Business and Operations
Point of Sale (POS)
Final Proof: Crucial digital adoption for baking
Digital platforms can deliver resources, tools, technical support and business efficiencies
March 22, 2022 By Jane Dummer
A widespread trend we are seeing in the baking sector is the adoption of technology. It is one of the trends I will be discussing during my presentation the Top 5 Trends and Opportunities for Your Bakery at the Bakery Showcase on April 11, 2022, in Toronto.
The pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of new technologies for many suppliers and operators across all levels of the baking industry. E-commerce, direct-to-consumer sales, online training, education, support and networking are now essential for growth and profitability. Social media and online ordering apps are vital tools for operators to communicate and transact with their customer base.
Eric Forbes, chef de cuisine, KCB Streetfood in Calgary, agrees: “We use social media as our focus, especially Instagram, TikTok and the Street Food App, for people to find us. We also utilize our Tappy card (a digital business card) for people to link up and locate us. It is connected to all our social media, the website and daily specials. This card is great when meeting people and introducing them to the food truck. QR codes were another good digital hack we use often. For example, QR codes on business cards, on the truck, and street signs.”
Adriana Fazzina, marketing director, Puratos Canada, describes the growing adoption of digital technology: “The pandemic gave the baking industry a new challenge and it responded fiercely! Consumers need convenience, and they want many options to choose from. In this fast-paced environment, technology is enabling the process to be adaptable to keep consumers engaged and create brand loyalty. Online shopping choices have become an everyday opportunity. The industry is becoming more proficient in the digital language and, moving forward, that capacity will only improve.”
The global pandemic has forced operational changes that will forever alter the food industry. For a nimble business owner like Forbes, he explains: “Before, we used large computers for POS machines and tills, whereas now everything can be downloaded onto your phone. As a result, today, it is a small, portable POS machine that can hold all the information that was found on bulky computer systems. This ‘new’ POS machine can be used virtually everywhere. People can make an order and I can meet them anywhere. It also has the ‘brain power’ to hold recipes and from that it can give an approximation of what to order. However, I often overrule it when it comes to the ordering function! Similarly, social media has advanced in new ways including placing orders. Instagram is the natural path for us. We steered away from Facebook, as we wanted to keep it simple and ‘picture perfect’ without all the words needed to sell.”
Fazzina explains: “Puratos has always invested in digital projects for new platforms to support its customers and starting in 2020 this became one of the macro pillars in the group development. We made a shift in the communication touchpoints, from in-person to online. This was a ‘must do’ during the pandemic but is now embedded in the way we do things at Puratos. For example, before the pandemic, we used to meet our artisan customers in person to show our products and inspire them with recipes. Now we are recording videos with our Technical Advisors team, then we post on social media and on our YouTube channel. With our largest accounts, where we develop one-to-one types of solutions, we now take the meetings online. Ahead of the meeting, we ship them tasting boxes so that they can experience the products, even if we are not in person. Also, we have developed very advanced technological solutions that are in an early adoption phase in some countries and will soon come to Canada. We are equipping our Technical Advisors and R&D Team members with HoloLens. This allows them to be in our customer’s plant virtually without the need to travel and provides them with the ability to support in an immediate, flexible way.”
Digital platforms offer new opportunities to deliver resources, tools, technical support and business efficiencies. The technical improvements made to many of these platforms during the pandemic have advanced the baking business to provide modern, convenient solutions and inspiration to their customers now, with the capability to pivot quickly in the future.
Jane Dummer, RD, known as the Pod to Plate Food Consultant, collaborates and partners with the food and nutrition industry across North America. janedummer.com
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