News: BakePlan Software launches to focus on supermarket sector after RedBlack Software restructure

With M&S rollout and trials at other retailers, BakePlan forecasting solution gets life of its own.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2017, YORK, ENGLAND – RedBlack Software today announces a restructure that splits the company into two distinct corporate entities, RedBlack Software Ltd and BakePlan Software Ltd.

RedBlack Software Ltd will continue its mission to serve the independent craft bakery sector with its market-leading range of Cybake bakery management solutions. BakePlan Software’s focus is on the retail grocery and convenience store sectors across Europe with its BakePlan production forecasting system for in-store bakeries.

Jane Tyler, managing director of both companies, explains that the corporate restructure was prompted by a fork in the development of their software solutions. This became apparent during a successful project to improve availability and reduce waste at M&S’ in-store bakeries throughout the UK and Ireland.

Jane Tyler says: “It became plain that the needs of the large modern retail grocer diverged considerably from that of RedBlack’s core craft bakery customers. We therefore decided to give our BakePlan supermarket solution a life of its own. As well as attracting interest from outside investors, BakePlan is already undergoing trials with potential new users in this sector.”

BakePlan tells in-store bakery staff the best combination of products to bake at the right times during the day via tablets or mobiles. Using advanced data analytics and machine learning, BakePlan adjusts its suggestions according to the day’s trading patterns. At the same time as increasing availability, the system cuts waste and increases bakery section sales.

Jane Tyler, who is also the vice chair of the British Society of Baking industry association, says that major grocery retailers have large, complex systems that do not always cater well for the very specific needs of bakery departments that have a bake-off operation.

She says: “We find that there is rarely any provision for multi-wave planning to support a little-and-often baking model nor any practical means of capturing information about what has actually been baked. BakePlan is an easy way grocers can tackle availability and freshness, which are big differentiators in consumers’ minds, at the same time as working towards their commitments to cutting food waste.”

For more info, see the BakePlan website.

Jane Tyler
Jane Tyler

News: RedBlack Software fills e-commerce gap for wholesale craft bakers with Cybake Inbound online ordering system

Cybake Inbound

JULY 11, 2017, YORK, UK — RedBlack Software today launches Cybake Inbound, a new cloud-based online ordering system for wholesale craft bakers.

With Cybake Inbound, bakers get their own online product list branded with their logo and livery. Bakery customers then access this online catalogue via any web-connected device (phone, tablet, PC) to place their orders.

Each wholesale customer sees their own easy-to-use customised product list that tells them what products they have on standing order, what they have ordered before, when they ordered it and more.

Online ordering saves bakers considerable amounts of time and money. Staff costs, phone bills and hours spent rectifying order errors are all reduced. Orders are more accurate, the bakery cannot be blamed for mistakes and customer satisfaction is increased leading to better sales.

In turn, wholesale customers get a simpler, clearer way of interacting with the bakery that is more helpful and much less hassle. New customers are attracted by the convenience of online ordering.

Jane Tyler, managing director of RedBlack Software, says: “Cybake Inbound allows us to help our customers and, in turn, their customers, take proper advantage of what is, after all, standard e-commerce technology in our day-to-day lives.

Tyler, who is also the vice chairman of the British Society of Baking, says that in recent years, she has seen more web-savvy bakers develop their own bespoke online ordering systems.

She says: “For many wholesale craft bakeries, the experience of setting up their own online ordering systems has been daunting, expensive and frustrating. We are stepping in with a simple solution that we can deliver at a low cost with of our use of the cloud.”

A medium-sized wholesale craft baker has anywhere between 100 and 200 customers and over 100 product lines. Very many bakers take the majority of their orders over the phone from incoming calls or make outgoing calls to ring round their customers. Often, it is a mixture of both and while many firms take orders by email, a heavy reliance on fax is not uncommon.

Misunderstandings arise from all of these methods. Orders then have to be manually entered into the bakers’ system. This leads to further errors that result in returns, unfulfilled deliveries and account queries, all of which takes up valuable back office resources.

With Cybake Inbound, customers make their orders online without the need for bakery staff to take them. Contact with the customer can now concentrate on servicing their account more efficiently in terms of explaining new products or promotions, resulting in better sales and stronger relationships.

While Cybake Inbound is a cloud-based web ordering system that works as a standalone application, it has been specifically designed to work seamlessly with RedBlack Software’s flagship Cybake bakery management system.

