From your smartphone to your newly acquired luxury vehicle, automation has made inroads into almost every aspect of production. It accounts for one of the most integral and essential aspects of our lives. Yet withal, some industries have been reluctant to adopt automated solutions, with the food industry being principal among this group.
It’s no secret that, when compared with other industries, food and baking manufacturing businesses have always been slower to implement new technology. The problem with this trend is that many small and medium-sized food production facilities are not keeping up-to-date on the latest technologies in automation. Consequently, bakery owners miss out on implementing various new advances in technology that can increase productivity and help their companies realize substantial cost savings.
If you’re less than familiar with the latest happenings in food service automation, wondering whether or not investing in automation makes good financial sense, below are five reasons why you should consider implementing automation to your bakery:
1. Automation improves productivity at your facility
Increased efficiency is hands down the main reason many bakeries choose to automate their production lines. Enhancing productivity is always at the top of the list, and automating your tools represents the surest path to this achieving that objective.
Moreover, an improved productivity metric is easy to factor, so you can always keep pace with increased product demands from your retail partners without worrying about managing staffing fluctuations during peak times of the year.
Not only is an automated production line more predictable, but it also works at a faster pace and is far more accurate than manual operators. Your automated tools don’t require restroom breaks, don’t go on vacation, are always on time, and never get injured on the production floor.
2. Automation regularize product quality and ensures uniform consistency
Large food production facilities have been taking advantage of automation to increase product output for decades. But automation can accomplish much more for your business than elevating the volume of your bakery goods. While manual production of baked goods might seem preferable at first thought, especially if you’re a small boutique operation, this process is not without its faults.
Manual operators produce too many variations among products that should otherwise present as identical. Inconsistently molded bread loaves of varying weights and expensive ingredients such as batter, icing, and inclusions account for an efficiency issue in its own right over time. Automating resolves this by ensuring a uniform product throughout the production process.
Inconsistently manufactured baked goods pose problems for customer retention as well. Generally speaking, customers expect the same outcome for a product they’ve previously enjoyed. They return for a second, third, and fourth experience because they were delighted by the product the first time. If the bakery good is always changing in flavor and presentation, don’t expect the customers to stick with it over the long haul.
3. Automating your bakery resolve fluctuating labor expenditures and worker shortages
While automation often entails a healthy upfront deposit, the ROI is easy to factor, and the investment always pays off. Presuming you’re not new to the food manufacturing industry, qualified labor has been in short supply. Businesses across all sectors of the food industry struggle to find workers. And it’s not just the recent health crisis contributing to the problem. Labor shortages have been hexing the market for years.
Some estimates show that nearly 2.5 million manufacturing jobs will be left unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with the baking industry seeing some of the largest worker deficits across manufacturing on the whole. Finding and retaining dependable labor is one of the key factors to keeping a bakery afloat. The problem remains, however: your labor requirements are cyclical, always changing with the seasons. Automation, on the other hand, secures your production line while reducing your requirements at the same time. By implementing automated solutions you cut out several HR and training-related costs and no longer have to worry about steep payouts for employee overtime.
4. Improved production facility safety
Automation doesn’t merely improve safety by eliminating human operators prone to injury, it plays a considerable role in maintaining a sanitary production facility. A premium level of food safety is vital to any food production operation.
And humans are the primary source of cross-contamination in processing plants. They transfer microorganisms, allergens, and more to your production goods. Automation effectively removes the cross-contamination factor from the equation altogether.
5. Bakery automation offers flexible implementation
Automating your small bakery doesn’t have to be a monumental undertaking. Most automated tools can be introduced to your facility in stages and in such a way that fulfills your most pressing business needs. Many small bakery owners resist automating because they’re worried about acquiring obsolete infrastructure that requires the use of unproven software.
The tools available on the market today require little experience with automation and hardly require that you move into a full-line automation system that you might struggle to afford. The best approach is to start small, introducing small automation solutions to your facility first. Once you find a better understanding of how automation works, you can start building toward a fully automated operation.
Where can I find industrial automation companies near me?
If you are curious to understand which industrial automation solutions are right for your food manufacturing facility, EzSoft helps bakeries like yours gain a distinct advantage over conventional system development approaches.
Call EzSoft at (484) 568-5040 to connect with an in-house representative and learn more about how their automated software solutions help your business flourish in the new normal.