Food ordering systems are complex, fascinating pieces of technology. Even the most seasoned of technological savants may still be missing out on some of the best things these systems have to offer, though. In this article, we address 4 of them.
When you think about your inventory ordering system, I’m sure there are a few specific key features that immediately come to mind. Of course, the most obvious of these is the fact that you can use the system to order supplies. Heck, that’s even in the name, so not much of a surprise there. Then there’s the matter of the data storage, which gives you the ability to keep track of ordering information for as long as you’ve been using the system (as long as there is enough memory to justify this amount of data, of course). On top of all of that, you have the range of reporting functions that should be available with your inventory ordering system.
All in all, these systems really can stand to provide a significant amount of value to you as a restaurant owner or administrator. Not only do they do all of the things we just mentioned, but each of these things, both individually and collectively, help to improve the ordering process and make your lives more relaxed in the process. That isn’t a bad deal if you ask me. All of that help resulting from just one, unique computer program? Sign me up!
The thing is, though, that there is a ton more to your inventory ordering system than meets the eye. Some of them come equipped with hidden features, or features that you don’t realize are there that can also provide serious value, but even beyond this, they still offer way more than you might first expect. What we’re talking about here are how you can use the features you already know about even further to gain more value from these systems, and improve the quality of your inventory ordering experience as a result.
In this article, we are going to take a look at four things that you didn’t realize were true of your inventory ordering system. Some of these things we have discussed before, some of them we haven’t, but all of them serve to help give you the best understanding of your system’s capabilities possible. Ultimately, it is our goal to ensure that you can make the most out of your inventory ordering system, and begin to reap the benefits of it as quickly as possible. With all that said, let’s not waste any more time. Here are the four things you never realized about your inventory ordering system!
This is probably going to come as a bit of a shock to most of you, but did you realize that your inventory ordering system can pull double duty as your inventory management system? Now, yes, your ordering system will not have all the same optimal features for inventory management. However, since both tasks are so alarmingly similar, if you’re willing to do some of your inventory work without the help of any system beyond Microsoft Excel, then the rest of it can all be handled by your ordering system.
The reason for this is mostly related to how similar the data sets that both systems deal with really are. Your inventory system would be, spoilers, dealing with your inventory, while your ordering system technically deals with what parts of your inventory you need to replenish. When you think of it like that, the ordering system keeps track of many of the same things as the other system would. It’s cost-effective to do this, for sure, since you won’t have to pay for two separate systems, but it is also a bit more effective regarding what you can learn from the data (we’ll discuss this in a moment). While we don’t recommend replacing your existing inventory system with your ordering system, this is an excellent way to get started for those that only have the budget for one such system, and aren’t sure which to choose.
Your ordering system, as we’ve discussed in the past, has a pretty distinct advantage over the reporting systems found in the traditional inventory management system. With your ordering system, you get not only the counts for items used over a set period, but you can also view this usage regarding cost. This opens up the proverbial floodgates regarding the heightened understanding of your business that this grants you. If, say, you have a dish with a significant amount of truffle in it, you may want to consider seeing not only how much this is costing you each time you place an order, but how much you would save by trimming back the amount of removing the item entirely from the menu.
As much as I would love to say that your inventory ordering system has built-in scam protection that sets off a red alert every time something in your billing seems to be a little off, I just can’t. What I can say, however, is that you can use the data you have available to you to keep track of what suppliers are billing you. What this feature grants you is the ability to see if at any point they’ve raised the price of an item or group of items without first letting you now. While you might want to think you’d notice the price increase before you put out the money, the fact is that in most cases, you’re going to be too busy to process it on the spot. Having this data as a backup that you can review later, though, is the next best thing.
No need to hire Gordon Ramsey to come in and evaluate your menu for effectiveness. We touched on this a bit in a previous point, but the sheer potential that you can glean from using your ordering management system as a means to better understand your menu is too immense not to give its point. As we mentioned earlier, your inventory ordering system gives you a financial perspective on your ingredient usage. From this, you will be able to keep track of which ingredients are costing you the most. With the truffle example from earlier, if that dish that you use the truffles in is selling for a significant sum of money compared to other dishes, and you’re confident that the price point of the dish covers the expense of the truffles, then you don’t need to do anything about it. If, however, the price point is too low, or it isn’t selling well enough to justify keeping it on the menu, then you can assess this through the data you acquire from your inventory ordering system.
That about does it for our four things you didn’t know about your inventory ordering system. We hope that you’ve found these life hacks useful and that you are now, more than ever, confident in your ability to get the most out of your ordering software that you possibly can. If you’re looking to learn some more about inventory management, as well as how to master it, then take a look at this article we wrote on it.