What You Need to Know About Food and Beverage Stock Control Systems
Food and beverage inventory control is important for minimising unnecessary waste while also avoiding stock shortages that could result in dissatisfied customers. Through accurate stock control systems, you’re able to save on costs and boost the bottom line.
Here’s what you need to know about this valuable system.
What Is a Food and Beverage Control System?
Food and beverage control systems allow you to accurately track your inventory, prompting precise inventory purchasing that minimises product waste. For those in the food industry, optimising inventory control is vital to ensure targets are met and profits are increased. This can be achieved by implementing ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, an integrated inventory control system for perishables.
Top Reasons for Food and Beverage Waste
Without an effective inventory control system, you’re risking excess food and beverage waste which is bad for business. Here are the top three ways you risk perishable waste when not implementing an effective stock control solution.
1. Not Tracking Sales
By not monitoring food and beverage sales, you risk over-ordering certain items that won’t be used in time. With an inventory control system, you can keep an eye on what food and beverage items move quickly, and which ones don’t. This makes for a more strategic control system.
2. Incorrect Labelling
When food and beverage items aren’t labelled with the correct best-by dates, you’re running the risk of letting food spoil. A stock control system will include clear labelling so that you can follow the FIFO (first-in, first-out) storage method for optimum stock control.
3. Poor Portion Control
For those in the restaurant business, not anticipating correct portion sizes can be detrimental to your bottom line and result in unnecessary waste. By standardising your measurements you’re able to reduce waste while still meeting customer requirements.
What Are the Inventory Control Systems?
There are a number of inventory control systems you can implement for the food and beverage industry, but these are the most popular ones to consider.
ABC Inventory Management
The ABC Inventory Management system works on the 80/20 premise where 80% of the business profits are derived from 20% of its inventory. By understanding where the inventory fits in, you’re able to strategically allocate funds, resources and labour for increased turnover. Your inventory is effectively categorised into A, B and C:
A: These are your most valuable items which are the smallest in quantity; the inventory that requires your most attention as they are the highest value.
B: Stock that has an average value and quantity.
C: The majority of stock items that have a lower value but take up the most space.
First In, First Out (FIFO) Inventory Management
First in, first out (FIFO) is a system where you arrange your stock so that the first items that come in are the first items to go out. With this method, you’ll organise your storage areas accordingly, with perishables arranged in the fridge, freezer, shelves and dry storage to minimise waste.
Just-in-Time (JIT) Inventory Management
This system focuses on using what’s needed when it’s needed and in the correct portions. The JIT system will establish a zero inventory method that operates on a pull system –when an order comes through, it sets off a response in the supply chain signalling the need to order new inventory.
Just-in-Case (JIC) Inventory Management
With the Just-in-case (JIC) strategy, companies will keep extra inventory on hand so that they never go out of stock. This requires the organisation to predict consumer demand where possible, while still factoring in unpredictable spikes. There will be higher inventory storage costs and product waste.
Benefits of Inventory Control Software
There are so many ways that food and beverage stock control software can improve your overall operations. Here’s a look at some of the benefits.
– Supply Chain Visibility
Because you’re dealing with perishables, it’s important that you’re able to account for every item at any time. This can be achieved with inventory control software that allows for demand forecasting through purchasing, manufacturing, distribution and sales. This way, your food and beverage stock is always kept at optimum levels.
Sophisticated inventory control software is highly customisable which means it will align with your business’s unique supply chain. Your existing business data can be integrated with that of your suppliers, thereby ensuring constant communication and avoiding the issue of running out of stock.
– Improved Efficiency
By automating your inventory control, you’re effectively improving procurement, production, distribution and sales overall. For food manufacturers, in particular, the automated supply chain monitoring will keep waste within the lowest margin, if not eliminating it altogether.
– Product Recall
Stock control systems will also allow you to minimise the likelihood of product recall. However, if there is the need for product recall, for whatever reason, you can effectively and efficiently recall the items using the system.
Tips for Effective Food and Beverage Control
To get the most of out your inventory control software, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
– Get your staff on board
For your stock control software to be effective, you need to get everyone’s buy-in. This means outlining exactly how the system works and how it will improve their daily duties. To achieve your stock control goals, it’s worth training your staff so that they can use the software with ease.
– Create a team
Once you’ve got your staff on board with the stock control software, you need to put together a team that will be in charge of overseeing the entire system. This shouldn’t be to the exclusion of other staff, however; it just helps to keep things running smoothly.
– Get organised
Food and beverage inventory software is only effective if it’s paired with a well-organised business. Make sure your stock room is orderly, and your stock is tidy and clearly labelled.
– Perform regular stocktakes
A working inventory management system requires regular stocktaking. This means establishing a schedule and getting your inventory team to stick to this.
Ultimately, you need to invest in inventory control software that is customised to your industry needs. Omni Accounts is able to find the perfect software solution to manage all your food and beverage inventory control needs.