NICHE Bakers Corp. is a Canadian bakery that makes many types of baked goods, including snacks, desserts, and other sweet treats. Niche is an expert at delivering high-quality food, made from natural ingredients, to its customers. “All companies are all about people,” says Jeff Wood, Co-Owner of Niche. “If you have the right people then the products will show it.”

Niche Bakers

Business Challenges & Needs

One challenge the company faced was the need to track individual ingredients and orders to differentiate them from each other. “Everything that we put into a product we have to trace,” notes Jennifer Rudkin, who is in charge of Niche’s quality assurance. “When one of our suppliers contacted us and said, ‘We have an issue with this lot of product,’ we have to be able to find that. And that will happen in a span of minutes, rather than a span of hours.”

The company had been rapidly growing to the point that its products had become quite complex to track.“When we first started, we were making cookies,” Wood says. “And then we got into cakes and we got into bars, we got into haystacks, and different products. And Fishbowl added a whole new dimension.”

The Solution

Wood and his team went to work seeking an inventory management solution to help them manage their growing amount of inventory, and they were pleasantly surprised by what they discovered. “The first thing I noticed when we were doing the research to buy a computer program to handle our system is we noticed that Fishbowl was being used by multiple different industries. It wasn’t just manufacturing. It wasn’t just bakery. It was being used by all kinds of different companies.”

The name of the solution seemed a little odd at first, but it quickly proved to be a perfect fit for the company. “When Fishbowl was introduced to us I was, like, oh, Fishbowl, weird name, you know?” observes Katherine Quiroz, Niche’s Administrative Assistant. “But it’s amazing how it’s changed how we do things… Right now I have so much more time to do my other work because Fishbowl’s basically doing it for me. And by the click of a button I can just move on, do something else.”

Niche Bakers

The Results

As noted earlier, the growth in Niche’s number of products and customers is what prompted it to seek out Fishbowl in the first place. The results of their choice have been striking. “When I started in the beginning there was maybe three, four major products that we were selling, and now there’s over 50,” says Ashley Taylor, a Customer Service Specialist. “The customer base has grown so much and the product base. And I used to do my Canadian orders on one spreadsheet and my U.S. orders on a different spreadsheet, and now that it’s going into Fishbowl it’s all just centralized.”

Niche is not only enjoying better centralization in its order management, but it’s also using Fishbowl to prevent shortages and keep production running smoothly. “With Fishbowl, it allows me to look at the whole inventory – everything – and focus strictly on those items that I’m going to be short on,” says Ron Wataszko, Niche’s Inventory Manager. “And it allows me to address those concerns, those issues – try to resolve them before it actually affects production… Timing is important. Running out is not acceptable. Fishbowl allows me to take a look out and see what’s going to be happening in the future. For me, that’s a big advantage.”

In the end, Fishbowl is exactly what Niche needed to keep up with its increasingly fast-paced operation. “Fishbowl allows us to mix good people with automation,” Wood acknowledges.