KANSAS CITY — To alleviate labor shortages and the widening workforce gap, many bakeries have bolstered their capital spending budgets for automation and new technologies. But there are other underlying motivations for making these investments.

New research conducted by Cypress Research in conjunction with Baking & Snack showed that 90% of baking professionals surveyed listed more consistent product quality as the primary driver, followed by increased capacity (86%) and eliminating the need for such manual tasks as lifting repetitive motion (85%). However, those main drivers differ depending on the size of the company.

Among businesses with $100 million or less in annual revenue, 95% of respondents listed more consistent product quality. However, 88% of larger companies with more than $100 million mentioned improving downtime/uptime ratios as their major concern. Overall, the 2021 Workforce Gap/Automation Industry Study also delves into what equipment baking companies are planning to purchase to either automate their operations or upgrade existing ones.

To connect the dots between labor concerns and automation, Baking & Snack is hosting a webinar on Feb. 23 with Marjorie Hellmer, president of Cypress Research, with industry analysis and insights by Rowdy Brixey, president of Brixey Engineering, and Ken Newsome, chief executive officer of the Markel Food Group. The webinar will explore where bakeries measure up against industry-wide investment trends and identify how automation opportunities could benefit their operations.

More information may be found here:https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/3604926/9D9566CEB71C5CD705ABC7CFBA58A789