The internet is chock full of the ready-to-go, already set up Excel inventory spreadsheet designed for use in the restaurant industry. Here are five ways that these spreadsheets can be used for the success of your restaurant.
Inventory counts can be among the most stressful, dubious, and time-consuming tasks that any restaurant staff will be faced with. We’ve discussed this before in other articles, and nothing has changed in that regard since those have been published. What has changed, though, is our awareness of a sort of life hack that you can introduce into your restaurant as soon as today to being your transition to an electronic means of monitoring inventory and stock. This method isn’t necessarily new, and may not be considered revolutionary by some, but it might just make the difference when it comes to improving your restaurant’s existing inventory system.
The method we’re referring to here is by employing a pre-made Microsoft Excel inventory spreadsheet in your organizing and analyzing efforts. These Excel inventory spreadsheets typically don’t cost a thing (if they do, it’s minimal), and can be wildly effective in the century-long battle between restaurant staff and their existing inventory system. What’s more, they open your business up to a wider range of analytic capabilities than you may have previously had access to, allowing you to see based on the evidence what your strengths and weaknesses as a restaurant truly are.
In this article, we’re going to do two things: the first is, we’re going to present to you five ways that these pre-existing spreadsheets can be used to the benefit of your restaurant, both commercially and financially. The second is, we’re going to discuss, towards the end, how an Excel inventory spreadsheet can be used as a way to test the waters, so to speak, of electronic inventory monitoring. By the end of this article, you should be able to walk away with a better sense of the usefulness of this method, and the motivation to begin employing it in your restaurant.
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Convenience - What more can be said about the convenience of a ready-made Excel inventory spreadsheet, set up to perform exactly the tasks you need it to when you need it to perform them? It can be, especially in times of great stress, a proper life-saver. Lives, though, are not the only thing that it has the potential to save. By making use of an already existing Excel inventory spreadsheet, you can “plug-and-play” in a sense. The extra steps needed to get up and running with these spreadsheets are minimal, and as such allow less room for error in filling them out. Because they are easily downloaded from any one of several reputable sites online, there is very little reason not to at least give one shot.
Time-Saving - This does sort of go hand-in-hand with the idea of the Excel inventory spreadsheet being more convenient, but since there’s enough to talk about concerning their time-saving abilities, this trait has warranted a point of its own. The fact is that you could spend hours filling out each cell on an Excel spreadsheet from scratch to create your inventory template. However, these existing Excel inventory spreadsheet templates have the essentials filled out, and have everything formatted to make it easy enough to figure out what information should go in which spot. Starting from scratch introduces not just error, but frustration when it comes to figuring out which cells should be labeled as which, and how to set up the categories, and how much space you should allot between different categories. Most of all, though, starting from scratch has the potential to add hours to the process of creating the Excel inventory spreadsheet to make it ready for use by employees.
More Easily Shareable - Something that is often overlooked in discussions about the benefits of any electronic restaurant management is the fact that, by it being electronic, important data is more easily shareable with other parties. These other parties can be other managers or co-owners, or even your staff. The basic principle remains the same regardless: you now have the ability to directly and easily share important information with other people. Regarding inventory, this can be particularly useful, and what the ready-made Excel inventory spreadsheet brings to the table is the ability to share data in an almost universally accepted file format, something that some can even open on their mobile devices if need be.
Excel Analytics - One of the things that are so unique about Excel is that it offers a set of analytics tools that range from basic (the stock functions) to specialized and complex (plug-ins and other add-ons). All of these functions are built to task first and foremost, and as such are as resilient as the program itself, if not a bit more so. They also grant an opportunity to conduct a range of important trend calculations and then immediately convert them into a more visual format in the form of graphs or charts. This can be especially useful when it comes to sharing this information with other people, as they’ll be able to tell at a glance what is going on.
Gateway to Specialized Software - The one thing that the Excel inventory spreadsheet template does better anything else is give users a taste of what it would be like to invest in a more specialized inventory management software, without a headache or sense of risk. It introduces concepts like spreadsheets and analytics in a way that is purposely designed to be more general and, by extension, a bit more user-friendly, thus allowing owners or managers to get to know these concepts well. Once they do, should they feel comfortable implementing such a system in their restaurant, then they can leap.
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What did you think of our five tips for making the most use out of existing Microsoft Excel inventory spreadsheet templates for your inventory management needs? Hopefully, we’ve managed to inform you on some of the benefits of these wonderful tools, and maybe even managed to convert you in the process.