Marks & Spencer is rolling out RedBlack Software’s Cybake Instore sales-based predictive ordering solution to all of its 534 in-store bakeries in the UK.
Cybake Instore cuts waste and increases revenue by telling in-store bakery staff the best combination of products to bake at the right times of the day. The move follows successful trials in a selection of M&S stores last year.
Cybake Instore is cloud-based and integrates with M&S’s SAP ERP system. Instore takes historical sales data from M&S’s EPOS systems to calculate production waves throughout the day in a way that is not practical manually. Staff assumptions about consumer preferences are corrected and each production wave is optimised for potential sales.
As well as reducing waste in line with M&S’s Plan A commitments to sustainability, this ensures that high standards of freshness and quality are maintained and improved upon.
Lance Bennett, senior IT project manager at M&S, says that the retailer chose RedBlack Software because of its bakery sector expertise and agile approach to development.
Bennett says: “Following the proof of concept in five stores, we worked with RedBlack Software to enhance and extend Cybake Instore to a 28-store trial before starting a rollout to all stores.
“RedBlack have repeatedly proven themselves to be responsive and adaptable to our changing needs, including the rapid development of a mobile solution after changes to our hardware strategy.
“We have seen benefits in product availability and waste levels equal to or exceeding our business case across most stores and are now in the process to extending the solution to all of our in-store bakeries.”
M&S is widely acknowledged as an innovator in mobile technology. After trialling a number of options, M&S’s digital stores team chose ruggedised PDAs as the best devices for bakery staff to use Instore.
Cathy Paine, an M&S bakery specialist managing the rollout to its South London stores, says: “Instore is easy to use for our bakers on the PDAs. After a very small amount of time, even the less tech-savvy bakers were fully up to speed and using the solution without issues.”
Cybake Instore is part of RedBlack Software’s Cybake suite of bakery management software solutions. Bakeries and confectioners throughout the UK and Ireland rely on Cybake to control production and link their back offices to their shop floors, their stores, their deliveries and beyond.
Jane Tyler, managing director of RedBlack Software, says: “M&S has a clear strategy to make the very best use of its big data sets. Cybake Instore is a perfect example of an application that exploits this data to produce tangible benefits pretty much straight away.”
Tyler, who is also an executive committee member of the British Society of Baking, explains that RedBlack originally developed sales-based planning and ordering with its larger bakery chain customers.
She says: “Since we launched Cybake Instore as a stand-alone cloud application at April’s Foodex, it has sparked some heavyweight interest. I believe that’s partly because it applies to both in-store bakers that bake from scratch and to those that bake from frozen.
“By guiding in-store bakeries through the day’s peaks and troughs in demand it means, for example, that staff don’t bake too much in the morning wave, so products are fresher throughout the day.”