No bakery is too big or too small to be denied the benefits of an automated warehouse. For large bakeries that may offer a wide variety of products, a combination of technologies may be best to organize the warehouse and fill orders. Whereas put-to-light systems work well in bakery operations that produce to order, plants storing an abundance of stock-keeping units (s.k.u.s) or products with long shelf lives may be better off with voice technology or handheld devices to track order fulfillment.

“If you have 5,000 s.k.u.s, it doesn’t make sense to put in 5,000 lights to keep track of that inventory,” said Marc Braun, president, Pcdata USA.

For bakeries with both long-term and short-term products, combining put-to-light for short-term products with voice or handheld systems for the long-term products can make a warehouse even more efficient.

For example, in bakeries specializing in frozen products, Mr. Braun suggested handheld technology for filling orders, though the company does offer low temperature lights for a put-to-light system in a freezer.

Smaller bakeries may take advantage of Pcdata’s do-it-yourself put-to-light system. This management system comes pre-fabricated so that a baker may install it without the assistance of an electrical engineer. The lights click in place and the software can be set-up easily without IT staff.