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Managing Orders/Time Management

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

So if you haven't noticed from my other posts, but I am a newbie to the business aspects of cake decorating. Our shop is starting to pick up, which is great. I'm just scared that I am going to some how forget an order. Not to the point that a customer shows up and I don't have anything; more along the lines that I am not able to complete it to the best of my ability.

Basically: how do you manage your orders? Are you old-school and write it down on a calendar or do you have a fancy system? Right now I have a mix of emails with orders and my notes from phone orders (for simple things). For my specialty party cakes I have a form that gets attached to my bulletin board.

P.S. We are a two-woman made-to-order bakery. It is mainly me though; my business partner and mom works full-time still so she helps in the shop when she can.
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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post #2 of 13
I have a Diary , I use this to book in cakes . I use a week to a page one so I can see what I have on any given week. A detailed order slip including swatches , inspirations etc pertaining to each cake are clipped into the page as well.

I also have a calendar so I can see what I have coming up in the month. I will include a few details , like flowers or what kind of cake I need so I can use it to organise my baking days.

I also use the calendar to record when final payments are due for each cake.

I also have a specific drawer , where I put any toppers or decorations that I have been given , these are bagged and labeled with client and date of occasion . I also put a note about these things in the diary entry.
post #3 of 13
Daily calendar for me too. Then I can reference the computer order.
post #4 of 13
You must be highly organized and make all special orders a priority. The busier you become, the more important your organizational skills will matter. Find what works best for you, and use that method. For instance, if keeping a large schedule or calendar posted on the wall in your shop will be a reminder, then do that. If you are computer oriented, keep your schedule prominent.

I used large sheets of butcher paper and drew a 4 week calendar. I wrote in small letters the daily production schedule so all employees could see the day's work. In larger print I added all special orders, and this would prompt me to look at the clipboards. I hung clipboards for each day of the week, and any order for that day was clipped in chronological order.

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post #5 of 13
I have a calendar with all orders written down on it. I have a file for each paid deposit that has all of the contracts and emails tht are relevant in it. I've tried to use a calendar on my computer too, but that doesn't work for me since I don't update it regularly.
post #6 of 13
I'm very small and I still swear by the Cake Boss software. It has a great order management feature and calendar so you can scheduling tasting cake deliveries etc. I do also add all cake orders to my phone so I get the little reminder alarmicon_smile.gif watching shows like ace of cakes they had those clip boards, 1 for each cake due that week and they hung them on the wall. I think that's a great idea. Every Sunday you make the boards for the following week and organize them by delivery or how much time they take.
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Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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post #7 of 13
I have one of these on my wall.. this is good for me as i can block off periods - and see at a glance what dates i have free.
http://www.kikki-k.com/shop/product/2013-wall-planner/


And use a page to a day diary for consults and everything relating to the order/customers for that date.


I keep all ribbons/colour swatches in zip lock bags with customers names on them - in file box under on desk under wall calender - for easy access

It all works beautifully for me

Bluehue
post #8 of 13
We just use a running Word document with a complete summarized list of all our open orders. It is usually several pages long, so we just print out the first page or two for the current week's orders whenever we go to the kitchen.

All invoices are stored in QuickBooks.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of the ideas! I've thought about the clipboard system for my cake orders. I don't think it would be necessary for my cake or white chocolate popcorn orders.
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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post #10 of 13
I keep a Google calendar (viewed on my computer & phone) with client name and job title. I then have binders with monthly tabs, each individual order is in a plastic sheet protector invoice, contract, notes, swatches, etc. Any larger items given to me by the client are stored on a shelf.
post #11 of 13
I guess I'm old school and a firm believer in sticky notes. I use a wall calendar and the back of an old one beside it covered with sticky notes. Of course, all billing, emails, deposits, etc., are on my computer, but the stickies are so handy to jot a quick note or reminder and I can keep them all in sight.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

I guess I'm old school and a firm believer in sticky notes. I use a wall calendar and the back of an old one beside it covered with sticky notes. Of course, all billing, emails, deposits, etc., are on my computer, but the stickies are so handy to jot a quick note or reminder and I can keep them all in sight.



Lol, I use sticky notes for everything! I have them all over my house and computer because I am so very scatterbrained! icon_lol.gif But for the few cakes I do, I have a day by day calender that's broken down by the hour so I know what I need to do when (ie, I stop working on school work at 7pm so I'll make fondant at 7pm, put my daughter to bed at 8pm, then work on flowers or other decorations until 10pm, then shower and get ready to leave for work at 11:30pm) Then the next morning I get home from work at 8:30am, shower, get 3-4 hours of sleep and start my day again lol...
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"I smile because I have no idea what's going on..."
"Oh, I offended you? Please take a number and wait in line with everyone else waiting on me to give a f*#k"
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post #13 of 13
You can use a paper calendar and google as a backup. The google calendar can be programmed to make audible alarms to remind you to check. So "baking xxx cake" can come with an automatic beep...
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