Inventory management system guide for hospitality SMEs
Streamlining your hospitality business inventory and operations
A hospitality business owner has many things to think about all at once, which explains the need for an efficient inventory management system. The admin has to account for a lot of processes to ensure that there are no gaps in the operations. Examples of these activities are staffing, purchasing stock and supplies, counting room vacancies, fulfilling customer requests, repairing broken items immediately, among others.
Any delay or error results in losses or worse, disenfranchised customers with something bad to say about your service. To avoid these unfortunate outcomes from occurring frequently and improve clients’ experience, you need to establish a comprehensive inventory management system. Also, you need to make sure that everyone in your team understands how that system works.
Tips for bolstering your inventory management system
1. Prompt stock-taking
Immediate stock-taking involves physically checking and counting your stock to match them with your order, as soon as the supplier delivers them. Doing this helps you minimize errors and fix inventory issues immediately. Stock-taking depends on the size of your business and the rate of inventory turnover. Frequent counting will help you identify loopholes in your inventory management system, as well as other poor inventory control practices that you need to change.
Note the type, quantity, date of expiry for perishable items, and the quality of the goods. Aside from counting stock, you must also tally manual and computer records. Bring all discrepancies to your suppliers’ attention immediately or decide on them appropriately.
2. Look for trends in your inventory
Keep an eye open for patterns, which can help you anticipate processes and forecast your demand. Over time, you can collect enough data about the items that you need to replenish continually and which ones you need to stop purchasing. In hospitality businesses, practical inventory management systems can help you prevent spoilage and minimize inventory costs. You can use this inventory information to ensure that you don’t run out or overstock.
You can also refer to inventory trends to compare your year-on-year or month-on-month sales performance. When this type of information is readily available at your disposal, you’ll know when to drop the prices for seasonal adjustment. You can even schedule maintenance and repairs during low seasons to avoid interrupting business and negatively affecting customer satisfaction.
3. Secure your warehouse or storage area
Organize your storage and secure it to prevent contamination, tampering, and theft. Store stock using industry-accepted practices that ensure customers’ health and safety. Store perishables and food items in a temperature and moisture-controlled environment whenever possible. Ideally, you must not store perishable items for too long a time to avoid spoilage, which is why it is best to purchase just the right levels to prevent wastage at all costs.
Classify and label non-perishable stock according to type and date of expiry and implement best practices when it comes to moving inventory. Store food and non-food items separately to prevent contamination.
4. Use software for your inventory management system.
An inventory software or application automates your inventory processes. You can use it along with an existing accounting system to streamline your business and save time, money, and labor costs. You can use a good stock control software online or offline and use it to make decisions that result in better inventory turnover and productivity.
If you are operating on multiple channels or using multiple warehouses, a stock control software application can help you integrate all data about your inventory. You can consolidate data statistics from the different branches without sacrificing efficiency in operations, cost-and-time savings, and inventory accuracy. Reporting is another useful feature of the software.
5. Train people to implement efficient stock management
Just as important as a good stock management system is your need for dedicated and meticulous individuals to implement your inventory policy. Part of your strategy should be to train your people in the use of sophisticated inventory control systems. This way, you can fully optimize your inventory management system and your employees in the process.
Finding the right balance between stock management technology and your people can help your hospitality business become more profitable and efficient in the long run. It may cost you quite a bit in the beginning, but the result is far better than the cost of wasting money on inadequate software and incompetent staff. A good inventory control system must always result in optimized and consistent operations, business profitability, and customer satisfaction.
To enjoy the benefits of optimized operations, business profitability and customer satisfaction, have a chat with our guru to choose a good inventory control system for your business.