Looking ahead, digital transformation requires a new set of eyes for how bakers analyze everything from sales forecasting to production scheduling. “Bakers who do not innovate the way they conduct business are probably out of business already or will be pushed aside soon,” says George Keushguerian, owner of TwinPeaks Online. “Here are the three functionalities of any type of a bakery where technological innovations should be introduced and maintained: production of goods, the sale of products, and the administration of the business.”

There are three types of point-of-sale (POS) operating systems: analog registers, PC-based registers, and tablet-based systems like Square or Clover. “We believe that TwinPeaks is the only provider of tablet-based POS software that is tailor-made for bakeries, called POMePOS,” Keushguerian says. “A good POS system alerts an owner of what items are selling on a daily or a real-time basis. Maintaining profitability and a healthy cash flow is essential and must be based on correct and current information.”

Technology providers can do much to help improve the operational efficiencies of a bakery, according to Mike Clements, owner of BakeSmart, a bakery software firm. “At BakeSmart, there are two things we try to do whenever implementing a technology solution to a physical problem. First, we want to maximize the effect of the solution while minimizing interaction. Second, we seek to eliminate gaps between systems.”

Where to invest scarce resources goes to the heart of any business, Keushguerian says. What works for one business may not work for another. Some options can add on to existing services, especially with a point-of-sale system. “Production should be as easy and seamless as possible for the production staff. Look into best-selling products and continue to view them. With the right information, you can learn what sells best for your stores and cull or reduce production of products that aren’t moving,” he says.