also have built-in precautions for ingredients with allergen concerns. And considering at least some of your products likely contain wheat, milk and eggs—which are on the FDA’s list of the eight major food allergens—this is functionality you must have.

Keeping these materials separate from the lines that should not contain them and properly labelling the goods that do contain them keeps your consumers safe. It also satisfies your responsibilities in terms of food safety compliance.

And should a contamination occur, only with the detailed traceability records that a bakery ERP creates and maintains can you be assured of your ability to determine the source of the issue, identify what’s been affected and enact a withdrawal or recall if necessary.

Complete Inventory Management

An equally important concern is knowing exactly what ingredients you have on hand, ensuring you have adequate supplies for production and making the best use out of what you have by avoiding unnecessary waste. Spreadsheets simply can’t contain and properly organize the amount of information you need on your inventory, so it’s best left to the inventory management features of industry-specific ERP.

With the information that a bakery ERP automatically captures, you’ll know down to the lot number exactly where your materials are in your facilities, when they’re set to expire and any other relevant details. That facilitates optimal picking practices, including following a first-expiry, first-out (FEFO) methodology that serves to reduce spoilage and get the most out of your resources.

Superior systems are also capable of triggering automatic re-ordering when your stocks drop below the thresholds you set. With that technology working for you, you’ll never have to worry about running out of a key ingredient at the wrong time.

Robust Recipe and Formula Features

Baking is a science, and the recipes and formulas that your brand is known for are valuable assets that need to be perfected and safeguarded. Bakery ERP platforms are built upon this assumption and thus have the tools required to ensure that your own precise specifications are met with each batch.

Another advantage of this functionality is the freedom with which your R&D teams will have to innovate. With gluten-free, low-carb and seasonal varieties all popular in the market, you’d be well-served to experiment with your own offerings that align with such trends, and a good ERP can empower your people to develop exciting new product lines for your company.

The end goal is to maintain your excellent reputation with repeat customers, meeting and exceeding their expectations with the goods they’ve grown to love. ERP for bakery manufacturing can bring you much closer to making that a reality.

Financial Tools for Costing, Sales and Profitability

At the end of the day, your bakery is a business, and you need to be able to tie all the other information in your systems back to the dollars and cents that you spend and earn through your operations. Intelligently designed ERP solutions integrate the financial side of your organization within its single unified interface, making sure it all adds up.

You deal with a relatively large number of suppliers in the baking industry, as your needs range from grains grown on farms to oils and flavorings developed in factory settings. Solutions like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP will make it easy to sort out the differing costs associated with source in your supply chain.

Likewise, such a system can also handle many different sales outlets with ease, whether the majority of your clients are based in foodservice, retail or a mixture of the two. You’ll also be able to enter any special considerations for certain customers, including negotiated discounts and billing preferences.

Finally, bakery ERP also have excellent analytic capabilities, letting you dig deep into the numbers to find out what products are most profitable and how those that are lagging can be brought back into a more desirable range. With the right platform acting as your foundation, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions that positively impact your bottom line.

Airtight Quality and Compliance

Completing all necessary quality and regulatory compliance checks is time-consuming and pain-staking work that should be left to technology designed for such tasks. Even the best of employees are prone to make occasional errors or forget steps from time to time. Good ERP systems automate these processes and make it a matter of course that all necessary measurements and evaluations are made without error every time.

In bakery, everything from cooking temperatures to finished color and shape can have important impacts on quality perceptions. Bakery ERPs let you build in your own acceptable ranges for both quantitative and qualitative assessments and then integrate with your smart sensors and scales to automatically log readings and report on deviations.

On the matter of compliance, you know how vital it is to adhere to the standards of governing bodies, and there’s really no better way to ensure that you’re covered than with the tools and triggers that ERP for bakeries provide. Automatically scheduling your own regular checks and internal audits according to the regulations pertinent for your location really can be that simple when you select a system built with the right capabilities.

Taking Your Bakery Operations to a New Level

Regardless of where your bakery organization stands in its lifecycle, you can gain a significant advantage through the implementation of a bakery ERP. Many businesses like yours have selected this technology as the basis for their digital transformation, and for good reason.

Keep in mind how crucial it is that the system you select was built with the bakery sector in mind. Without the right care and purpose behind creating a segment-specific offering, you might find that you’re still scrambling to confront your unique challenges.

Aptean has worked with bakeries for decades and has in-depth industry knowledge that we’ve put to use in developing our suite of solutions. We speak the language of food and beverage, and we’ve created a specialized solution for bakeries like yours.

Ready to hear more about what Aptean Food & Beverage ERP can do for your bakery business? Contact us today.

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