Electronic Kitchen Management Event

06 July 2016 By Neil Dickens, Procurement Business Partner - Central Region


Last week Neil, our Procurement Business Partner attended the YPO Electronic Kitchen Management Meet the Supplier event. The day included interactive demonstrations of both Cypad and Saffron software systems.

On the 23rd June I attended the meet supplier event for the Electronic Kitchen Management framework hosted jointly by Cypad and Saffron.  To start with, all I can say is that “kids today don’t know their born!”  Well, I can say plenty more than that thankfully, otherwise this blog could become a tweet; so I’ll qualify that statement.  “It wasn’t like that in my day!”  That’s still not enough, is it?  Let’s start at the very beginning…

Until I was introduced to an Electronic Kitchen Management (EKM) solution by the ICT category team a few weeks back I had never heard of one at all, which is pretty unusual.  I’ve been in procurement for over a decade and I’ve been involved in buying some pretty unusual things for organisations with rather unique needs.  Hire Cars?  Yep.  Pre-1900 encaustic tiles? Done.  Converting a prison cell into a cinema?  Kinda, but that’s another story.  Helicopter?  Once, which was enough, thank you!    

When I arrived at the event I was confident I understood what all the fuss was about and how it all works, only to have my expectations blown away by the demonstrations of Cypad and Saffron! Having seen it in practise, an EKM can only be described as technology accelerating school dinners into the 21st century at warp speed!  If Star Trek has ever depicted school meals then it would have included the following:

  • Cooks and kitchen managers recording temperatures and stock taking using shiny glass and metal devices,
  • Pupils using interactive screens to select their meals which are screened to avoid ingredient intolerances of each individual child,
  • Parents having influence over meal selections based on nutritional information provided by the schools in real time remotely,
  • Ordering and delivery tracking by kitchen staff being completed using the same devices used for stock taking and point of sale. 

And that in a nutshell is what an EKM solution delivers.  The benefits speak for themselves; educational benefits for pupils, reduced waste, less paper work, smarter purchasing, greater visibility for parents and authorities, more robust data retention… the list goes on and on.  The representatives of 21 local authorities in attendance agreed completely too!  During the interactive portion of the day they each took turn to discuss the challenges faced by the kitchens in their region with the suppliers, whom were able to offer EKM solutions that are available and already in use in kitchens up and down the land. 

The feedback from the attendees at the end of the day was glowing; everyone agreed modern IT could be used to solve problems that date back to before I was at school.  I just need to find an EKM solution for home and get the wife to buy into it… but that could even be beyond the realms of science fiction! 

For more information on our Electronic Kitchen Management Framework click here or email us at [email protected]



Categories: Frameworks , Procurement

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