We spoke with managing director, Nicky Taylor, at Cavan about how Cunninghams EPOS Group and our integration with Cybake bakery software has helped the company solve their challenges and grow.
Cavan Bakery was founded in 1929, we’ve been going a very long time. It is still in the third generation of the Cavan family, but it’s now so much more than just a family business. We’re now a chain of 14 shops with a riverside café, and we have a sizeable wholesale business as well. We have plans to continue growing the business over the next few years and become the go-to bakery in our region.
What is the history of your bakery?
What do you use Cybake and Cunnighams EPOS Group for?
We’ve been using Cybake for many years now, it’s an automated software platform where we collate all our wholesale and shop orders for breads, cakes and pastries. That then translates each day into a set of recipes that we give to our bakery production team, so it’s really essential to our operation. We need to fulfill all those orders, make sure they go onto the correct delivery round and reach the correct customer.
Over recent years, we’ve been using Cybake Infood system, which helps us calculate nutritional values, allergens and full ingredients listings, as obviously there are more and more requirements in that area. It interfaces with Cunninghams EPOS Group's Quantum software and means the advance ordering we do for our shops is based on actual sales. It helps us predict how much product to have when and where more reliably.
How do you find using the two of them in together?
It’s working well in that we have live till data from Cunninghams' Quantum software. It synchronises with Cybake daily. So, when you go into the Cybake platform, you can see what the sales were in each shop for each product, for the last few weeks or however long you want to look back for, so it seems to be working fairly seamlessly.
Do you think there’s a less margin for error by using Cybake and Quantum by Cunninghams EPOS Group?
There should be less margin for error, but we’re in a business where there’s an inevitable truth that there will always be some waste. It’s very hard to get bakery ordering right, we don’t have a crystal ball, but at least you can make educated, informed decisions. You can see when a product definitely isn’t selling, you can see if a product is doing well, and you can see seasonal fluctuations and adjustments as well. You have actual data to back up what you might see when you visit the shops. It definitely helps to plan more efficiently.
Has Cavan faced any external pressure from the rising costs of ingredients and overheads?
There’s no doubt we’ve been affected. In some ways, we’ve been affected in a positive way. When the pandemic started, we really didn’t know what that would mean for our business, we didn’t know whether we’d be shutting up shops and that would be it and it would all be over. In fact, with people being at home then and for quite a large period afterwards it has brought new customers to us and made them aware of the importance of having these local businesses within the community. So, what I’ve learned from the challenges the economic climate has been under over the last two or three years, whether it’s the pandemic or the war in Ukraine or the cost-of-living crisis, is that we have the ability to adapt to the changes and that we’re still an important presence within our local community. That gives us hope for the future.
What did you use to manage your till sales before you used Quantum by Cunninghams EPOS Group?
It was a manual till system and manual production, all done quite old school. We’ve been using Cunninghams' EPOS software, for at least 15 years, so it’s an established partnership.
Has Cybake changed the way you view your business or elements within it?
Do you think Cybake and Quantum by Cunninghams EPOS Group helps you reduce waste?
That’s a really good question and it’s really interesting timing that you’re asking those questions now, because I am currently overseeing the project of migrating from Cybake3, which has been around for about 10 years, to Cybake4 [cloud-based]. I am managing this project myself because I understand both how we use Cybake currently and the business operation as a whole, and therefore how the two things have to work together. What I’ve realised is that there’s so much functionality and capability within Cybake that we can be using to our advantage, such as route planning, customer ordering and lead time planning, so actually I think it will make more things possible within the business. So, I wouldn’t say it’s changed how I view the business, but it’s made us understand that we can fulfill our potential.
The short answer is yes. They do help us to reduce waste because we’re making informed decisions about how much product to place in our shops. However, it’s important to recognise that there will always be a certain amount of waste, and that you have responsibility as a business owner to ensure that’s dealt with ethically. We work with several food surplus partners including homeless charities, food banks, community kitchens etc. that collect our end of day waste and ensure it goes to good use rather than in the bin. As a result, we have very little waste that is just thrown away, we try to put a much of the waste that there is too good as good a use as possible.