In a bakery, the process doesn’t end when the product is packaged. In fact, when looking at the bigger picture, what happens on the plant floor is merely the start of the process. Baked goods and snacks don’t get to customers — and into consumers’ hands — by accident. Carefully laid plans get products where they need to go.  Sending a customer the wrong order, whether it’s another customer’s order or outdated product, can have catastrophic results. 

Issues such as order fulfillment, labor management, tray loss and product freshness all have to be considered in the warehouse and distribution phase of bakery operations. In order to properly store, stage and distribute baked goods, an efficient process is critical. And while many bakers — who tend to be creatures of habit — are set in their ways of a paper process, employing technology for tracking, picking and distribution can solve problems, often before they ever arise.

In a digital age, proactive solutions abound. Automation can be the key to streamlining the process from the warehouse, on the road and at the customer’s door. From tracking software to warehouse and freezer systems, having a streamlined process is key to getting the best possible product to the end consumer. And in a world where the Food Safety Modernization Act rules nearly every facet of bakery operations, the more easily retrievable documentation available to a baker, the better.

This tech showcase highlights some of the latest developments in software and other tools for warehouse and distribution, many of which will be exhibited at this year’s International Baking Industry Exposition, taking place Oct. 8-11 in Las Vegas.