Hometown Bakery to Baked Goods Manufacturer
Some customer favorites, you just can’t make enough of. You might have a moist, chocolate cake you use as a base for several of your chocolate cake varieties or a unique flavor combination you came up with while experimenting. When you’re ready to turn your small bakery recipes into national favorites, you’ve got your homework to do to prepare. Part of your homework entails learning whether you can continue working with your current suppliers. Will they negotiate volume discounts on products that you can stock up on?
You also must consider packaging, shipping, and working with distributors and retailers.
When all the pieces of the puzzle come together, you need a way to manage consistent production of your recipes, so each cake uses the same ratio of ingredients as the one before it. You don’t want to sacrifice quality to produce quantity. Part of that depends on your workflow processes operating efficiently and being able to identify waste that can be curtailed.
There will always be startup lumps and bumps, especially if you’re funding it yourself, but you can streamline your workflow processes and save on labor costs by using an inventory software designed specifically to handle recipes, expiration dates and lot tracking like SOS Inventory.
Tracking Expirations It’s much easier to make sure you’re only serving fresh baked goods to your customers when operating in your storefront. It’s an entirely different thing when you’re cranking out a few hundred cakes at a time. By assigning lot numbers to batches of cakes made at the same time, you can easily perform a search by lot number to see when the ingredients arrived at your facility, when you produced a finished good and when it was delivered to the customer. God forbid you had to recall anything because an ingredient was bad, you can quickly track down the affected products and limit your losses (and protect your reputation).
Production Tracking You really have two different types of production to track: process manufacturing for your baked goods and discrete manufacturing for your packaging. So, not only do you have to set up workflow processes to follow a recipe, once the cake is finished, you might box it, shrink wrap it, create a label, and ship it. There really are a lot of steps here that seem simple in a shop, but enmasse, the are unmanageable without software to organize all the steps.
You may even find a company willing to manufacture for you. Then you can simply have your supplier ship ingredients directly to the contract manufacturer. Often, people turn to contract manufacturers because they are already set up to follow regulations for food products, saving you money on equipment and other safety protocol.
Just remember, many of your favorite foods started out as a traditional family recipe. With a little luck and lots of research, you can transform your vision into a supermarket success!
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