How to Use Stock Inventory Apps - Benefits and Uses

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How to Use Stock Inventory Apps - Benefits and Uses

Good inventory management is the cornerstone of a restaurant’s long-term success and makes a huge difference to financial health - some may even say it’s the deal breaker of whether a restaurant remains profitable.

Making even minor adjustments can prevent losses and increase earnings. And let’s face it, running a successful restaurant is exhausting work! Raise your hand if you’ve had to wear more than one operational hat at a time? We see you!

However, unlike some industry areas, there isn’t just one way to get it right. Some restaurants we speak to don’t have any stock procedure in place… nada! Stock is ordered on gut-feel and it’s anyone’s guess how much is needed at any given time. Then other restaurants have their own stock management procedure, usually led by an individual who knows it inside out and back to front! With a well oiled system in place, choosing or using an inventory management app or new system can feel like a waste of time. However, with all of the current economic strains on businesses and job roles expanding and becoming more demanding, sometimes a little help can be a good thing.

Well, a stock management app can be the help you need, improving your operations without changing them, or your role. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how a stock management app can simplify your inventory management while keeping you firmly in the driver’s seat. We’ll also cover its pros, cons and processes to help you decide if it’s a good investment for your restaurant.

What is an inventory management app? 

An inventory management app is exactly what its title suggests - an app that allows you to track, monitor and manage your stock from the convenience of your smartphone.  

It’s generally cloud-based, meaning that you can log in and access it from anywhere to check inventory levels and manage stock orders. Your entire team can access it too, meaning everyone can view the same stock data in real-time as it gets updated. 

Traditional vs. modern stock inventory systems 

As we said, there’s no one way to do stock inventory in restaurant management. Each system has benefits and is ideal for different restaurants. Let’s take a closer look at traditional vs modern inventory systems below.

  • Shelf-to-sheet: this is the original, tried and tested way to manage inventory. Restaurant staff and managers manually record and update stock by putting pen to paper. These papers contain all relevant stock information and each time a stocktake is completed, items are logged based on what’s available on the shelf at that time. This information is then usually transferred into an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Stock management app: an inventory app centralises your stock management processes on a single platform. It also automates many related processes, such as ordering new stock to fill empty shelves, working out the cost of a menu item, or logging and reviewing wasted products. 

Before deciding on the ideal process, you’ll need to take a good look at your current inventory system. Pop the hood and examine what parts are working well (perhaps your team is excellent at doing stocktake). 

And then, what’s not working so well (perhaps month-end inventory count is a routine nightmare with missing or inaccurate stock counts?). Is there an obvious solution or do you maybe need a new process to take the strain off of you and your team?

What are the benefits of investing in an inventory management app?

Investing in an inventory management app to centralise, automate and simplify your stock management offers a host of benefits. Take note, we’re not suggesting there’s anything wrong with your existing operations! If they run smoothly as is, that’s fantastic! 

Integrating a stock management app into your existing processes is not about getting rid of what’s working. It's about simplifying and improving what’s working for even better results. 

Here are a few key benefits of performing stock management with an app. 

Your processes, but digital

Inventory management apps don’t erase or replace good processes, they just digitalise them. What this means is that every existing process you’ve created will still occur, but online. Stocktake and recording all take place within the app, which makes the process far quicker and easier. 

Instead of having to manually write and edit the same product data every time you complete a stocktake, your team can simply scan barcodes of products and it’ll update within the system. Reflecting your original stock levels, what you ordered, what you sold, and what should be left on the shelf as a result. Stock ordering is simpler too. In growyze, you can reorder past stock directly from suppliers in just a few clicks based on what you need, instead of having to count, call, email and arrange the entire process again.

Move to mobile (iPhone or Android) 

We do most things from the convenience of our phones these days. It’s just simpler and more convenient. Stock management is no different in this case. Being able to manage every stocktake from the convenience of your mobile phone makes your daily grind that much easier. 

You can work from anywhere, scan each item of stock with its existing barcode via your phone’s camera, and you can log in and check existing stock without having to be on the premises. Did we mention you can do this at any time of the day, or night?

Faster data, checks and validation

When you’re juggling customer orders, staff queries and a number of other things, you need answers - and quickly. An inventory app puts the data you need in your hands - literally! 

Instead of reaching for a file on the shelf and paging through records or booting up your Excel sheets, you can open your app and find the answers you need. Think instant inventory checks and validations to keep your operations running without delay or interruptions. 

growyze even provides automated three-way validation between orders, deliveries and invoices. This means that once you’ve received an order, you can automatically check it matches what you ordered and what you’ve been invoiced - so you never pay for a missed item again. 

Streamlined stock management - freeing up your time

Many traditional stock management processes, whether sheet-to-shelf manual inventory or inputting data about invoices and deliveries, take up far too much time. Particularly for senior Operations people who have a ton of priorities to juggle and end up working late into the night to get the data logged and inventory managed (sound familiar?). 

With an inventory management app so many tasks done once, don’t need to be done again, saving you a lot of time. Simple features such as barcode scanning and invoice validation also mean you’re not left pouring over the paper trying to align figures.

Enable better purchasing decisions 

Accurate data is the key to making smarter, better purchasing decisions and reducing losses. Of course, this data might already be available from your current processes. But an inventory app can eliminate the chance of manual errors slipping through and impacting your data quality. 

It also takes everything you do daily (manage stock, log waste, add recipes) and pulls it into automated, streamlined reporting that allows you to see your margin gaps at a glance. Automated reporting on cost of goods sold (COGS) and other metrics, allow you to make faster decisions, and know that they’re based on accurate data. 

The more accurate and accessible your data is, the better your overall financial management. The best part is the app does the hard work for you, producing the data you need, when you need it.

How to transition from traditional stock management to a stock management app

Perhaps you’re considering trying out a stock management app. The benefits sound great but the setup and rollout process sound too complicated. We hear you. The great news is: it doesn’t have to be!

Working with an inventory app like growyze gives you all the benefits without any of the setup or operational headaches. We’ll explain how we can help you get up and running in a few steps:

1. Get help setting up

After signing up for growyze, we’ll help you add your stock and suppliers to your account, making the setup process a breeze. Our support team will make it quick and easy, and we offer ongoing, free support at all times. 

2. Enable the right people to get involved

Once you’re up and running, you can invite your team members to join your growyze account. We offer unlimited users, meaning you can invite as many team members as you like without having to pay more.

Once your team is on board, they can immediately begin performing stock management tasks, like doing stocktake with growyze. Our app is accessible for both Android and iPhone users with no app download required either!

3. Create a stock management process that helps you

growyze is here to simplify, not replace, your stock management procedure. Designed with simplicity in mind, growyze can do the heavy lifting of manual data and inventory management. 

This frees up more of your time to focus on other areas. And, with the data you need at your fingertips, you can make quick decisions that will improve profitability and reduce losses.

Simplify your stock management with ease

At growyze, our goal is to make your inventory management a simple, seamless experience. Our stock management capabilities have you covered, including stocktake, stock reordering, supplier management, recipe optimisation and loss prevention.

We work with you to enhance your stock management, while you stay in complete control of all operations. Book a demo to see how growyze can integrate into, and simplify, your current inventory management procedures.

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