After two centuries, a paper-and-pencil inventory system still works, but given the incredible advances in simple-to-use digital inventory management software, why use such limited tools? Modern, cloud-based inventory systems, like SynergySuite, are not only affordable, they’re highly efficient at removing the drudgery of inventory, lightening your workload and saving you money on food cost. Keep reading to learn how this amazing tool can save you time and streamline your restaurant operation.
It applies Cycle Inventory Counting
The most efficient way to conduct inventory is through a system of cycle counting. This means counting a portion of—rather than all of—your total inventory over a set period of days, and rotating the list of items counted each day. Over that predetermined cycle, all items will be counted in order based on their value. For example, items in inventory are grouped as A, B or C items according to their value as a percentage of total inventory. Group A items account for 70 percent of inventory value, B items 15 percent and C items the least valuable 15 percent. While that might sound challenging to do with pencil-and-paper or even a spreadsheet program, it’s simple to do with inventory software that categorizes all your items as A, B or C and tells you which get counted when. Time saved using this system is significant and productivity soars.
Purchasing is Simplified
Many operators have exceptional managers on staff who have their own “system” of inventory and purchasing, but those unique strategies might not be duplicable when they take vacation or leave for other employment. A digital system, however, functions the same for everyone and is easily trained. Once your inventory is entered into a digital system, it’s easy to calculate depletion by comparing current inventory to the most recent period—not by relying on someone’s memory. Through integration with a POS system, sales are compared to inventory depletion in real time, flagging any potential concerns over loss through waste or theft. It also makes purchasing a breeze because you know exactly what you have on hand and what you need to purchase to replenish your stock.
Time Spent on Inventory is Greatly Reduced
With a digital system that’s accessible via a wireless tablet or smartphone, time spent taking inventory is drastically reduced. A manager concerned about whether a certain item is stocked according to par can check that count from the device and eliminate steps spent running to the stock room—even when off premise. The dated effort to transfer written data to a computer spreadsheet also disappears as entry into the tablet allows that data to be shared throughout your restaurant’s entire network. That’s especially helpful for multi-unit operators. Inventory software also guides you through the process in the quickest manner, completing the task in short order and leaving you more time to focus on staff and customers.
Data Entry Errors Are Minimized
When compared to a handwritten inventory, the ease of data entry on a tablet is far simpler and more reliable. Errors or misunderstandings made from poor handwriting, erased entries or, in the case of keyboard use, mis-entry, are greatly reduced with a wireless tablet. Corrections are easily and clearly made and updated immediately to your entire system. And when all counts are accurate, accurate purchasing is all but guaranteed.
SynergySuite inventory software simplifies the running of any restaurant through a simple to use, easy to train system that updates automatically and in real time to a back-office system and a cloud database. The time-consuming drudgery of handwritten is forever eliminated, making your restaurant run simply, smoothly and profitably.