If you’ve ever worked in hospitality you’ll know how important it is to have a robust stock control method. Stock management plays an important role in almost every part of operations; from how profitable your restaurant or bar is, to how happy your customers are (or unhappy when they realise you don’t have the menu item they’ve asked for…) to how much time your manager spends pouring over orders.
Yet if you ask any hospitality manager, or staff member for that matter, they’ll likely have at least one complaint when it comes to their business’ stock control process. This is the primary reason we built growyze.
In today’s world of online shopping, Amazon Prime and automation, where almost anything we want is just a clickaway, there are far more effective ways of completing a stock take than trying to set up and manage everything manually.
In this guide we’ll walk you through how to set up a stock control method that saves time, reduces loss and lets you manage your stock in a way that makes sense.
What is the main purpose of a stock control system?
When it comes to managing stock there are a few key purposes of having a proper stock control system in place:
Know the profitability of your hospitality business
Good stock keeping processes make a huge difference to your bar or restaurant’s accounts. Without an effective stock control method you won’t know where to start when it comes to ordering items. This results in ending up with too much sitting inventory (items which aren’t selling), fewer items that your customers do want, and an inability to forecast the profit of that month, or any month ahead for that matter.
Validate deliveries and invoices
If you don’t know how many items you’re meant to have in stock, each time a new delivery arrives (and your team rushes to put this away) you’re left unable to calculate whether the supplier has sent the right amount of items. Stock takes can be considerably time-consuming and many hospitality businesses skip them, or fail to complete them accurately, which throws off every area of the business’ accounts.
This creates a “leaky bucket” where money pours out of your business through missing items or wasted products, faster than you can top it back up again.
Prevent losses due to stock management
In every food and beverage business there’s an acceptance that some shrinkage or wastage will occur. Perhaps food items go out of date before they can be sold or a bottle of wine has been corked, or served incorrectly.
But failure to have a proper stock control method increases the amount of preventable losses within the business. Knowing the right items to order, being able to complete stock takes quickly and even knowing if items are mysteriously going missing when they shouldn’t be, allows you to enable loss prevention in the business and address any issues - fast.
How to create a stock control method using growyze
With growyze you can set up an effective stock control method very easily for any food or beverage business. Here’s how it works:
1. Set up your stock items
The first step to organising your stock control system is to know what stock you’re starting with! For this, you’ll need to add your products and suppliers, however we’ve made it as easy and fast as possible to do this using a few key methods:
Add products manually
To add your products into growyze you can add these one-by-one as you would do during a manual stock process. You’ll only have to do this once for each item and there are already 250,000 items in the growyze database, so it’s easy to find your most popular items (Whispering Angel anyone?). Simply start typing in the name of your item and you’ll see close matches appear for you to choose from:
Secondly, you can add items using the handy barcode scanner via your smartphone camera. Simply login to growyze on your smartphone, select “Products”, “Items”, “Add item” and then choose “Scan to add”.
Once you’ve scanned your item you can choose the measurement and details of your stock. This will allow all of your items to be logged, giving you a great starting place for proper stock control.
Add products via a bulk import
Of course, you may already have some kind of stock control system in place and here’s where growyze gets interesting. In most stock control softwares you can only upload stock if it’s in an Excel or CSV format.
You can, of course, upload both of these formats using growyze. If you have an Excel or CSV full of items, simply use the bulk import to add all items to your stock list.
However, what if you only have a delivery note, or an invoice, as the only record of your stock? With growyze you can upload any file, no matter how many columns, rows or items it has.
Once the document has been uploaded our optional-character-recognition (OCR) system picks up your items and imports them into your account.
Assign headers and click “Import products” and your items will be added to growyze, ready for you to have a stock basis to start with, in just a few minutes.
To automate how you order items you’ll then need to add your various suppliers to growyze.
Select “Purchases”, then “Suppliers” and “Add supplier”. Here you can choose to either “Add new” to add suppliers one-by-one, or add via a bulk import if you already have a database of suppliers to hand.
When creating a new supplier there’s a handy notification feature where you can enable reminders. This is useful if there’s a certain day or date cut-off for a particular supplier, ensuring you get your orders in on time.
