Re: Can someone explain
Well I can't explain the term directly but I know that my late father's job (above) was to deliver pallets of cakes from the bakery in Wakefield to a number of delivery hubs on the other side of the Pennines. At the depot he got busy with a fork lift truck transferring pallets from his twenty-five ton truck to smaller trucks that delivered to individual outlets; each pallet was different and each held cakes for often multiple retailers.
The swearing was loud and colourful if the wrong pallet ended up in wrong place on the feeder truck, or (oh no!) on the wrong feeder entirely. It didn't help that there were dozens of products and they were rarely the same on successive days...
I can only assume that, probably on a couple of day's notice, hordes of one-man shops as well as the supermarkets placed their order for cakes and that a bevy of office staff went through the orders adding things up so they could tell the bakery, right Joe, we need fourteen thousand swiss rolls, six thousand Kunzle cakes, and so on, and someone else generated pick and place lists to load the pallets and label them by delivery and feeder truck.
At the time, the cake baking was industrialised but I don't recall any great shelf life, so stuff was pretty much baked to demand.
Not a simple thing to do, unless you're a computer...
(Yes, I did occasionally go along with my father for the hell of it, on a Friday night when I didn't have school the next day.)
(Also, the happiest I ever saw my father was when he came home and announced that the Kipling's factory had just burned down... overtime for months!)