Founders Stories (eng)

Founders Stories #19: Werksta.tt

Werksta.tt:

In Germany, almost 2 million tons of surplus baked goods are disposed of every year. The reason for this is that bakeries have to keep almost their full range of products on hand until closing time in order to meet customer demands. This leads to huge amounts of food waste. On the other hand, the problem often arises that bakeries are surprised by customers on some days and cannot keep up with production. They are not able to reach their potential.

We at werksta.tt would like to solve these two challenges. We are a heterogeneous team with expertise in sales, data science and cloud computing. Werksta.tt has developed an artificial intelligence that combines historical sales figures from bakery stores with factors such as weather, holidays, events, etc. to create an automated sales forecast for the next day’s order.

An example: At the beginning of the year, many people have good intentions. That’s why, for example, significantly fewer pudding buns are sold in January than in the rest of the year. Grain rolls, on the other hand, are doing great at this time. Another example: It’s summer and the weekend weather is at its best. Baguettes are a must for every barbecue and so the sales figures for baguettes increase many times over.

Our AI is trained with this information and constantly learns. For each day, it provides an exact forecast of which baked goods will be sold in which quantities and which must be ordered accordingly. This has three advantages for the bakery: firstly, it reduces the number of returns; secondly, it has better availability on days with high demand; and thirdly, its employees only need a few minutes per day to place orders, as the AI takes care of this for them. The employee only has to log into the werksta.tt app (or alternatively via the checkout), call up the order forecast from werksta.tt, adjust it manually if necessary, and off he goes.

Helping medium-sized companies to become more sustainable with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) – that was the goal of our founder Justus Lauten when he was looking for a start-up idea in 2018. He created a Power Point presentation and sent it to numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) via LinkedIn. The response was sobering at first, but euphoric the next moment! Only two companies got back to him, but both described exactly the same problem and came from the same industry! They were two bakery companies that complained about too high returns. Thus the idea for werksta.tt was born.

We have been on the market since the beginning of 2020 and have already won several large bakeries as customers. We are currently in the process of rolling out our product in the entire DACH region. We have initially perfected our AI for bakeries. However, it has the potential and it is our goal to expand it to other industries and customers. To this end, we are already in contact with gas station stores and supermarkets. The potential of AI is great and there are no limits to our imagination. After all, we are pursuing a major goal: reducing food waste.

We are grateful for all the support we have already received along the way. One of the biggest levers was certainly the broadcast of our pitch on Die Höhe der Löwen on April 12, 2021. The feedback and inquiries we received as a result underscore the need for our product. However, important partners on our way are also our pilot customers, who have supported us in optimizing and perfecting our product. In addition, we have received great support through the Vodafone Startup Program PACESETTER via the provision of server credits. We are highly motivated to make the product known now and thus contribute to a sustainable world.