Cake Ordering Methods Opnions... Please?

Business By gladysrdz24 Updated 28 Jun 2011 , 6:31pm by gladysrdz24

gladysrdz24 Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 6:51pm
post #1 of 9

Greetings to all of my fellow bakers!!!!

I would like to get some of my colleagues opnions in regards on methods of taking cake orders. Ok so let me start from the beginning and hopefully will not make you doze off. icon_smile.gif

Ok so my family has had a bakery for 8 years now. We do not only make cake but we make a very wide variety of sweet bread and rolls also. Our bakery is at the moment about 1500 square feet and to tell you the truth we have been making miracle happen in such a small space. Well by then end of the year we will be moving to a 5500 square foot facility that will be able to cater to all of our current customers plus many more!! Thank goodness for that! So here goes my question/dilemma. For the past eight years we have been using this kind of booklets to take cake orders.

http://www.discountofficeitems.com/office-supplies/envelopes-forms/forms-certificates/sales-forms-refills/adams-carbonless-sales-order-books/p3361.html

These have been great to use but throughout the years we have run into some problems. (Please keep in mind we usually do between 40 to 70 sheet cakes a weekend. Not including custom cakes, wedding cakes, or cupcake/cookie orders.)

1. Sales slips can be left behind if somebody ordered a cake a month ago. (most cake orders we get are a couple of days before cake is needed)
2. Sales slips can be lost easily.
3. We have to go through each slip and cound how many sheets of white, chocolate, etc has to be made for the weekend.
4. Space is limited on sheet and if customers needs a lot of changes to design it might provoke confusion. ( I have 6 different pple that take cake orders)
5. Those are the only ones that I can think of right now.

So my question is do you think that if I should change my cake ordering system to a more high tech method. By this I mean maybe having a comp (laptop) up front to take cake orders and have every cake catalogued for the weekend. (At new space we will have a section of bakery dedicated only for cake orders) This way it didnt matter if you ordered your cake last year it would come up on our calender. Also I was thinking that I could have a sort registry of repeat customers so that maybe I can take orders over the phones ( we dont at the moment). But at the same time I have to think of the costs and what kind of program would allow me to do these things that I want to do.

Please let me know what YOU think and how YOU take cake orders. Do you think my idea would work? Where could I look?

Thanks guys I know I can always count on you!!!

8 replies
kristiemarie Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 7:07pm
post #2 of 9

I'm sure there is software available for this...I wouldn't know what kind but there is someone out there who does! That's a lot of cake and ingredients to account for!

carmijok Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 7:22pm
post #3 of 9

Doesn't Cake Boss software (not affiliated with the TV show), cover the invoicing and record keeping as well figuring cost of cakes?

buttercuppie Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 7:22pm
post #4 of 9

I would think with that kind of volume a computerized system would be greatly beneficial. Could you maybe do a Excel tab for each day of a certain week. that way all your daily orders can be printed out on one sheet. You can also create various forms in excel so you should be able to see repeat customers. If people tend to order custom cakes in advance, I would sit down with your team the beginning of every week and go over the specialty cake orders with everyone so whoever took the order can answer questions for the decorators, bakers, etc.

HTH

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 7:35pm
post #5 of 9

It sounds like you need a point-of-sale (POS) system. There are several options available, see the Google results below...they are usually pretty expensive (a few thousand at least) but well worth it in terms of improved customer service and efficiency, assuming you have the volume to support it of course.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bakery+POS+system

Navyempress Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 11:23pm
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

It sounds like you need a point-of-sale (POS) system. There are several options available, see the Google results below...they are usually pretty expensive (a few thousand at least) but well worth it in terms of improved customer service and efficiency, assuming you have the volume to support it of course.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=bakery+POS+system





I agree it sounds like you need a POS. You can use any computer and add the hardware you need, then purchase the software separately if you need a cheap option. Or you could go to Sam's Club and get this one:

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod1630422&navAction=

It has hardware and software and is only $1,199. It uses Quickbooks, which I highly recommend, because it is what I use. Maybe this will help!

Edited to add: I went back to the Sam's website and found one for $999!
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod1630426

LindaF144a Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 12:52am
post #7 of 9

I am at the point you are leaving behind. I am a small cake shop in 1,125 square feet weeks away from opening. We are using the same slips you are using now.

We also went to Sam's club and are starting with a small POS, the free one available from Quickbooks. This one does not track inventory like the larger one. I am not too sure if the the Sam's Club one would fit your needs. I would instead find a place, maybe locally, that does POS systems and see if they can get one customized for you. I do believe it is costly, but if you are growing like you are it is probably well worth the investment.

I also have CakeBoss software. I have not explored the ordering system of the software. I am still in the process of adding ingredients and recipes. I'll be looking into it soon. Perhaps the CB owner will chime in.

tokazodo Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 1:30am
post #8 of 9

I don't know if this will help or not.

Google now has available for free, Google Documents.
In it, it has: Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Form, Drawings and a Calender.

When you create this documents and projects, you can have several users log in on the same project (the 6 people who take cake orders?)
You can also create a calendar. (all users log into the calendar after they take a cake order and post it to the calendar?
The cost? Free.

I don't know if this will help, but this is what came to mind when you were mentioning the loosing of cake slip orders.

HTH

gladysrdz24 Posted 28 Jun 2011 , 6:31pm
post #9 of 9

Thank you for all of the replies! All of you guys have awesome ideas that I will be researching. I have a few months before we move but I would like to know for sure what I am going to do because of the cost. Thanks again!

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