2. Create recipe management
Recipe management is an important part of stock control if you’re selling food, or items that involve multiple products (such as cocktails). This helps ensure you aren’t selling any items at a loss, and that you know the profitability of your menu.
In Growyze you can set up your recipes easily.
Choose “Products”, “Recipes” and select “Add Recipe”. Here, you can name your item (for example “Cosmopolitan”) and enter each ingredient and the quantity and measure.
There’s also an option to add ingredients freehand for anything else you need for that recipe (for example mint or ice) which can’t be calculated as easily as measures or whole items.
The benefit of using growyze’s recipe management tool is that you can then see the exact cost of the recipe, taking into account all of the ingredients. With this, you can play around with the sales price, with auto-calculated profit and profit margin, to ensure that each item you sell and stock is profitable.
Anytime you need to change a recipe, you can simply “recalculate” so that you’re always on top of how profitable your recipes are. Top tip: this is a great way for Chefs to manage the profitability of their menus too!
3. Complete a stock take
Once your items, suppliers and recipes are logged it’s time to complete that all-important first stock take! This will give you a base from which to work from and, thanks to growyze, will be far faster to complete than the manual stock takes you’ve likely been working with.
Firstly, multiple users can log in to the same growyze account and complete a stock take simultaneously. By using the barcode scanner on their smartphone they can scan items in different areas and all will be logged under the same stock take.
If you have multiple stock takes happening at once, your team can also work on different stock takes at the same time using growyze.
Using bar code scanning, completing your stock control process is as simple as “point, snap & tap”. Items can also be added manually where, and if, needed.
Once you’ve scanned each item and confirmed the quantities, the values are combined and you quickly gain an accurate picture of what you have in holding stock. Each stock take is logged in your history so you can refer back to it at any time (far better than trying to find that piece of paper from last quarter!).
You’ll also then benefit from growyze’s stock discrepancy report, a key part of an effective stock control method. This report lets you view, item-by-item, the opening quantity, how many have been sold, wasted and, crucially, whether you have the correct quantities in place.
If there are discrepancies that need to be investigated you’ll easily be able to see and act on this information, helping to prevent further losses in your hospitality business.
4. Place new stock orders via mobile or desktop
Best of all, once you know what stock you have you can then create new stock orders quickly and accurately. We know how important (and stretched!) hospitality manager’s are, and this is designed to reduce desk-time.
Inside growyze, choose “Products”, “Orders” and select “New order”.
Here, you can choose your supplier and select the items you wish to order. You can also add comments where needed if you have a specific request to make.
Once you’re happy with your order, select “Place order” and your supplier will receive an automated email detailing all of the products you need, allowing you to place orders in a matter of minutes.
5. Auto-validate deliveries and invoices
One of the biggest issues in stock control is that staff don’t have time to check stock against orders and deliveries. Without a method in place it can be difficult to pick up on why items are missing. Is it because the supplier didn’t send the right amount of items or is it an issue that’s occurred after delivery, due to waste, loss or human error?
With growyze, we make the process of validating your deliveries, orders and invoices simple using automated three-way validation technology.
When you’ve received your invoice you can upload the file directly to growyze, or take a photo of it using your phone’s camera.
Our OCR-engine scans and extracts all of the relevant information such as the document/invoice number and how many items were ordered. This then matches the invoice to the order you’ve made and, if you’ve already paid for this invoice, it will even notify you so you don’t pay twice.
Here you can see every line item extracted via the invoice so you can see any discrepancies between what was delivered and counted, and what you ordered.
This also allows you to check prices against the database and if the cost price is different you can accept or query the new price.
If there is an issue, you can choose to send an automated email to the supplier notifying them of which items were incorrect or missing, without you having to type this up manually.
Create an effective stock control method using growyze
We know how difficult it can be to survive (and thrive!) in today’s hospitality industry. With growyze, managers and staff members can implement a stock control method that relies on smart technology and can be accessed by a smartphone, any time, from anywhere.
Don’t have time to set up your stock control? We’ll do it for you! As part of our introductory offer we’ll attend your business on, or offsite, and set up growyze for you. Completing your first stock take, adding your suppliers and confirming your invoices so you’re ready to go.
Book a demo to find out more.