Norwegian bakery chain Baker Brun is using mobile and sensor technology to transform its internal processes.
Most 125-year-old companies with many traditional products and artisanal values would want to tread carefully with digitalisation, but Baker Brun sees it is an opportunity not to be missed.
“We have to be interested in how we can do things smarter so it’s only natural to look at how digitalisation can be used to gather more information and to use [information] more efficiently,” said Torunn Totland Stangervåg, business developer at Baker Brun.
The challenge for the bakery chain, which runs 20 bakery shops and three production facilities in Norway, is making routine tasks more efficient and moving away from pen and paper. In April 2017, the company started a pilot with Norwegian telecommunications giant Telenor to use its mobile app, Kontroll, to document tasks and speed up reporting.
Baker Brun already runs quality management and business intelligence software, but gathering the data relies heavily on manual tasks. For example, in the case of a problem on the production line, the bakery staff takes a picture of the defective product, fills in a form and emails both to the administration where someone enters the data into the quality management system. This entire process will soon be move to the mobile app to improve access to the data and reduce time spent on reporting."
“[The goal is] to make reporting very easy. The more reports we get, the more chance we make the right corrections and do them earlier,” said Stangervåg.
The bakery plans to installed sensors to its 300 fridge and freezer rooms to connect them with the app to automatically monitor storage temperatures and receive alerts of any fluctuations. Previously, temperatures were checked manually and recorded, which meant 600 checks every day.
Currently, the mobile app gathers the data in the cloud, and Baker Brun expects Telenor to have it ready for integration with its core IT systems later in the summer. The focus now is on collecting feedback on the app’s functionalities from one department and making changes before a wider implementation across all the company’s locations.
Stangervåg believes the biggest challenge will be adoption, and preventing its 280 staff reverting to their old ways.
“It is a risk people feel that this is a new thing coming from the top [management] which they have to use. We have to focus on how to make it as easy as possible,” Stangervåg said. “Our idea is to try to make all the different systems work together so our people can use their mobile phones or the store tablets to easily access all our systems.”