The costs to operate industrial bakeries have increased substantially in a short time. Unforeseen geopolitical events have left a lasting impact on the global supply chain, while demand in the food and beverage sector has continued to climb over this same period. If you’ve been operating a bakery for any significant time, you’re likely aware that unforeseen obstacles are difficult to overcome when your industry operates on such thin margins.
During the initial stages of the global pandemic, for instance, many bakeries had to perform under atypical conditions, to say the least. The entire food and beverage sector was under tremendous pressure to produce more goods with fewer resources while sustaining a profit.
In response to these recent market changes, many small to medium-sized bakeries have been turning to industrial automation technology as a way of reducing their labor overhead and lowering their overall operating expenditures. The automation industry has been growing at an impressive clip. New, more impressive and affordable bakery automation solutions are coming onto the market all the time.
The upshot to this range of modern and reasonably low-cost automated software and equipment for the food industry is that your competitors are almost assuredly taking advantage of these tools. At some stage along your bakery’s growth trajectory, you’ll need to automate if you expect to sustain your current position.
So, how can automation help you enhance profits and increase operational efficiency at your manufacturing plant? In this article, we’ll show you how food and beverage industry businesses leverage automation to improve productivity while their reducing workforce requirements at the same time.
Automation helps bakeries keep pace with demand
Consumer demand ebbs and flows, but dramatic order spikes most often arrive when you least expect them. Moreover, customer tastes are preferences are always changing. Lately, the average bread consumer has become more concerned about the environmental impacts of food manufacturing.
As this is the case, bakeries have been examining their operations’ ecological footprints, starting with a careful look at their existing waste levels in the factory. They search for ways they can use leftover ingredients, offcuts, and trimmings to create new products instead of disposing of them.
Waste reduction is one reliable way to improve profit margins in the food industry, and bakery automation helps you achieve this while improving product accuracy at the same time. Automation can be an effective tool for implementing a greener, more sustainable approach to running your operations, an important consideration for many modern consumers.
While bakery automation helps you keep up with shifting consumer preferences, the right technology also lets you increase your throughput to keep up with unanticipated spikes in demand. This flexibility to increase production after short notice means you won’t miss out on limited-time opportunities or risk losing a buyer to a competitor that can meet the demand.
Quality control and compliance
While the consumer landscape is always shifting, so are governmental regulatory standards. It’s easy to neglect the importance of keeping up with federal regulations. This is just as crucial as monitoring evolving consumer preferences.
A lack of attention to emergent industry regulations and standards could prove costly because the financial repercussions of violation are steep. Aside from regulator fines, expect to manage the tertiary impacts of a violation, as well, including damage to your brand reputation and expensive litigation fees.
Industrial automation software and equipment for bakeries give you increased visibility into your manufacturing operations, allowing for enhanced materials tracking and quality control. Bakery automation technologies supply you with a tool for monitoring the expiration dates on all your perishables. You’ll gain more visibility into your entire supply chain, allowing you to track down recalled ingredients no matter where they are in the distribution process.
Automated food manufacturing software and machinery give you more flexibility to pivot and shift your production after short notice. If demand for your bakery goods decreases, it’s easy to adjust for the increased orders without necessarily letting go of your existing operators.
Among the most effective approaches a bakery can take for improving its bottom line is warehousing only the stock it needs. The only reliable way to avoid overstocking is through precise inventory management.
Overstocking unused ingredients in your warehouse can cost you in multiple ways. Foremost, you’re needlessly using up valuable real estate. Likewise, you may not know how much of the overstock beyond its expiry date when you overstock your ingredients. This, of course, introduces a health risk to your plant.
Food-specific automation software simplifies inventory management and makes it easier to track and trace all your inventory throughout its journey through the supply chain. The enhanced visibility helps you maintain concise control over your stock levels. This way, your plant is not at risk of wasting excess food, while you also avoid stockout issues.
Increased efficiency at your manufacturing plant
One of the advantages of automating your bakery is that you gain real-time visibility across your operations. Automating your bakery allows you to make data-driven process decisions instead of relying on clunky spreadsheets, multiple disparate systems, and human operators to deliver useful process data.
Theoretically, any gain in efficiency improves your bottom line. Bakery-specific automation software can bring all your existing manufacturing systems under one umbrella, giving you a view of your operations under a single interface.
It can take your technology department several days to generate the reporting systems you can program into industrial automation software in a fraction of the time. Automation technology for bakeries gives you streamlined access to live-time, up-to-date information. Bakeries use this data to make process improvements and boost plant efficiency.
Find out more about optimizing bakery profits with automation
While the demand for bakery products is expected to continue climbing, bakeries undoubtedly face several unique challenges ahead in 2023. Implementing automated bakery equipment and software at your facility is among the best strategies for staying ahead of consumer and industrial trends.
For more on optimizing your existing manufacturing processes with automation, connect with EZSoft today. Complete our request for contact form online, and we’ll get back to you to discuss pricing. Or, to speak with a food-specific automation specialist now, dial (484) 568-5040.