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Post-Pandemic Baked Goods Surge: CPG Manufacturers deploy ERP to keep up with demand

Unique manufacturing challenges

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolled across the country, consumer behaviors in the food and beverage industry changed. Restaurants shuttered or offered only take-out, so shoppers turned to prepared meals and snacks in droves. 

Manufacturers in the baking industry experienced explosive growth and struggled to keep up. Supply chain disruptions and logistics challenges hindered small and mid-sized bakers, especially manufacturers that lacked a digital solution and e-commerce options.

Unlike many subsets within the consumer-packaged goods industry, shoppers say that baked goods are only exceptional when they are freshly baked. Bakers face unique challenges with the shelf life of their ingredients – and their products are more difficult to distribute because of the freshness factor and shelf-life issues. 

The U.S. is home to more than 2800 commercial bakeries – and according to the American Bakers Association, more than 90% are small to mid-sized organizations. The industry currently generates 31 billion annually, and the ABA reports indicate that baked goods are poised to grow more than 4% by 2024.

Keeping up with consumer demand

The baking industry is ruled by consumer preferences; shoppers want fresh, organic ingredients and a variety of flavors and options. Major manufacturers, like Bimbo and Weston Foods, have responded to changing market demands and earned customer loyalty by providing a myriad of options with natural ingredients while producing both healthier and gluten-free products.

With billions of dollars on the line, manufacturers cannot afford a misstep. They need faster inventory turn, more efficient process cycles, and most importantly, faster and better insight into the cost and performance of their product, people, and processes. 

Empowering teams from the back office to the production line with the information they need provides the best opportunity for rapid product launch and crucial first-to-market advantages.

ERP for bakers

Most manufacturing businesses plan for resource and process glitches, but the pandemic created a major disruption in supply chains, so inventory management and procurement suffered greatly. 

The key to post-pandemic revenue recovery is digital transformation – making sure that you are prepared to come out of the gate Q2 2021 strong with multiple options for procuring raw ingredients and moving finished goods.

A robust ERP can be the difference between struggle and epic success. xTuple customers say that their ERP:

  • Increased productivity to get products out the door faster
  • Saved time by consolidating different business processes into one solution
  • Standardized purchasing and financial reports for better cashflow
  • Increased sales over forecast during pandemic
  • Time savings – automated workflows delivered accurate data

Modern ERP is the foundation

Balance in the baking industry is crucial – and nearly impossible to achieve without the proper tools. The key for manufacturers lies within their data– finding a way to accurately analyze, integrate and provide cross-functional support for the most complex aspects of manufacturing.

Business model continuity in the face of disruptions – like the ability to pivot to e-commerce and logistics specialists is crucial. 

Batch tracking, production, and supply chain forecasting are only possible with an end-to-end ERP that delivers visibility and transparency. When combined with a stellar KPI dashboard that measures net profits, manufacturers have the foundation for organic, sustainable growth and profitability. 

With most of the pandemic chaos under control, it’s time to power up profits and recover lost revenue – onboarding the right ERP can be both a short and long-term growth solution for small baked goods businesses.

Check out our ROI calculator and see the difference xTuple can make for you. 

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