KANSAS CITY — Distribution and other supply chain issues are taking their toll, especially on mid-size wholesale baking companies.
“Trucking was once a small percentage of each transaction,” Theresa Watkinson, chief operating officer, Aladdin Bakeries, told Baking & Snack for its March trends report on tortillas and flatbreads. “Now, it is often difficult to find carriers, and if we do, the costs have often increased more than we’ve been able to consider in our pricing. We always have aimed at offering pricing stability, but this is not possible anymore. It is frustrating for us and our customers. Fortunately, we aren’t in this situation alone, so our customers have been understanding.”
Toufayan Bakeries found that supply chain issues also involve packaging materials.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get other supplies such as bags and boxes, and a lot of that is due to not having the manpower in your factories,” explained Karen Toufayan, vice president of marketing and sales, Toufayan Bakeries. “The cost of making a package of bread has also really skyrocketed, so we’re dealing with a lot of issues when it comes to pricing and increase of costs.”
Other bakeries have reported a shortage of pallets, which complicates the distribution picture. That said, most bakeries have managed to grow and emphasize the importance of staying on top of operations and maintaining industry relationships.
“We have great relationships with our vendor-partners and have so far managed to grow our business and maintain 100% fill rates to our customers,” Ms. Watkinson said.
When the going gets tough, successful operators learn how to adapt with a little help from their friends.