Kaak Bakeware will be standing on its own two feet from now on

15 June 2016

Kaak Bakeware moves forward as an independent subsidiary of the Kaak Group after 100 years.

Kaak Bakeware has decided to move forward as an independent company in 2016. The oldest subsidiary of the Kaak Group is currently storming the market with the innovative iBakeware system, which was received with great enthusiasm at the IBA trade fair in Munich at the end of 2015. Sales manager Job Pyrek explains why Kaak Bakeware has decided to make this move.

Why has Kaak Bakeware decided to take the independent route?

“It was a logical step. Kaak originally started as a manufacturer of baking tins, in other words it was a sheet metal folding company. From a historical perspective, that was the first activity of our organisation. By the 1960s, our operations had evolved to include mechanical engineering. Eventually, the Kaak Group has become a supplier of the total range of industrial baking technology. We now supply the entire range of products and services, from silos to crates. The original activity was always carried out by a separate department. That is why in 2008 we decided to launch a separate brand identity for the department that made baking products and coatings. That was the start of Kaak Bakeware. As a subsidiary, we built up our own brand identity and achieved considerable growth. After we had established the brand name, the final, logical step was to become a separate entity. In other words, independence.”

So the Kaak Group is seeing its oldest subsidiary leave home?

“Yes, that’s right. Although we won’t really be going anywhere. We will be staying exactly where we are, here in Terborg. Which is where it all started for Kaak 100 years ago.”

What will change in practice?

“For our customers, not very much. All our customer contacts will stay the same. However, we will be working with different order numbers. Apart from that, everything will stay more or less as it was.”

If everything is going to stay the same, why did you need to become independent?

“The developments within Bakeware are taking place so fast, we needed to shorten the internal lines of communication. Thanks to the new independence, we have been able to remove a few unnecessary steps from our business process. We can now take action much quicker, and provide a better service. That fits perfectly with our vision: You Bake, We Care. Kaak Bakeware wants to supply industrial bakeries with quick, practical solutions. We have been doing that for years anyway, but from now on as an independent company. For such departments as marketing, ICT, and finance, though, we will still be using the Kaak Group.”

It sounds like the oldest Kaak subsidiary has outgrown its parental home?

“True. Although naturally we have been much more than a metal folder for some time. Bakeware delivers a complete range of services. Take the iBakeware system, for example. This innovative system makes it possible for bakeries to improve their process management, and thus achieve considerable cost savings. With iBakeware, we can track and monitor product carriers in every phase of the baking process. We have taken it so far, for example, that we can use our computerised system in Terborg to detect and preventatively remove frequently-used product carriers, and have them replaced or repaired. This helps to prevent dough residue sticking to eroded coating layers, and reduces the amount of unnecessary product waste. A reduction in product waste of 1% to 2% can save an industrial bakery a significant amount of money. And of course a bakery always needs more than just pots and pans, because essentially, what they really want is to find out how to improve their baking process and manage it better, and we have everything they need to make that happen. And if we haven’t got a solution already, then we will sit down and come up with one. That is why we are very optimistic and confident about our future as a new, independent company.”

So you are a new independent company, but with 100 years of experience!

“Yes, that is our major strength of course. We look like a new company on the outside, but on the inside we have been perfecting our business for a 100 years. In total, we have 51 employees. Nearly all of them have been working for Kaak for many years. So we have a wealth of knowledge and experience that we can take with us into the future.”

What do you, the staff, think about this new independence?

“To be honest, we are glad that it is out of the way. It sounds easy, but setting up an independent operation takes a lot of work. It was a full-scale internal reorganisation. We had so much to sort out. You have to have new headed notepaper and product stamps, deal with customs issues, introduce new order numbers, and adjust all your processes. Luckily everyone was fully committed to the change. We were determined to get everything ready by the target date of 1 January 2016. Finally, we had to send all our suppliers a letter explaining the change and providing them with our new contact details and bank account numbers.”

During this ‘internal reorganisation’ did you identify any issues that you plan to do differently from now on?

“This type of independence naturally starts you thinking about the whole way you run your business. It helps you to take an objective look at your organisation, and realise that despite all the experience you have, you can still do some things better. We took what we do for our customers every day, and applied it to our own administrative systems. All our administrative processes have now been streamlined. We can now run our company using a much simpler dashboard. You only have to push a few buttons to set our entire organisation in motion.”

Talking about an organisation on the move: what new developments can we expect in the future?

“With a slogan like “You Bake, We Care” you can definitely expect some new solutions to be launched soon. For example, we will be launching My Bakeware on the market. This is an application that enables a bakery to manage the entire production process from any location, and at any time. And it has a very handy feature that enables you to place orders with the Kaak Group at the push of a button.

As a young, ambitious company, we will also be investing heavily in the bakery of the future. That is also a key component of our corporate vision. With “You Bake, We Care” we clearly stand out from the competition. We are not just working on expanding the range in terms of type and colour, we are also focusing on the development of smart product carriers. For example, we visit our existing customers after we deliver straps and coatings, and find out if our products actually meet their needs in practice. By giving us feedback about their practical experience, they make it possible for us to improve our products and to get a better understanding of what bakeries really want. That is essential, because then we can identify and solve problems before they even become an issue for customers. We want to provide our customers with total problem-solving care so they never have to worry about a thing.”

Total problem-solving care. It sounds like your ambitions go further than just the industrial baking sector?

“Absolutely. The advantages of iBakeware, namely, are not limited to the industrial baking sector. Traditional bakeries can also benefit from the data that we have collected about the baking processes in industrial baking with iBakeware. So we will definitely be using this data to help improve the development of product carriers for traditional bakeries. Especially when it comes to coatings and life-cycle. You can take it from me: Kaak Bakeware has got lots of great plans for the future. We are ready for the next 100 years.”