Calgary Italian Bakery Case Study
- Cut paper costs by more than $2,000 a year
- Saved administrative staff two-and-a-half hours a week
- Increased delivery efficiency and accuracy
Founded in 1962 by Luigi and Myrl Bontorin, Calgary Italian Bakery is one of the largest independent bakeries in western Canada, producing a variety of baked goods at its 40,000 square foot facility in Calgary. Most of the Bakery’s business is comprised of selling wholesale goods to grocery chains, schools, government agencies, hospitals and restaurants. The Bakery also provides baked goods to restaurants like Five Guys Burgers and Fries and co-packages products for other bakeries and wholesalers.
Calgary Italian Bakery serves 700 customers, boasting an average of 200 deliveries a day. The Bakery employs 75 people and does approximately $12 million in sales every year.
Calgary Italian Bakery is an early adopter of technology and one of the only bakeries in western Canada to automate their business, incorporating handheld computers into their delivery system in 1990. By 2009, the Bakery’s second generation of handheld computers had become obsolete. The mobile devices, mainly used by Calgary Italian Bakery’s truck drivers, were prone to breaking, hard to read, and unable to capture the pricing and order information essential to the Bakery’s business. Because of this, Calgary Italian Bakery was still operating on a mainly paper system which was inefficient and inaccurate.
Calgary Italian Bakery needed a new solution that was:
- Able to perform signature capture
Calgary Italian Bakery turned to its software provider, bMobile DSD Route Software, for assistance in selecting new mobile devices. bMobile DSD Route Software, a privately held American software development company, presented several handheld options and Calgary Italian Bakery quickly chose Psion’s Workabout Pro 3™. The Workabout Pro 3 met several of Calgary Italian Bakery’s needs including signature capture, Bluetooth and wireless capability and compatibility with bMobile’s software, which was already in use at Calgary Italian Bakery.
“I’ve been a customer of bMobile DSD Route Software for the past few years and appreciate their guidance and support,” said Louis Bontorin, Vice President of Sales and Administration at Calgary Italian Bakery. “When bMobile showed me the Psion Workabout Pro 3, the device stood out due to its durability, superior ergonomics and ease-of-use.”
Calgary Italian Bakery went live with their new handheld solution in the spring of 2010 in conjunction with bMobile’s DSD Route Accounting Software. Today when Calgary Italian Bakery’s staff takes orders over the phone, email or fax, the information is entered into bMobile’s DSD Route Accounting Software, integrating the new order with standing orders. The information then creates a list of deliveries that is segmented by route, and a load sheet with the total number of products required for delivery. This information is sent to Calgary Italian Bakery’s distribution and production system and the picking process begins. The Bakery’s drivers then load their trucks and communicate this to the server to get the route information for the day’s deliveries, and the delivery information automatically loads onto the Workabout Pro 3. Previously, the administration department would have to manually load delivery information on the mobile devices. The Workabout Pro 3’s automated process saves the administration staff two-and-a-half-hours every week.
From the Workabout Pro 3, the drivers are able to record returns, reconcile orders, print orders and capture customer signatures on the device. With the Workabout Pro 3’s wireless capabilities, truck drivers no longer have to plug in their handhelds to send the information to the accounting office. The Workabout Pro 3 automatically uploads the information to Calgary Italian Bakery’s server as soon as the truck drivers near the loading dock. bMobile’s software then creates a route settlement and the process begins again.
“Our drivers are more productive with the Psion-bMobile solution,” said Bontorin. “bMobile’s software has allowed us to automate our accounting process, and the Workabout Pro 3’s touch screen allows us to do more on the road because employees are able to look up information faster and easier.”
Calgary Italian Bakery’s truck drivers are not the only ones realizing the benefits of this upgraded system; the accounting department has also experienced a marked change. Before, when customers would request a copy of their invoice, accounts receivable would have to find the invoice, print it out and send it off to the customer. Now drivers can email the signed order form with the click of a button.
“Our business is more efficient today,” said Bontorin. “The Workabout Pro 3’s modular structure has enabled us to go wireless and paperless. The upgrades and additional features we received with the Workabout Pro 3 give us an edge in our industry.”
With bMobile and Psion’s solution in place, Calgary Italian Bakery is no longer printing as many invoices, cutting its paper cost in half and saving the bakery more than $2,000 a year. The Bakery has also implemented an electronic statement system for its customers, saving them postage, paper and labor.