German Baker Harry-Brot Uses FICO to Optimize Baking Production and Reduce Costs

Building with circle windows
Radial circle

Customer Success

BERLIN — February 6, 2018


  • Harry-Brot is recognized for its cutting-edge use of optimization technology in production and distribution operations with a 2017 FICO Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning & Optimization.
  • Harry-Brot is one of the biggest German producers of bread and has increased sales by close to 30 percent in the past five years.
  • Harry-Brot used FICO® Xpress Optimization to reduce costs 3.57 percent for production and 1.81 percent for transportation, resulting in an overall cost savings of 3.4 percent, exceeding their investment by more than a hundred times in the first year.

FICO (NYSE:FICO) today announced Harry-Brot, Germany’s largest producer of baked goods, has won a FICO Decisions Award for its use of advanced optimization technology to reduce costs. 

Harry-Brot produces roughly 1,000 varieties of baked goods that are distributed to 9,300 German stores. The baker runs 73 different production lines across nine sites; each production line is restricted to a specific set of products, speed of production, and capacity. 

“We wanted to find the optimal assignment of products to different production lines; we were eager to see, if we changed the status quo, how much cost savings we could uncover and still meet our customer’s demands,” said Matthias Säger, Project Manager Logistics Systems, Harry-Brot. “With FICO’s powerful optimization, we were amazed at what we found and how quickly we were able to go from insight to action. We could analyze a large set of variables, modify constraints and explore trade-offs in order to identify the optimal strategy for baking production and distribution. The scenario output gave us tremendous insight into more profitable decisions and the impact of different combinations of factors.”

Using FICO® Xpress Optimization and working with Asolvo, a German firm specializing in optimization services, the baker was able to dramatically improve the efficiency of its highly complex baking production and distribution operations.

With FICO Xpress Insight, Harry-Brot was able to apply high-performance solvers and algorithms, flexible modeling, comparative scenario analysis and visualization to identify ideal assignments for production lines. This helped minimize costs and meet customer demand; in fact, Harry-Brot saw cost reductions of 3.57 percent and 1.81 percent for production and transportation costs, respectively. Overall costs were reduced by 3.4 percent, which meant that cost savings achieved in the first year significantly surpassed the company’s investment.

“Harry-Brot is a great example of the real power of optimization; solving complex business problems by running comparative scenarios that show where you are today, and identifying the potential opportunities that exist in the future,” said Bill Waid, vice president for FICO Decision Management Suite.

“I’m very impressed with Harry-Brot’s application of optimization to solve a highly complex sourcing problem,” said Douglas Gray, director of Enterprise Data & Analytics at Southwest Airlines, which won a 2016 FICO Decisions Award; Gray was a judge for this year’s awards. “Though baking is a very different business from airlines, their experience using FICO Xpress Optimization echoes our own, and like Southwest they have taken full advantage of the power and flexibility of a tool that can crunch astronomical amounts of data and weigh millions of alternate solutions to find the very best.”   

FICO® Xpress Optimization is the world’s most advanced optimization software, enabling businesses to quickly and easily apply optimization techniques to solve business problems, faster. FICO Xpress is part of the FICO Decision Management Suite, a platform for building and managing analytics-powered decision management applications.

About the FICO Decisions Awards
The FICO Decisions Awards recognize organizations that are achieving remarkable success using FICO solutions. A panel of independent judges with deep industry expertise evaluates nominations based upon measureable improvement in key metrics; demonstrated use of best practices; project scale, depth and breadth; and innovative uses of technology. The 2017 judges are:

  • Giorgi Alibegashvili, Strategic Project Manager, TBC Bank (2016 award winner
  • Julie Conroy, Research Director, Aite Group
  • Douglas Gray, Director, Enterprise Data & Analytics, Southwest Airlines (2016 winner)
  • Joy Macknight, Transaction Banking and Technology Editor, The Banker
  • Daniel Mayo, Chief Analyst, Financial Services Technology, Ovum

The winners of the FICO Decisions Awards will be spotlighted at FICO World 2018, the Decisions Conference, April 16-19 in Miami Beach, Florida.

About FICO
FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 180 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to helping people get credit, to ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time.

Learn more at

Join the conversation at &

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the US and other countries. 

Media Contact:
Leonora Fleming for FICO
Voce Communications
+1 415 975 2253

Media contacts


Katie O’Connell
+1 510-621-9832

Europe, Middle East & Africa

Darcy Sullivan
+44 (0) 7808-777-339

Asia Pacific

Saxon Shirley
+65 6422-7795

Latin America

Marisa Arribas
+1 786 482 7231

América Latina

Milla Delfino
+55 11 97673-6583

Take the next step

Connect with FICO for answers to all your product and solution questions. Interested in becoming a business partner? Contact us to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you.