Chilled-out summers: planning ahead for inventory management in your business


Managing your inventory effectively is crucial to the bottom line. There are various inventory systems available to help to manage stock levels of products such as chilled or frozen food, helping to reduce costs, reduce wastage and improve margins. In order to take an inventory of your items, you should ensure that you have a robust process in place and all the items you need in order to effectively count your stock. This may include Lin Bins from places such as www.rackzone.ie/bin-racks that allow you to place items for counting in the containers, allowing for effective management of the inventory taking.

Image Credit

Integrating your systems

To maximize the benefits of using an inventory management system, it is ideal to integrate it with other systems such as accounting packages and procurement. Other software solutions that can be integrated with inventory management packages include nutritional information and recipe management, all saving administrative time and reducing waste.

Most inventory management systems allow the caterer to set alerts for when levels reach a pre-set low and generate a re-order report automatically; for example, if stocks of butter in your commercial fridge are running low, you will be alerted before the situation becomes urgent. In addition to using an inventory system to manage beverages and food, it is helpful to use it for other items that have to be purchased regularly, such as toiletries, stationery and light bulbs.

How to stay in control

There are various gadgets to help you to stay in control of your inventory. The use of cloud computing means that you do not have to pay expensive upfront costs for your system, and the cloud can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. According to Salesforce UK, another reason the cloud has become so popular is that it is maintenance-free.

You can find a range of appliances that can benefit from systems that use a handheld device to read and record barcodes, updating the inventory when it is returned to its holster. Apps have also been developed for the Apple iPad that assists in keeping track of your inventory. Some also include information about recipes and nutrition, which can be used by chefs in the kitchen.

Advantages of automated systems

Automating your procurement and inventory system can save as much as 15% of your time and reduce administrative costs considerably. Accuracy is also increased, as clerical errors by staff are eliminated. Having an up-to-the-minute inventory means that usage and demand are better understood.

Waste can also be reduced, as managers can track which products are being wasted or over-ordered so that adjustments can be made quickly and profits maximized.