Bakery managers rise to the occasion

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 12 July 2011



(2011), "Bakery managers rise to the occasion", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Bakery managers rise to the occasion

Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 5

A training program designed to improve the bakery and stakeholder-management skills of technical and quality managers at UK bakery Warburtons has won a Northwest regional prize in the latest National Training Awards.

Warburtons has 14 technical and quality managers – one at each of its bakeries around the country – who work alongside a team of central quality experts. While the two teams worked together effectively, Warburtons wanted to further empower and train the site-based managers, so they could further their technical skills and their ability to influence internally. Specifically, Warburtons wanted the managers at site to confidently identify issues or areas for improvement in product quality, become the bakeries’ technical experts and influence key stakeholders in the area of production.

In order to achieve all this, the company worked with specialist bakery consultancy BakeTran and personal-development expert Karen House Associates (KHA) to develop the technical-excellence program, which was accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University.

The five-module program was delivered and assessed independently over nine months by BakeTran and KHA, with BakeTran leading the bakery skills content and KHA leading a stakeholder management module.

The program was built up of several components, including project work, which sat alongside e-mail-based coaching, mentoring and sharing experiences with peers on the course. Individuals were encouraged to manage their own development by undertaking several self-motivational exercises, which included developing their own knowledge tree, based on the Warburtons technical knowledge tree. A full class of delegates went on to pass the course, earning 60 credits from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Following the course, there was a 43 per cent reduction in the volume of calls from the site technical and quality managers to the central technical specialists, as they gained confidence to influence bakery management more effectively.

Significant positive consumer feedback was received with regard to product quality. Internally, a number of key projects have been put into place based on technical and quality managers’ recommendations.

Colin Kelly, Technical Services Director at Warburtons, said that the training had exceeded expectations in the greater status the team now has in the business. “Their new-found knowledge, confidence and status have moulded them into a high-performing team. Not only has the program measurably increased the team’s knowledge, it has also had an extremely positive impact on their behaviuors”.

A further project is being put in place to train all bakery-management staff in enhanced baking skills.

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