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Why You Need Bakery Software and How Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Solves Sector-Specific Challenges

Why You Need Bakery Software and How Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Solves Sector-Specific Challenges

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Explore Bakery ERP

Why You Need Bakery Software and How Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Solves Sector-Specific Challenges

Oct 6, 2022

Jack Payne
A fresh batch of chocolate muffins.

With their enticing aromas, delicious taste and wide variety, baked goods have massive popularity around the world and bring people together as staples in our diets and fixtures of our cultures. They’re enjoyed as on-the-go breakfasts, key components of our favorite meals and centerpieces in the spreads we serve at communal celebrations.

While the art of baking is certainly still practiced in household kitchens—the homemade sourdough craze of 2020 is proof of that fact—the majority of the baked goods we consume today are produced in large manufacturing settings. Smaller bakeries with pedestrian storefronts and dining areas also exist, but they’re more similar to restaurants than the factories that produce what’s sold in supermarkets.

For that kind of business, managing all aspects of operations from ingredient procurement and formula management to sales and outbound logistics is a complex matter, to say the least. That’s why these organizations rely on purpose-built bakery industry software—very frequently a bakery manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, rather than a point-of-sale (POS) system that a foodservice outlet might use.

That’s because ERP technology can help baked good manufacturers organize their data in a single digital platform and leverage specialized features for their unique processes, allowing them to tackle their toughest challenges with the right tools at their disposal. Let’s explore more to see why this kind of bakery software is so important and how Aptean’s solution serves the distinct needs of modern bakery companies.

Why You Need Bakery Software

Today’s food and beverage marketplace is a competitive and ever-evolving landscape, with brands vying for their share of the proverbial pie, as well as relevance in consumers’ minds. There are many reasons that bakeries need sector-specific software, with these being some of the important today:

  • To ensure product safety and quality: Bakeries often deal with ingredients that have allergy concerns for sensitive individuals, so avoiding any food safety emergencies is crucial for your company’s reputation, especially with health and safety top-of-mind for shoppers. Likewise, customers are very discerning, and one sub-par product from your lines can turn them off from your labels for life.

  • To promote efficiency and agility: The food and beverage world moves fast, and that’s especially true for bakery operations, as their products tend to have limited shelf lives. Meanwhile, you’ve got to keep up with demand while also keeping an eye on the trends and forecasting what you’ll need in terms of supplies. Real-time insight into how well your processes are running is also vital for getting the most out of your materials, personnel and equipment.

  • To maintain profitability: Every organization must tend to the bottom line, making sure to scrutinize the margins of the different offerings in their lineup and making smart moves in terms of purchasing of ingredients in bulk and pivoting priorities when necessary. With so many steps in the supply chain and transactions occurring multiple times every day, there must be a central database for all of the relevant information.

Now, as for how bakery manufacturing software can help your business achieve these mission-critical goals, let’s take a look at some of the most crucial features that Aptean’s award-winning solution offers.

Aptean Food & Beverage ERP Features that Bakeries Need

There are some aspects of ERP systems that every food and beverage company can benefit from, including a “single source of truth” for better decision-making and bidirectional traceability tools for effective tracking of raw materials and finished products. Aptean Food & Beverage ERP certainly offers those, but our purpose-built software also comes with the following features that are vital for bakeries:

  • Recipe/formula management: Bakeries are by definition process manufacturers in that they combine various ingredients into a new whole that is not separable into its constituent parts. Your chefs have undoubtedly worked hard to perfect the recipes used to produce your items, and Aptean’s bakery ERP accommodates the fine-tuning of specifications that your offerings require.

  • Allergen management: This is closely related to the above in that your recipes may include materials with allergen concerns, such as wheat, milk, eggs or nuts. Our product specifications tools flag these ingredients and help you apply the proper labels, and our ERP also facilitates segregation of allergens in receipt, inventory, picking and production to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.

  • Inventory control: Because baked goods typically require several different ingredients to produce, bakeries tend to have a variety of materials on-hand, each at different stock levels and with important data (like origin and freshness range) tied to them. Aptean Food & Beverage ERP for bakeries helps you keep tabs on everything in your warehouse with lot and sub-lot tracking and even allows you to zoom in down to the individual item level.

  • Expiration management: We mentioned freshness ranges in the above point because bakeries tend to work with perishable ingredients, and making sure that they’re used before they go bad is critical for reducing waste and minimizing otherwise avoidable financial losses. Our bakery software can automatically deploy alerts when either raw materials or finished goods are approaching the end of their viability so that you can make use of them before it’s too late.

  • Backflushing: For bakeries that sell in bulk—as well as those that use just-in-time inventory accounting—our ERP system supports backflushing, or the recording of costs only when the end product is complete and sold. This simplifies the issuing of production orders by preventing raw materials originally picked for a production run from being placed back in inventory.

  • Pricing management: Prices fluctuate frequently and quickly in the grain industry, and that can have a negative impact on your bottom line if you don’t have advanced pricing tools at your fingertips. With Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, you can use the shipment, requested delivery or promised delivery date as the reference for price calculations to unlock greater flexibility and maximize your profit margins.

  • Production planning and scheduling: Our bakery manufacturing software lets you optimize your resources and minimize slack times with a strong production scheduling setup. The platform also provides your production planning team with all the details they need to balance supply and demand, including for made-to-order items, and deploys alerts if changes made to production plans will result in a shortage or overage.

Choose Aptean for Uncompromising Excellence

If that robust set of features hasn’t completely sold you on the use case of Aptean Food & Beverage ERP at your bakery business, we’ve got more reasons to trust us for your software needs. For one, there’s the fact that we have a long track record of serving the food and beverage industry—and the bakery segment—and have collective decades of implementation best practice knowledge that we’re happy to share with clients to improve their outcomes.

Along those same lines, we strive to act as a partner throughout the implementation process. We stress the road to digital transformation in the food industry is a journey, so we assist in creating a realistic and achievable timeline, complete with milestones to accomplish, that leads to a successful roll-out. It’s important to us that each and every company who chooses our solutions feels empowered to leverage the potent tools packed into our offerings.

What’s more, our system is comprised of unique, industry-specific technologies built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform, which means it has the same user-friendly interface of other Microsoft applications and programs. Then, there’s the aforementioned award that our food ERP brought home last year—Frost and Sullivan’s prestigious 2022 Product Leadership Award in North American ERP Software for the Food and Beverage Industry.

Finally, we also offer flexible cloud deployments for Aptean Food & Beverage ERP on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which can help keep up-front costs down while minimizing your need to hire additional IT staff for maintenance and updates. We take care of all that remotely and automatically and can offer uptime of 99% or better in most circumstances.

So, ready to learn more about what our ERP for bakeries can do for your operations? Contact us today, or request a personalized demo.

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