Managing Stock: Just as Important as Managing Staff

Inventory management and stock checks are often some of the more complex aspects of running a catering venue, but making sure your stock levels are able to meet the demands of your sales is essential when keeping your business running like a well-oiled machine. It's just as important as managing your staff, and without a reliable, consistent way to keep track of your stock, your business operation will suffer as a result.

You want your inventory checks to be as smooth, accurate, and as easy to monitor as they possibly can be, but what exactly makes a good stock management routine, and how can you incorporate it into your business?

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Store Supplier Info

Stock management starts at the source, and keeping a database of your suppliers' contact information is the easiest advice anyone who knows anything about inventory checks can give. Not only does it store phone numbers, emails, and addresses for easy contact reference, but in the case of a digitally-integrated system, it's also the first step in streamlining and automating your orders.

Ordering from individual suppliers is tedious and prone to error, but with an integrated system like SPARK's Cloud HQ, invoices can be created and order requests can be sent from the comfort of your back office, accessible from any device that can support a web browser.

This doesn't only make the process of reorders more efficient, but it also allows a centralised hub to monitor incoming stock - see their value, location, quantity, and double check that you got what you paid for.


Break It Down

The more granular, the better, and a good stock management system like the one housed in SPARK'S HQ will be sure to accommodate. Recipes can be as complex as they are simple, and breaking down your stock is a surefire way to make certain that your inventory numbers are depleting accurately.

Whether it be wet or dry, frozen or not, it's important to categorise your supplies as much as you categorise your menu. Setting robust measurements with detailed conversion rules beforehand will make taking stock all the more easy in the long-run, streamlining both depletion and reordering, as well as allowing staff who would otherwise be manually counting stock the free time to focus on the tasks that really need them.


Set Par Levels

Par levels are essential to knowing when your stock levels are in danger of becoming low, and keeping these levels and reports accurate ensures that stock can be efficiently forecasted for the future.

It's not enough to just have these in place, however - a good stock management system needs to streamline its alerts so that the staff operating it know when and what to look out for. SPARK's HQ is always sure to send a notification whenever these customised numbers have been breached, as well as displaying inventory levels in an easy-to-read, colour-coded format that makes the stock check process simpler than ever.

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Double Check

Accommodating for human error is something that cannot be avoided in regards to inventory management, and a good stock check system will allow staff to do exactly that, even alongside its digital automation.

Whether a spillage or otherwise broken or soiled stock occurs that doesn't instantly deplete from your numbers, SPARK's HQ encourages staff to have the power to double check and even out their inventory if need be via the ability to review and your stock lists and assign recorded reasons to any changes that have to be made. Automation is great - but being entirely restrained to it is not, and it's important to understand this if you want to adequately streamline your stock checks.


Manage Stock Locations

Larger venues with more than one stock location have another step to consider in regards to the internal movement of their inventory. Staff may know what stock they have and where exactly it's stored, but if a bar terminal and a restaurant POS pluck their inventory from different stock locations, it's important to ensure that said locations are connected to their designated devices accordingly for an accurate depletion process.

This is all reliant on flexible integration - SPARK's EPoS, for example, is part of a fully-integrated ecosystem, meaning that data on the back office is kept consistently updated with every new order, as well as allowing for multiple stock locations if your venue requires it. The ability to access it on any device including mobile phones also means that your stock circulation can be monitored and moved from anywhere.


As usual, the solution to a good stock management routine is the solution to most POS operations, and it comes in the form of digital automation. Conducting stock checks manually is a time-consuming process that is prone to a lot of human error, so it's no surprise that a digital method of inventory management is a preferable one.

SPARK would love to help more venues streamline their stock check process with our Cloud HQ's own Stock Management system - talk to us today and see if we can help!

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