Munich / DE. (ghm) A new generation is setting out to conquer the craft bakeries and confectioneries. Using digital tools, they organise operations, plan shifts, control production, ensure greater efficiency, and create scope for employees to develop their skills. At iba 2018 in Munich, bakers and confectioners will be able to see what opportunities and possibilities digitisation can offer the trade – and there are a lot of them.
For Jochen Baier, master baker, confectioner, and owner of Bäcker Baier, the future has already begun. In his artisan business, he has connected the various divisions and makes use of the advantages of digital tools. For example, modern software is used for shift planning. «One person has yoga, the other has to pick up his children from kindergarten on a certain day. This information, together with the qualification for certain tasks, is stored in the system and is taken into account in the planning process», explains Baier, whose company can be visited as part of the «Virtual Bakery Tours» in Hall B3 at iba. The system suggests the best solution for planning the respective day. It also automatically records and documents the working hours, breaks, and responsibilities of the approximately 100 employees. These can be tracked precisely if necessary.
Digitally supported needs analyses and forecasts also help with planning the production and product range for the companies: Which goods were and are expected to be ordered on which day, how much dough has to be prepared, which baked goods must be produced? The software solutions also allow for planning around the weather, holiday periods, and bank holidays. «This makes running the business more efficient and economical», says Baier. While the bakery manager used to estimate the need based on his experience and gut feeling, there is now reliable data and thus less overproduction. Digital tools can also help the other way around: If an item is running low at noon, the till automatically forwards the information to the bakery, so that more can be produced.
Together with the pre-orders, the forecasts are finally forwarded to the bakery and turned into a digital baking sheet. There, weighing most raw materials is automated. «This allows the employees to concentrate much more on their craft, baking», says Baier.
Of course, digital aids are also available at the counter. «The till has all the information about products, raw materials, and possible allergens, which allows staff to give detailed answers to any queries customers may have», says Baier. It is also possible to install touch panels which enable customers to find information themselves, or displays showing prices and product information. Cashless payment by card or mobile phone is also a growing area. Here too, iba and its exhibitors will be offering a wealth of solutions. Baier himself will be gathering information on all the innovations in the field of digitisation at iba. «The development so far has been rapid, and we want to stay on the ball» (Image: pixabay.com).