Bakers Delight

Meeting the technical challenges of a bakery giant.

When Bakers Delight migrated more than 700 bakeries across Australia and New Zealand onto point-of-sale terminals in 2006, it turned to ASI Solutions to provide ongoing management, support and maintenance.

ASI immediately established specific break/fix service level agreements for Bakers Delight urban and regional locations to meet its requirements for quick response times and low disruptions to service, which it has successfully maintained over the course of the contract to-date.

“It is essential to our business that we keep our POS systems operational – we required a maintenance provider that could consistently provide very quick response times and stick to their SLAs for our urban and our regional locations. ASI goes out of their way to resolve service issues quickly. It has managed its SLAs consistently over the years, and also assisted with issues that were above and beyond their contract with us.”

Joanne Stubbs, CIO of Bakers Delight Holdings Ltd 

As the Australian retail industry continues to evolve, point-of-sale (POS) systems are not only proving to be an efficient way of allowing a business to really see how it is functioning, they are fast becoming a vital piece of the customer experience.

Designed to be user friendly, a good POS system can be a huge time saver that allows staff to focus their attention on the customer, as well as the physical preparation and sale of products, cementing retail’s most important values.

With over 700 bakeries across Australia, New Zealand and Canada, Bakers Delight is well aware of the importance of maintaining good POS technology as it welcomes more that 2.5 million customers into its stores every week. It turned to ASI Solutions to provide much needed support and management of its POS technology across Australia and New Zealand, to ensure the terminals are always available and in good working order every day.

Meeting the technical challenges of a bakery giant

Bakers Delight is the most successful bakery franchise in Australia, with approximately 15,000 employees and a global turnover of $575 million in 2012/13. It was established in 1980 as a single bakery in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn.

Through commitment to its people and each bakery’s local community, the company has now built a reputation as one of the best franchising organisations throughout Australia, New Zealand and Canada (where it operates as COBS Bread).

As it continues to grow, Bakers Delight is constantly focused on improving its stores to better serve customers and franchisees. In 2006, it set about dedicating as much space as possible at the retail counter to product and packaging, rather than the supporting technology hardware.

To achieve this, Bakers Delight migrated to POS terminals in each store, which are connected via communications links to the computing infrastructure at its head office, to centralise reporting on sales and other information for individual franchisees and the network as a whole.

“Point-of-sale terminals sitting in our stores have to deal with hands covered in flour, plus the heat and humidity inherent in a bakery,” said Joanne Stubbs, CIO of Bakers Delight Holdings Ltd. “It was important we selected a model with sturdy metal casing and no fans to avoid drawing in more flour.”

POS Terminal Maintenance

Keeping up with POS terminals in over 700 stores, however, is no easy feat. Bakers Delight needed a reliable partner to provide ongoing management, maintenance and repair to its POS terminals, so it could focus on its core baking business.

“On average, three to five POS terminals per day require service and support across Australia and New Zealand,” said Ms Stubbs. “It is essential to our business that we keep our terminals operational, so we required a maintenance provider that can consistently provide very quick response times and stick to their service level agreements for our urban and our regional locations.”

Quick response times and low service disruption

In 2007, Bakers Delight engaged ASI to maintain and support its POS equipment across Australia and New Zealand.

ASI immediately established specific break/fix service level agreements (SLAs) for Bakers Delight’s urban and regional locations to meet its requirements for quick response times and low disruptions to service, which it has successfully maintained over the course of the contract to-date.

In the event of a disruption, Bakers Delight has a back-up in place to ensure that data from the POS terminals in any of its retail outlets is immediately restored the minute the communications link is re-established.

ASI is responsible for ensuring that disruption is as brief as possible, and guarantees to have the terminals up and running quickly – for example, no later than the same time the next day in any of Bakers Delight’s urban retail outlets.

“ASI goes out of their way to resolve service issues quickly,” said Ms Stubbs. “It has managed its SLAs consistently over the years, and also assisted with issues that were above and beyond the terms of the contract with us.”

In addition to managing and maintaining the systems, ASI is responsible for setting up POS systems in new Bakers Delight retail outlets throughout Australia and New Zealand, with new franchisees coming on board at a rate of about a dozen a year.

According to Ms Stubbs, this enduring relationship is testament to ASI’s reliability, responsiveness, expertise and customer service.

Valued partnerships open more doors

Moving forward, the relationship between Bakers Delight and ASI will continue to expand beyond SLAs in the front-office retail stores into hardware in the back-office environment, when its head office receives a computer refresh throughout July and August 2014 to boost the efficiencies of its corporate team.

Despite having an existing contract with Bakers Delight, there was no guarantee that ASI would automatically be assigned new work as it came up, requiring the solution provider to go through a competitive bidding process. ASI recommended an upgrade of more than 60 Lenovo laptops and Panasonic Toughbooks to provide Bakers Delight’s head office with more efficient and powerful machines and won the contract.

“ASI has been outstanding in terms of open communication and quick response from the account manager and overall team,” said Ms Stubbs. “We are more than happy to have them refreshing our head office technology and continuing to prove themselves as an efficient, reliable technology partner.”

Joanne Stubbs, CIO of Bakers Delight Holdings Ltd