Do You Need an External Stocktaker? (Pros, Cons and Alternatives)

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Do You Need an External Stocktaker? (Pros, Cons and Alternatives)

For any hospitality business, stocktake is an essential component of keeping your business profitable. But, it also happens to be the one area filled with annoying yet complex issues which are difficult to solve. So what are the key issues? Too often, stocktake is inconsistent, incorrect or delayed, due to a lack of time, resources or even experience. 

As a result, many businesses are searching for the best method for stocktake, whether that’s running it in-house, using stock management software, or even hiring an external stocktaker to help. 

What are external stocktakers?

An external stocktaker is an organisation that offers stocktaking services to businesses across industries, from hospitality to retail. These businesses outsource their inventory management because they may not have the team, time or expertise to manage their stocktake internally. 

Aside from inventory management, external stocktakers can also offer auditing, compliance and advisory services to businesses.

What are the pros and cons of hiring an external stocktaker for your hospitality business?

There’s no doubt that working with an external stocktaking organisation can be a smart move if your hospitality business is growing rapidly or you’re struggling to stay on top of your stocktake operations. But it’s important to look at both the pros and cons before deciding, as it can be a costly overhead.

Pros of working with an external stocktaker

  • Frees up time and resource - an external stocktaker oversees the manual aspects of your stocktake, such as inventory count and discrepancy identification and review. This frees up time and takes a good portion of the responsibility off your shoulders. Instead of worrying about manual inventory counts, you can focus on other core areas of the business that need your attention.
  • Produces accurate data and figures - external stocktakers do inventory management for a living. They’re qualified professionals which means there’s less chance for manual errors in their results. You can rest assured that the results you’re getting are accurate and reflect your current inventory levels.
  • Provides expert service and insight - an external stocktaking company consists of people who are trained and have extensive experience in inventory management. Most, if not all, external stocktakers possess professional accreditations and are experts in their field.

  • Demonstrates stocktaking best practices - choosing to work with an external stocktaker doesn’t just improve your stocktaking accuracy and results. It can also help to improve your inventory management processes. External stocktakers can teach you and your team stocktaking best practices that you can then replicate in your future stocktakes.

  • Assists in audit preparation - if you have an upcoming audit you need to prepare for, an external stocktaker can step in and help. External stocktakers often offer auditing and accounting assistance as secondary services, and they can help ensure you have the correct data and documents and that your ledgers are accurate and up to date.

  • Benchmarks your performance against competitors - working with an external stocktaker can help benchmark your growth, revenue and operational performance against competitors. As they’ll likely be working for many similar hospitality businesses, working with them can help you understand and benchmark your business’s performance against others. 

Cons of working with an external stocktaker

  • The results aren’t instant - when you’re in control of your daily operations you can see all data immediately, whilst having an external stocktaker means you have to wait for them to compile the data. This means there could be a period of days, or even weeks, between conducting an on-site stocktake and actually seeing the results or finding out about discrepancies. 
  • The service can potentially be expensive - external stocktakers are experts in their field but this expertise does come at a price. If you decide to partner with an external stocktaker, the cost can potentially end up being quite high, depending on your stocktaking requirements.

  • Initial time investment - even though external stocktakers are professionals, you’ll still need to set aside time to explain your inventory management procedures and a bit about how your business runs. The stocktakers might have questions about your existing operations you’ll need to answer, so the entire process may take longer than you expect.

  • Siloed data can slow down results - if your inventory data is spread out and siloed, it can slow down the process and make it more challenging for an external stocktaker. They may be able to count your stock, but if they hit a discrepancy it may be hard for them to discover where it originated, without the day-to-day overview that your internal team has. Information could be spread across multiple sources, like spreadsheets and separate POS and accounting systems, making it more difficult for them to find the root causes of stock discrepancies and errors.

  • Can minimise your decision-making abilities - An external stocktaker can deliver the results you’re looking for but it also means you’re not examining the figures and numbers for yourself. This lack of insight may make it hard to accurately understand how profitable the business is. As a result, your ability to make swift decisions that reduce losses and increase profitability could be impacted.


How growyze and your external stocktakers can work together

There are obvious advantages and drawbacks to partnering with an external stocktaker. The good news is that it’s not an all-or-nothing decision! You can leverage the heavyweight expertise of an external stocktaker to augment, rather than replace, your existing stocktake system. 

Here’s an example of how that could work:

  • growyze is your inventory management solution, covering all of your daily tasks; management of suppliers orders from one place, receiving of stock, food and beverages stock control, internal requisitions and three-way validation (checks that orders, deliveries and invoices match). As well as providing insight on actual gross-profit vs theoretical, supplier price changes and other key data analysis.
  • This streamlines your internal operations, keeps everything inside one tool and makes daily stocktake extremely efficient. 
  • Then, you hire external stocktakers to assist above and beyond your daily processes. Examples might include assisting the Finance department with queries and data analysis, getting ahead on reporting for a formal audit or conducting comprehensive stock audits either monthly, quarterly or bi-annually. 

You can even have the best of both worlds; enabling an external stocktaker to manage your stocktake inside of growyze, so that every stocktake (conducted internally or externally) lives in one place.

growyze offers unlimited users within each account, with the ability to assign specific roles and permissions to different users based on which features you’d like them to be able to access. 

This means you can enable your external stocktaker to use growyze, and not only conduct a full stocktake using simple barcode scanning from a smartphone, but they’ll also have historic access to past stocktake reports, order information and three-way validation which scans for discrepancies between orders, deliveries and invoices. 

With growzye, staying on top of your weekly or monthly inventory counts is a breeze. 

growyze also integrates with leading POS and accounting systems, centralising all of your inventory data so you can keep everything, from stock to sales, streamlined. 

Having all of your inventory data up to date and centralised makes it easier to partner with an external stocktaker for larger inventory reviews and also audits. The external team can leverage your data and growyze’s reporting features to complete each stocktake more quickly and efficiently. 

Seamless stocktakes begin with growyze

Working together with both growyze and an external stocktaker gives you the best of both worlds - accurate, simplified stocktakes coupled with higher-level inventory reviews and audits that enable business growth. 

Let us show you how growyze can streamline your inventory management, stock purchasing, vendor communications, invoice reconciliation and loss prevention processes.

Book a demo to discover how growyze can simplify every aspect of your stocktaking process today.

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