How Cybake helps bakeries meet today’s global challenges
Commercial bakers look set for another year of tough trading conditions. How have recent events affected bakeries around the world? And how has using Cybake bakery management software helped them deal with the challenges so far?
In the UK, Nicky Taylor, managing director of Surrey-based retailer Cavan Bakery, says that there was a feeling of uncertainty within his company last year. Fuel and energy costs skyrocketed, and the war in Ukraine caused global food insecurity.
She says: “We are opening another a shop within the next three months, and we would like to open another one by the end of the year. But we are facing difficult challenges at the moment, as is everyone. There are significant geo-political problems that make it very hard to predict the retail climate.
“For us, it is key to choose the right place and the right location and rather than just jumping in anywhere; we’ll wait until we find the right place. We do plan to open more, it’s just a case of finding the right places.”
Nicky says Cybake has helped Cavan Bakery with deal with these new challenges: “It does makes things possible within the business because it’s a very complicated business. It’s made us understand that we can fulfill our potential.”
For Bryan Seears, operations manager at Palmerston Bakery, a wholesale bakery in Palmerston, Northern Territory, Australia, a rise in the price of ingredients caused by the conflict in Ukraine have been of particular concern.
He says: “It means that the supply is being squeezed. The prices go up and we are the little guy in the middle. People see us a big operator, but we are nowhere near the sort of size of the Goodman Fielder types who are doing 60 or 80 ton a week. We’re doing 12-15 ton; we’re paying two-to-three hundred dollars a ton more, just for our flour.
“So, we’re very sensitive to that. We have to absorb quite a bit of it just to keep the volume up, otherwise customers go across to these big multinational companies which have enough clout to keep on going. The internationals can come out at a loss for a while without it causing too many issues for them, and we can’t.”
Bryan also says that the Australian bakery market is becoming more polarized.
“From a manufacturing point of view, there have been some ups and downs,” he explains. “I think you’ve either got to be a small boutique or niche sort of baker or you’ve got to be relatively big so that the volume sustains your profit margin, more so than the actual profit per unit.”
With many risks involved and higher stakes than ever before, Bryan says Cybake helps give Palmerston Bakery an upper hand over large corporate competitors.
“We can’t even begin to compete on price, but we can certainly blow them out of the water on customer service as we’re a more agile team, and so Cybake helps us to do that.”
Over in the USA, Gary VanderStelt Jnr, CEO of Sprinkles Donut Shop, a retail chain headquartered in Georgetown Township, Ottawa County, Michigan, has also seen changes within the baking sector.
“There have been minor supply chain issues and cost of goods has gone up,” he explains. “But the biggest change I see is with labor. It’s harder to attract and to recruit team members and it’s getting harder to keep our staff as many businesses are paying higher salaries. It feels like it is a really competitive market for labor. It has been getting better for the last couple months, but we’ve always been hiring; we’ve never had a pause where we are fully staffed.”
Gary says Cybake has allowed Sprinkles Donut Shop to streamline its business.
“That’s another reason Cybake is helpful, a lot of the manual processes we had in the past took more time. From my point of view, from beginning to end, from the order being taken to the order being delivered to the store, it’s got more efficient. Cybake has helped with some of our labor issues.”
Want to find out how Cybake can help your bakery cut admin, improve efficiency and increase sales? Book a demo today.