Do any of you that run a retail bakery have a good way to make your production lists? (cake orders needed for the week + case cakes) I only ask because i am helping out a bakery that lost their decorator who did it all, but im just looking for an easier way. Right now its look at the weeks orders, look at whats already baked and then decide what kind of cake has to be make, this is each day, then calculate out of the 52lb(as an example) of cake batter what number and sizes of cakes need to be made. It takes a good 30-45min to figure out. there has got to be a better way then on paper.
You should be able to put together a quick-and-dirty solution in Excel once you break down the problem into a series of formulas. As an overly simplistic example: if a 10" cake takes X pounds of batter and a 12" cake takes Y pounds, the user could enter "3" in the "Number of 10" cakes needed" field and "5" in the "Number of 12" cakes needed" field, and the Excel sheet would show that 3X + 5Y pounds of batter are needed. If you wanted to proceed with the custom development route this could turn into a web-based solution that could tie in to your order intake process to automatically plan for the day's production based on orders received the previous day.
Or you could just buy something like BakeSmart, which handles all that for you, but costs a few thousand bucks.
This would also be an interesting project for a MBA or MSIS graduate student specializing in operations management, if you have a college near you that offers these types of programs you may want to try contacting them.
Hi Jason, thank you for the reply. That should be easy enough, except at this bakery there is no computer, and everything is on paper, its a very old bakery and they still do it how they did it when they opened 50 odd years ago.
I'll try a put a sheet together for them so at least all the calculations are already done.