Jun 1 2022

4 Common Pitfalls in Food and Beverage Inventory Management To Avoid

Written by Orderly Marketing

When it comes to food and beverage inventory management, there are a few common pitfalls that businesses should avoid. By knowing what these mistakes are and avoiding them – you can improve your stock availability, decrease waste, and keep your business running smoothly.

In this blog post, we will discuss four of the most common pitfalls in food and beverage sales and how to avoid them.

Counting Everything Too Often

One of the most common pitfalls in food and beverage inventory management is taking too much time to count too much stock. Time spent counting stock is called a ‘stock-taking hour’ – and if you run a particularly large estate, all the time from all the stores counting might add up to ‘stock-taking weeks’!

While counting stock is a necessary step, not being clever about it can actually be a huge time-waster. If you don’t have enough staff to cover all of your shifts as it is, stock-taking hours will eat into your sales time. The solution is often touted as to try to schedule stock takes for times when you know you won’t be as busy, such as early in the morning or late at night – but this doesn’t solve the problem and can negatively affect your customer experience.

The answer is in smarter stock counts! Use technology to your advantage – schedule counts for the right items at the right times. You can set up the system to prompt your store colleagues to count higher-value, higher-volume items more often, and slower-moving, lower-value items less often.

With an optional blind-counting interface (to ensure variances are actually recorded!), we pride ourselves on our inventory management software which is in use in thousands of stores worldwide and is designed to streamline your inventory management process and save you time. In fact, food and beverage businesses that use Orderly see up to a 55% reduction in stock take time!

Poor availability of new stock

If you’re not promoting new products, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase sales – however, new products are often subject to stock availability issues due to uncertainty around demand, which can lead to lost sales. The solution is simple: keep your stock levels up-to-date and make sure you have enough of each product on hand to meet customer demand – and use specialised tools to forecast demand for time-limited offers and new ranges. Orderly users see up to a 12% increase in stock availability when using our software.

Wasted food

Waste in food and beverage stores is a huge problem. Every year, businesses lose millions of pounds worth of products to expiry dates, spoilage, and other forms of waste. This not only kills your profits, but kills the planet too. The solution is two-fold: first, you need to implement better stock management practices to reduce the amount of product that is wasted. Second, you need to make sure you have a system in place to recycle or dispose of food and beverage waste properly.

Decreasing waste by just a few % can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Orderly’s food and beverage waste management features helps you to track and manage your waste, so you can reduce the amount of product that is wasted each year.

Slow or missed credit requests

Finally – did you realise you could be handing free money to your suppliers? If your ingredients aren’t turning up but you are still paying for them – you are gifting money to your suppliers! Slow or missed credit requests are one of the most common problems towards the end of a food and beverage supply chain. The solution is simple: make sure you have a system in place to raise credit requests when items aren’t received or are received broken – and better still, back that up with photographic evidence.

Automated RMAs (return merchandise authorisation) can help you to keep track of credit requests and ensure that you’re getting paid on time. Orderly’s RMA functionality, built into our inventory management application, is designed to seamlessly integrate with your suppliers so your store managers can raise those requests inside the window – including photographic evidence where necessary!

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can improve your food and beverage sales and keep your business running profitably.

If you need help implementing any of the solutions we’ve discussed, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you.