So, you decide you’re ready to go paperless. What next?

In truth, it depends on the size and complexity of a bakery’s operations as well as the automation being implemented.

“We look at the order data, how many customers they’re staging for, the product mix — things like that,” said Jennifer Grimly, sales manager, Pcdata.

In some cases, Ethernet or a server would need to be installed; or it might just be a case of installing the light system, she noted.

“Once that’s established, find the slowest day in a production cycle and bring in a crew to work through the system,” she said.

If implementing a new system requires extensive changes in infrastructure or electrical work, help is available. AM King, Charlotte, N.C., has helped bakeries when moving to automation, whether part of a larger warehouse renovation or addition, or during regular production.

“Often, when a client is moving to an automated system, they’ll ask us to contact and work with the system provider to coordinate any building services that  might be required,” said Brian King, president.

While most hardware for this type of automation is small enough that it wouldn’t require large-scale renovation in the warehouse, minor reconfigurations can help smooth the transition.

“We have provided electrical work and even constructed specific rooms to accommodate some of the hardware associated with a new automation system,” Mr. King added.