Helm goes global with Dr. Oetker

Frozen food giant optimises production line with computer vision

Helm (previously Praekelt Consulting), Africa's customer experience innovation experts, will be going global again with its client Dr. Oetker, purveyors of the perfect pizza.
Stef Adonis
May 11
2 min read

Dawood Patel, CEO of Helm, confirmed that the AI work being done locally will be rolled out in Poland next. “This is an exciting time for us. We’ve been working with the team at Dr. Oetker in South Africa for almost three years now. Our relationship with them started when they approached us in Johannesburg to find out if technology and machine learning could help them make an even better pizza.”

“The announcement of our technology being rolled out in other markets comes at a time when we’ve rebranded from Praekelt Consulting to Helm – a new name taking on new markets with new vigour.”

Helm is synonymous with turning complex human realities into experiences users cannot live without. By introducing high-res cameras to the Dr. Oetker production line, using AI and computer vision, the team is working on being able to identify overtopped, uneven or substandard pizza on an ongoing basis.

Tobias Bauer, senior executive manager of the Pizza Production Unit at Dr. Oetker, says the business stands for a diversity of products with superlative, unmatched quality.


We have always been committed to surprising and delighting our customers with pizzas that taste and look like a pizza prepared from scratch. However, monitoring for uneven or overtopped pizzas is open to human error, and quite a challenge, as one person’s under-topped pizza is another’s idea of perfection. We are working with Helm to help the decision making with machine learning – with great success so far.

Tobias Bauer

Pizza Production Unit Senior Executive Manager, Dr. Oetker

Images of the pizzas are captured through four main phases: the baking of the pizza, the addition of the sauce, the topping of the cheese and the final step before it’s packaged and frozen. The images are then sent to the Helm Engine Machine Learning service where they are processed before being sent to the user interface (UI) where a team member analyses the data and decides what to do next.

Patel explains that the UI is compatible with multiple devices, and would be usable on laptops, tablets, cellphones and more. “We are constantly working to perfect Dr. Oetkers’s monitoring system and rolling it out to more stations in new countries is testament to the positive results our client is experiencing. This helps and frees employees up.”

Helm is no stranger to seeing its work being rolled out globally. Previous client work that was introduced to new markets includes MTN, DSTV and Game. Dr. Oetker is the first client to do so since the business has rebranded from Praekelt Consulting.