Cybake Inbound takes customers’ web orders and then updates Cybake itself with the data. This automatically generates the bakery’s production schedule as well as invoices, delivery notes and labels.

For non-Cybake users, Cybake Inbound easily exports its data to any other bakery management or ERP system.

Cybake Inbound is available now from RedBlack Software as a cloud service with a monthly subscription for fast ROI. Customers that sign up for Cybake Inbound before the end of July, 2017, will receive a 15% discount.

Former EPOS Group managing director Steve Boyes joins RedBlack Software as lead business strategist for Cybake

Steve Boyes Cybake
RedBlack Software has appointed industry veteran Steve Boyes to the new role of lead business strategist.

Boyes, 52, was previously managing director of EPOS Group, one of the UK’s most successful suppliers of computerised till technology to the food retail and hospitality sectors. He sold the Ramsgate, Kent-based company, which is now called Cunninghams Epos Group, in 2015 and stayed on as MD of the firm in a stewardship role until last month.

York-based RedBlack is the creator of Cybake which is Britain’s leading bakery management software solution and is used by retail and wholesale bakeries all over the UK and Ireland. Boyes is working as part of RedBlack’s Cybake team on a range of areas including client liaison, customer support and new accounts.

Boyes’ former firm has a close working relationship with RedBlack. The two companies signed a technology partnership agreement in 2013 and have worked on a number of joint projects at some of the country’s biggest independent retail bakery chains. Examples include Scotland’s S.M. Baynes, London’s Percy Ingles and Yorkshire’s Thomas the Baker.

Commenting on his new role, Steve Boyes says: “RedBlack is currently going through a period of rapid growth and it’s great to be working with like-minded, fun people who have true entrepreneurial spirit. Obviously, I am comfortable working in a sector that I already know well and I am already very familiar with Cybake, which is a tremendous product.”

Jane Tyler, managing director of RedBlack Software, says: “It’s great to have Steve on the Cybake team. I have known him for many years and have always admired his go-getting attitude to business and technology. Steve has a huge amount of experience in our sector that he is already putting to very positive use for RedBlack.”

M&S rolls out Cybake Instore from RedBlack Software to over 500 in-store bakeries

M&S rolls out Cybake Instore from RedBlack Software to over 500 in-store bakeries

 JUNE 17, 2016, YORK, UK – M&S 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.”

M&S is using Cybake Instore to cut waste and improve product availability

For more information about Cybake Instore, see: http://cybakeinstore.co.uk

For more information about Cybake, see: http://cybake.co.uk

RedBlack Software appoints Brett Jones as account manager for the South of England and Wales

APRIL 25, 2016, YORK, UK – RedBlack Software has appointed Brett Jones to the position of account manager. Based in Bristol, he will have particular responsibility for the South of England and Wales.

RedBlack is the creator of the popular Cybake range of bakery management systems. Jones, who is 32, has spent his entire career in the food industry. His first job was managing a Somerfield instore bakery.

He continued in the food service industry before joining weighing systems specialist Stevens Group in 2009.

Jones has worked with some of British bakery’s biggest brands as well as major West Country Cybake users like Bristol’s Hobbs House and Penzance-headquartered Warrens Bakery.

Jones says: “My background gives RedBlack someone with comprehensive experience of planning and implementing traceability systems that meet established standards like BRC and SALSA. I also have experience of the food industry outside of baking.”

RedBlack managing director Jane Tyler says: “We already knew Brett from his excellent work with Stevens. For us, he is a very good fit. Not only does he understand the needs of large, enterprise-class food producers, he has a great feel for the challenges that face high street bakers too.

Jones says: “Bristol is a good location from which to cover Southern England. It means RedBlack has better coverage of the whole of the UK. We can improve service to our existing clients down here and we have a dedicated resource to expanding the business in areas that are harder to cover from York.”

The new addition to the RedBlack team is particularly enthusiastic about the firm’s new reseller agreement with weighing, traceability and recipe control specialist SG Systems.

Jones says: “While weighing and traceability put me in familiar territory, SG Systems’ solutions are not locked into expensive proprietary hardware. I fully expect that this will widen their appeal to a much larger market.

Brett Jones web
Brett Jones, RedBlack Software’s new Bristol-based account manager for the South of England and Wales