Storage management is an important aspect of running a successful bakery business. Proper storage of ingredients, supplies, and finished products can help to ensure the safety and quality of your products, as well as maintain efficiency in your operations.
One of the first considerations for storage in a bakery is the appropriate storage temperature for various ingredients. Perishable ingredients such as dairy products, eggs, and fresh fruits should be stored in temperature-controlled environments to prevent spoilage. Dry ingredients such as flour and sugar can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place, but it is important to keep them in airtight containers to prevent pests and moisture from contaminating them.
In addition to temperature, proper storage of ingredients can also involve separating different types of ingredients to prevent cross-contamination. For example, nuts and other allergens should be kept separate from other ingredients to prevent accidental contamination of products that may be marketed as allergen-free.
The storage of finished products is also an important consideration for bakery businesses. Proper storage can help to maintain the freshness and quality of baked goods, and can also help to prevent waste. Finished products should be stored at the appropriate temperature and humidity to prevent spoilage and maintain freshness. For example, bread and other baked goods can be stored at room temperature in a dry place, while more delicate pastries may need to be stored in a cooler environment.
Keeping track of shelf lives and the ability to monitor stock levels in real time are of course vital. But beyond this, the modern industry demands truly insightful and accurate reporting, quicker and more efficient warehouse processes and a roadmap for scaling up production.
In practice, all these issues can be handled by enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which can control all these parameters with various degrees of automation.
Real-time Stock Tracking
Producers of baked goods make smart use of bulk discounts in order to secure the best deals for their ingredients. But they can only maximize the effectiveness of such a strategy if they take a longer-term view of planning. The further a bakery business plans into the future, the smaller the margin for error. For instance, prematurely depleting supplies of a key ingredient can grind production to a halt and cause a financial disaster.
Therefore, producers need an overview backed up by reliable, real-time data that allows them to spot any problems early and take action. If the system can’t provide this, the business will be at two disadvantages. Firstly, there’s the risk of running out of important raw materials, and secondly this may also mean a failure to take advantage of bulk discounts – making ingredient costs higher than they need to be, and profit margins slimmer.
Shelf life management is also a major requirement in the baked goods sector. Not only do businesses have to ensure they don’t run out of ingredients, they must also use them before their expiry dates to avoid wastage. This requires careful planning of resources and the order in which they need to be used. Accurate forecasting is also crucial – given production numbers can change from hour to hour, the ability to accurately predict demand can be invaluable. When producing a range of products with a range of different recipes, this can soon become a complex undertaking.
You can read the rest of this article in the January-February issue of European Baker & Biscuit, which you can access by clicking here.