Cooplands Bakery outlet  2100x1400

Source: Cooplands

Cooplands bakery shop on Davygate in York

Cooplands Bakery has installed Cybake ISB software to plan and manage in-store sandwich production across its entire retail estate.

Cybake ISB is a retail production planning system created by York-based bakery software developer Cybake that aims to improve the availability of products catering to customer demand at specific times of the day. This in turn helps boost sales and cut down on food waste for in-store bakeries and fresh food counters.

Sandwiches are said to account for almost 30% of revenue at Cooplands, with the company revealing that it had little control over what or how many sandwiches each store made prior to the adoption of Cybake ISB.

By using advanced forecasting, the system tells store staff the best combination of sandwiches to make at the right times via tablets. It also shows Cooplands head office exact data on production, sales, and waste across its stores, and provides KPIs accordingly.

Cooplands central operations manager Carole Hay said the company conducted a small-scale trial across five control shops to get some analysis. She acknowledged that this led to increases in both pre-made sandwiches and overall sales, with Cooplands now rolling out the system at all of its shops, which number nearly 160 across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and the northeast of England.

Hay revealed the need to be clever with their sandwich plan, as regional tastes often come into play. For example, Pease pudding stottie (mushed yellow split peas on a flat round loaf) were a popular choice for customers in Sunderland. “That just wouldn’t sell in Lincolnshire,” she conceded. “They don’t know what it is.”

Cybake ISB has helped Cooplands take control of this regional side of the business, as well as giving head office a clear view of exactly what should be made and when, and whether each shop is complying, Hay added.

“Efficiency wise, it’s a lot better because we can have those sandwiches pre-made in the morning before the lunchtime rush,” noted Hay, while emphasising that the service aspect of made-to-order sandwiches is still important to attract customers.

Cybake ISB is an entirely separate product from the Cybake bakery management software system, which Cooplands Bakery has been using since 2020, primarily to automate the replenishment of stock in each of its retail outlets.

“Cybake ISB was originally developed for supermarkets, so this was the first time it was tested outside that specific sector,” said Cybake commercial director Martin Coyle. “The team at Cooplands Bakery are great to work with and it has been exciting to see how well Cybake ISB works within a large network of bakery shops. Currently, we are in talks with retail bakery chains of a similar scale about using the software in the USA and in Australia too.”

Cooplands recently announced a partnership with Nisa to supply Yorkshire-made baked goods including loaves, buns, and cakes to its stores. Improved sales were indicated in its latest financial results for the 39 weeks to 31 December 2022, although it reported a loss of £9.8m primarily attributed to soaring raw material costs. Owner EG Group said it would look to leverage the bakery brand as part of its growth ambitions after selling the majority of its other businesses to Asda for £2.27bn last year.