Four years ago, executives at Big Y Foods, a 48-store chain based in Springfield, Mass., decided that they weren't happy with the labor costs they were incurring in their in-store bakeries, and they decided to do something about it. The chain came up with a way of forecasting sales based on individual item movement, and also developed labor standards for the activities associated with making and selling bakery products. The result: Over a one-year period, while bakery sales grew chainwide ...

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