Who doesn’t like freshly baked loaves of bread, buns, and cakes? The neighbourhood Bakers have a loyal fan following from the captive customers around the store who rely on them for their daily bakery and confectionary needs. However, while we all enjoy the delicious chocolate or honey cake, little thought is given to the amount of work that goes behind making that cake to perfection! As a Merchant who is running a Bakery, there are plenty of challenges that they must overcome on daily basis just to ensure you do not go back empty-handed or hungry from the Bakery.
Bakeries’ item spread consists of a mix of freshly baked items in the back of the house and some packed food items purchased from other vendors. To manage the inventory of raw material, finished goods with their expiry dates, orders from multiple channels, all of this while ensuring that the quality is not compromised is not a mean task.
Below listed are some of the most common problems found across Bakeries irrespective of the geography:
- Quality and Consistency of products
The customers who regularly buy bread and buns from the bakery get used to a particular taste served by that bakery alone. If there is a variation in the taste, it hurts the customer loyalty and affinity very severely. This would directly result in the sales going down.
- Wastage control and its impact on the profitability
Since a majority of the items baked at a bakery have a short shelf life, the Merchant needs to have track of the items that are about to expire and regularly remove the expired or aging inventory and refresh. This tracking if not done properly will lead to an erosion of the profit margins.
- Managing the Advanced Orders
Bakeries typically receive a lot of Advance Orders, especially for cakes. This is on an average 25% to 40% of cake orders. Typically, the Merchants have a different book-keeping for these orders as the usual POS Software available in the market does not have this as a feature. This results in missing out on the deliveries at the right time or compromising on the quality.
- Manage Online Orders along with Counter Sales
More Bakeries are selling online currently than ever before. With the presence of the Bakeries increasing in the online platforms, the management of the Orders is becoming more and more difficult as each of them has their own apps. This, along with the walk-in customers, kitchen management, if not run properly could lead to customer dissatisfaction.
- Business Insights through the reports
The Bakers, like any other Restaurant Merchant, must have a consolidated view of their Sales, Customers, Products, and Operational data that give them an understanding of the state of their business. With all the multiple software for POS billing, CRM, Delivery App-based Ordering, the data exists in silos resulting in extra work for the Merchant to reconcile.
To address all the above problems, the bakery billing POS software that the Bakeries adopt is very critical. A flexible, configurable, and Bakery-relevant Point of Sale Software is the way to go for Bakeries. This would help solve all the above problems and more.
Some of the features that are critical to be there in the bakery billing software are:
1. Weighing Scale/Barcode Scanner Integration
Bakeries bill certain items by weight and certain others that are pre-packed by scanning the barcode. To do the above, the bakeries need to have flexible Bakery Billing Software that has integrations with peripherals such as Barcode Scanners and Weighing Scales, Receipt Printers and others.
2. A single view of Order Management including Advanced Orders for Cakes
Order Management with Online Orders, Counter sales, and Advance Orders should be a requisite feature for the POS Software used in Bakeries. This leads to a massive improvement in productivity and increased accuracy of orders. Any good Bakery Billing Software System should have a single dashboard for tracking all the orders.
3. CRM to maintain customer related information
Maintaining the Customer information at the store to understand their purchase patterns, product preferences, credit available among others is essential for the customer happiness/delight. The POS software for bakery should have a good CRM System to help the Merchant manage customers.
4. Inventory Management with Batch Tracking
Right from Raw Materials to finished goods, inventory items to sellable items, the Bakery POS Software should have a reliable Inventory Management System to track all the inventory at different areas/stages. Additionally, there should be a PO and GRN documentation system to ensure clean tracking of all the material.
5. Recipe Management to ensure inventory control
The Kitchen attached to the Bakeries bakes a lot of Fresh items daily. The chefs/staff keep changing; however, the quality and consistency should be affected, nor should the raw material inventory tracking be affected. This calls for a Recipe Management system as a part of the POS Software that ensures that the right amount gets used ensuring consistency and also captures the consumption keeping the inventory visibility intact.
With the above features in the Point-of-Sale Software such as QPOS, the baker can go back to doing what he does best – baking the best Cakes and Confectionaries without having to worry about other mundane operational activities that are not his expertise!