Jane Tyler’s blog: Season’s Greetings and 2017 in review

Contrary to outside perceptions of a “traditional” industry, bakers have often been enthusiastic early adopters of computer technology. British operators, in particular, have historically had a wide range of bakery management software offerings to choose from.

Some of these, however, appear to have reached their sell-by dates. We started 2017 with a flurry of enquiries from bakers struggling with IT systems that were, to put it politely, a little creaky. We were happy to help, replacing them with Cybake, and we also published a couple of blogs that examined the background to this type of new installation.

Cybake has had its own digital transformation in recent times and this year we continued to bring cloud technology very much to the forefront of what we do.

Many of our customers have been using our cloud-based food info compliance system Cybake Infood since 2014. Last year, we launched Cybake Instore, our unique automated replenishment  system for retail bakers. Cybake Instore has been another big hit with our users over the last twelve months as they seek to boost sales at the same time as reducing waste.

This year, we added another clever cloud app to our range, Cybake Inbound. Developed at the request of our wholesale craft bakers, Cybake Inbound is a really handy way customers can place orders online via any web-connected device (phone, tablet, PC).

Another exciting cloud-related development was the creation of our sister company, BakePlan Software, in September. BakePlan is a production forecasting system that cuts waste, increases sales and improves availability for supermarket in-store bakeries and food-to-go operators. You may have read about M&S’s use of BakePlan across all its stores in the UK and Eire in trade press titles like The Grocer, British Baker et al. You can expect to read more about this revolutionary application in 2018.

On a more personal note, I have really enjoyed my tenure this year as vice chair of the British Society of Baking. As well our two jam-packed BSB conferences, this great role has taken me to the Bakery Industry Awards, the World Bread Awards and the Worshipful Company of Bakers election banquet, to name but a few.

Away from the BSB, I spoke at events as diverse as Campden BRI’s Food Service Member Interest Group (MIG) (on reducing food waste) and Leeds Future Labs (about cloud software development) as well as being invited to join Tech North’s Northern Voices programme for women leaders in IT. Plus the Cybake team were in full effect at the Scottish Bakers annual conference and the Craft Bakers & Butchers Extravaganza. A big hello to everyone I met along the way.

All that’s left to say is season’s greetings to all from the Cybake team. Have a great festive trading period, a happy new year and stay tuned for some more cutting-edge technology from Cybake in 2018.

Jane Tyler, managing director, RedBlack Software

 Jane Tyler is the managing director of Cybake creator RedBlack Software, the vice chair of the British Society of Baking and a regular speaker at food and technology industry events in the UK. You can follow her on Twitter at @Jane_RedBlack and on LinkedIn here.

About Jane Tyler

Jane Tyler founded RedBlack Software in 1998 and is the chief architect of Cybake, Britain’s leading bakery management software suite.