One of the worst time sinks for restaurants of every size is inventory control. With inventory counts, doing the math, compiling each report, and then handling your new orders, you are looking at days of labor for employees to finish their part. You might even end up stuck at this task for weeks trying to figure out why your final numbers are so far off from the projected ones. Worst-case scenario - Start the inventory count from scratch because you can't find the mistake. Ouch! So much wasted time and labor.
We bet even thinking about inventory day is filling you with anxiety. So much can go wrong, and there always seem like there's no way to avoid it. That's where an inventory app for mobile devices, like iPads, comes in. If we told you that the madness and frustration of inventory day could be wiped off the face of the planet with a tap and a swipe, would you believe us?
We've compiled a list of tips to streamline your inventory control, help counts get done faster and smoother, reduce mistakes, and improve profits—all by using an inventory app that won't break your bank account or throw off your numbers. In fact, following our tips while using an inventory app for iPad and other mobile devices is sure to save your company a ton of money in labor, miscalculations, and fines. Don't just take our word for it; read on to see how an inventory app can help!
An inventory app for iPad and other mobile devices gives you real-time inventory control. It can alert you to low stock, unexpected usage (either too high or too low), and slow sales overall or of specific items. With a powerful iPad inventory solution, real-time inventory management means you always know exactly what's in stock and if any problems crop up.
An app allows you to take immediate action to solve issues or make adjustments, rather than waiting days or weeks, when it's too late, and you've lost money. All of these spell real savings, fewer inventory hours on the clock for employees, and everything you need to know about your restaurant at a glance, anytime, anywhere you happen to be. Try to do that with paper inventory sheets.
Tracking food, furniture, cleaning supplies, and even the little paper doilies for tables is time-consuming and tedious without an inventory app. Now, imagine how terrible it would be to find a forgotten small item buried somewhere in your paper logs. It seemed so insignificant at the time, but now it holds the key to your restaurant's success. But where is it, and how much of it do you have left? Do you have eight hours to dig through the paper sheets? We didn't think so.
If you use an inventory app for an iPad or other mobile devices, you can create categories and filters that can be called up with the tap of a finger. A quick search in your iPad inventory and you'll know exactly where that small, missing item is. What if you happen to be running low? Well, just use your inventory app to place a fast order. Crisis averted, thanks to technology.
Restaurants need a balance between too little stock to meet customer demand and too much stock that risks loss due to spoilage. There are no set rules or numbers. Your inventory sweet spot depends on your business' unique needs. However, it's not as hard to keep spoilage and theft to a minimum when you let an inventory app do the work for you.
Remember those alerts we mentioned earlier? Those come in handy when dealing with theft. Notice a sudden drop in inventory on certain nights, but the sales don't match up? You've got a thief, and your inventory app can help you catch them. Compare dates, times, and amounts missing to your employee shift logs, and you can figure out the culprit in no time. What about avoiding spoilage? Alerts can be set up to send notices on certain days, so you can plan timely promotions to use up stock that might otherwise go bad. When was the last time your paper inventory sheets sent you an alert?
Affordable, compact, and powerful computers are in everyone's hands these days. Smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers are all designed to run things like an inventory app or POS system. The food industry uses mobile devices to connect wirelessly to the cloud, giving managers and employees the power to share real-time data by using an inventory app for iPad or tablets, or even via the web.
Imagine the power of real-time inventory control in every employee's hand. Imagine your inventory app connected to your POS system, so every time a sale is made your iPad inventory list updates. How about those alerts from earlier? Wouldn't it be nice to know you're running low on the main ingredient to today's special before it costs you sales? That's the power of an inventory app being added to your toolbox. No more guesswork, no more mistakes.
These four points alone make affordable and powerful inventory apps worth more than their prices. With the right inventory app for iPad or tablets, you can connect everything in your store, get alerts for inventory as well as employee requests, alerts for labor rule breaches before they happen, and even food safety and checklists. The best part to all of this is how easy it is to get started with an inventory app. From there, it's as simple as downloading a compatible app to add more functionality and convenience, all while saving money, time, and frustration.
If you still aren’t sure that an inventory management app is right for you and your business, check out our “How to Choose the Best Inventory Control Software for Small Businesses” article also on the Hubworks Blog! As always, feel free to reach out to us at Hubworks with any questions.