Month end. Need we say more? Just the phrase alone is enough to make any restaurant manager or employee groan in agonised anticipation. On a daily basis, staying on top of inventory management while running a fast-paced restaurant is challenging enough.
When it comes to month-end inventory counts, late and missing inventory records make the process a literal kitchen nightmare. Cue the Gordon Ramsay-style screaming.
Receiving inventory records too late prevents restaurants from identifying key areas that need improvement. In an industry where cost of goods sold (COGS) directly affects profitability, this lack of total visibility into your operations is something you can’t afford to overlook.
What if we told you there’s an easy solution for your month-end woes? In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to get faster month-end inventory counts without sacrificing quality or accuracy.
What is a month-end inventory count?
Before we dive into how to improve your month-end inventory procedures, let’s clarify what we mean by month-end inventory count. Within the context of a restaurant or bar/pub, month-end inventory count is the process of recording what items are still in stock at month’s end, compared to what was available at the beginning.
It helps track what’s been sold, unsold, wasted or broken and makes inventory management more accurate. Month-end inventory count may be part of your wider food inventory management system, which allows you to order correct items when you need them and improve menu profitability.
This is vital, because without an accurate month-end inventory count, it’s impossible to optimise costs for stock, supplies, labour and other general expenses. Unnecessary waste and expenses may be slipping through the cracks, thinning your earnings and hurting revenue potential.
What contributes to a delayed month-end?
There are multiple factors that could be delaying your month-end inventory procedures. Most commonly, it has to do with misaligned tools or processes. We’ve highlighted a few key ones below.
1. Missing information
For an inventory count to be accurate, all inventory needs to be accounted for. Simple enough, right? If only! If there’s stock missing or unaccounted for during month-end stocktake, it will impact the true cost of goods sold. You won’t have the full picture of how much inventory is costing. As a result, you’ll also have no insight into how much the business is actually earning.
2. Errors in data
Picture this. It’s past closing time and the remaining staff, after working a long shift, have to do manual inventory count. The long day combined with the exhausting effort of counting and recording all stock manually is a disaster waiting to happen. Errors are bound to happen that directly impact month-end inventory count accuracy.
3. Difficult or time consuming processes
Your staff may be well-trained in stocktake but if your processes are too confusing or disconnected it becomes more difficult to complete in time. For example, if your team relies on one person to do stocktake manually. Or, perhaps you rely on multiple people but they all need access to the same spreadsheet, meaning stocktake is painfully slow.
How to get faster month-end inventory counts
Thanks to these issues, managers trying to identify and solve operational and revenue challenges don’t get the data they need at month-end. But, time-strapped teams aren’t to blame. Between managing customer orders and other daily tasks, teams struggle to stay on top of inventory tracking because of a lack of time.
The irony is that there’s no time to solve the time issue. Or rather, the lack of time.
By the time managers do get the data they need, it’s too late and next month’s operations are in full swing. Teams struggling to stay on top of stocktake miss recordings, make mistakes, and ultimately don’t get the inventory counts finished in time again.
It’s a catch-22 that traps everyone in the same cycle that resets and repeats endlessly.
The good news is that it’s possible to break the cycle of inefficiency. This consistent lack of time that hurts your operations is most likely due to gaps in your processes - gaps that can easily be filled with a tool that does the hard work for you!
1. Streamline your inventory management system
Imagine working from one, single inventory management system instead of several, disconnected systems. Centralising all of your inventory management in a single location makes full visibility possible.
It also reduces the number of steps in your month-end stock count, simplifying the entire operation. growyze is a stock management solution that allows you to do end-to-end stocktake on a single interface. One source of truth, accessible to your entire team in real time.
2. Create an easy-to-follow procedure
Alongside a streamlined system, creating a simpler procedure for month-end stocktake makes ticking it off an easier job! Remember, your staff want an accurate inventory count as much as you do.
Automation is your ally here! In growyze you can use barcode scanning from any smartphone to complete stocktake and all information is logged - forever.
If stock is missing it’ll be easier to find, as you also have accurate records of deliveries and orders, helping you to locate where the discrepancy originated from.
3. Reduce silos between teams
Assigning roles to each team member ensures they understand where their role ends, and the next person’s role begins. Everyone on the team should have the same visibility into stock levels and training so they understand how to use your tools and systems correctly.
We make this easy at growyze! Our platform allows your team to update stock on the growyze app from their mobile phones. In a few clicks, they can count stock and even complete stocktakes in different areas at the same time as other team members are completing a stocktake in a completely different location.
Stocktake is simple with growyze, and the more consistently your team does stocktake, the easier month-end count will become!
Make your month-end seamless with growyze
We can help you win your month-end battle on all fronts. At growyze, we give your team the tools they need to master stock management and make month-end a breeze.
Book a demo to see how we can help you simplify your stock management processes.