How Cooplands organises in-store sandwich production

Eastfield / UK. (cyb) Coopland + Son (Scarborough) Ltd, since 2021 part of British EG Group, has installed «Cybake ISB» software to plan and manage in-store sandwich production across its entire retail estate. Cooplands was founded in North Yorkshire in 1885 and is the second largest retail bakery chain in the UK. It operates two production bakeries, 158 shops and a fleet of sandwich delivery vans across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and the North East. Cybake ISB is a retail production planning system that improves availability, increases sales and cuts waste for in-store bakeries and fresh food counters.

(Photo: Original source without exact specification – either Cooplands Bakery or Cybake Limited)20240221-COOPLANDS-CYBAKE

Using advanced forecasting, the software tells store staff the best combination of sandwiches to make at the right times via tablets. At the same time, Cybake ISB shows Cooplands Bakery’s head office (HO) exactly how production, sales and waste are going across its stores, with key KPIs.

Sandwiches make up somewhere approaching 30 percent of the Bakery’s sales. However, before adoption of Cybake ISB, head office had little control over what or how many sandwiches each store made.

To see whether the software could improve the availability of the sandwiches that customers wanted at the right times of the day, the company initially ran a small-scale trail. Cooplands’ central operations manager Carole Hay: «We did it against five control shops to get some analysis and it increased the sales of the store overall. It increased the sales of the pre-made sandwiches.» The Bakery has now rolled the system out across all of its shops, giving HO a clear view of what should be made and whether each shop is complying.

Efficiency is increasingly important

While emphasising that the service aspect of made-to-order sandwiches is still important to attract customers, Carole says: «Efficiency wise, it’s a lot better because we can have those sandwiches pre-made in the morning before the lunchtime rush. «The production plan has helped. It’s helped with compliance. It has helped with waste, but it’s also helped with availability, and it is something we will continue with. And we are going to investigate using Cybake ISB for our savouries later in the year.»

The software has also helped Cooplands better manage demand according to local tastes.

«We have regional sandwiches,» Carole Hay explains, citing a pease pudding stottie (mushed yellow split peas on a flat round loaf) as an example of a popular choice for Cooplands Bakery customers in Sunderland. «That just wouldn’t sell in Lincolnshire,» she says. «They don’t know what it is. We’re really quite clever now with the sandwich plan, we’ve got templates for everything. So, it has allowed us to have control over that regional side as well, whereas previously we didn’t.»

The software is an entirely separate product from the Cybake bakery management software system, which Cooplands implemented 2020, primarily to automate the replenishment of stock in each of its shops.

Cybake commercial director Martin Coyle worked closely on Cooplands Bakery’s installation of the software. He says: «Cybake ISB was originally developed for supermarkets, so this was the first time it was tested outside that specific sector. The team at Cooplands Bakery are great to work with and it has been exciting to see how well the software works within a large network of bakery shops. Currently, we are in talks with retail bakery chains of a similar scale about using the software in the USA and in Australia too.»

Addendum: Cybake Limited is headquartered in York (United Kingdom). The software developer operates to 99 percent in English-speaking markets. There is a subsidiary in the United States and one for Australia and New Zealand. In the German-speaking market, interested companies will find several competing software products that fulfill the same purpose as described above. No matter which provider prospective customers choose: Don’t buy a software suite, because SaaS – Software as a Service – is the future. In addition, data is often better stored in the cloud than on the company PC.