The complexities of inventory management processes cannot be overlooked. Conducting accurate inventory counts requires much effort and a significant amount of time to correctly complete. To be sure inventory stock is counted right, you may even wish to employ a second round of counts from another employee to double check.
Following the initial inventory count then comes the matter of synthesizing and analyzing the inventory data. For those with no special training, the inventory analysis alone can seem insurmountable. This task involves a serious investment of both time and effort to ensure inventory has been correctly done. Failure to do so can lead to issues in ordering, which can then impact the restaurant’s ability to function effectively as a food service provider. All in all, the potential impact of error-driven restaurant inventory planning is too severe to ignore.
While your standard restaurant inventory planning system is certainly a huge help, it still doesn’t provide the maximum, optimal value you need to effortlessly complete inventory management, rather than deal with a stressful mess of an endeavor. To properly manage your business' inventory, you’re going to need to introduce another tool into the mix, and it may very well be one that you are already using to some extent within your restaurant - your ordering management system or inventory ordering app.
In this article, we are going to address the ways that order management software, like Zip Ordering, can be of use when it comes time to conduct your restaurant inventory planning each ordering cycle. We hope that, by reading this article, you find yourself more confident in your ability to implement this way of conducting inventory in your restaurant with some expediency, such that you can begin to reap the benefits immediately. Without any further ado, let’s get into the main points of the article.
Before we discuss how an ordering management software system can improve your business' inventory and ordering management, we need to discuss how the two systems differ from one another. The obvious difference is that order management software is designed to help with ordering supplies and ingredients, while the inventory management software is designed more for managing inventory count. With these different goals, come slightly different strengths as pieces of software.
Ordering management software is very good at dealing with the financial side of your inventory and ordering processes, as it's designed to keep track of things, like the money you spent on a certain ingredient. Order management software also offers reports that are designed to analyze inventory information, which can be useful for determining things like rate of usage or, more importantly, the rate at which certain prices increased or decreased over time. Superior ordering management software should also come in the form of an inventory ordering app. The mobility of an inventory ordering app provides added convenience when reviewing inventory counts prior to ordering.
Inventory tracker software, by contrast, is a system for entering inventory counts and keeping track of usage more directly over a given length of time. Inventory tracker software also features reporting functionality, including some of the same kinds of trends that order management software does. Similarly to inventory ordering apps, the best inventory management solution should also feature an inventory app. However, inventory management software often does miss out on the financial component of the issue, which can be far more relevant to considerations than you may have initially thought it to be.
Now that we have a basic grasp on how order management software and inventory ordering apps differ from inventory tracker apps and software, it’s time to take a look at how your order management software can be used to effectively increase the value of your inventory software, specifically as it pertains to things like inventory count and trend monitoring.
Here’s the major point, and this is one that you may have picked up on reading the previous section, order management software adds a financial perspective to your inventory planning.
The financial component is the piece missing from the inventory management puzzle since most inventory systems aren’t built to account for finances. It isn’t the fault of the software developers, as adding such functionality has the potential to create a larger piece of technology that will take up more memory, but it is still vital to being able to effectively manage and understand this information. Why? Well, think of it this way - there is a difference between knowing what your inventory count is, and understanding its implications.
Your inventory count is a direct reflection, in essence, of how quickly you are using your money. In that way, it makes sense that having access to this information would be vital to a complete understanding of your item usage. However, this doesn’t account for how this information makes the process easier. What does, though, is the fact that your ordering system gives you something else, other than financial perspective. It gives you another platform.
The extra platform order management software gives you is a frame of reference, a backup of sorts that can help you to better see the trends in item usage through an entirely separate system from your restaurant inventory planning software. In so doing, an inventory ordering app essentially saves you a bit of time when it comes to doing any major recounts of your inventory. By having an alternative record of trends, you have another place to consult and see if the information you are currently getting makes sense within the context of previous usage and spending, essentially cutting out an entire step of the process.
Well, there you go, that's our look at how your order management system can help you be more effective and efficient in your inventory planning process. We hope you’ve found this information useful, and that you are now more confident in your ability to simplify the inventory process. If you are interested in learning some more about inventory management, including more tips on how to do it well, then take a look at our guide on "How to Choose the Best Inventory Control Software for Small Businesses," which is also posted on the Hubworks Blog.