Managing food inventory may be a little more difficult than managing non-perishable inventory. Since most food products are not durable, they have to be removed quickly from the shelves. To make your food inventory management easier and effective, here are some tips you can implement.
1. Monitor Your Stock Levels in Real Time
Food inventory requires regular supervision. Some of your products may sell faster than others. Therefore, don’t let the stock run out when consumer demand is high.
In order to avoid shortages or out of stock, you need to monitor your food inventory levels in real time. That means, you can’t just rely on periodic stock taking, which usually takes a long time. You need a simpler way to maintain your stock levels, for example by having an automated inventory management system.
2. Avoid Excessive Buying
Avoiding shortages or out of stock doesn’t mean you have to buy more than what’s needed. You don’t want to keep your food inventory for so long that it ends up stale and unsalable, do you?
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your stock procurement. The key is to buy the right amount, according to demands. To be able to do this, you need to perform inventory forecasting correctly. You can check your sales and inventory history, study the current market trends as well as economic conditions.
3. Apply the First Expired, First Out (FEFO) Technique
The first expired, first out method is a method that requires you to prioritize items with nearest expiration dates in order to sell faster. This technique is generally used by restaurant owners, pharmacy owners, and food retailers or wholesalers. By applying the FEFO technique, you will not only increase your inventory turnover ratio, but also avoid food waste.
4. Utilized an Inventory Management System
Using an automated inventory management system will go a long way in optimizing the management of your food inventory. This tool allows you to check inventory levels in real time, forecast inventory needs, increase and decrease the quantity of items in your inventory automatically, and much more.
Note: HashMicro’s Inventory Management System can be integrated with the Purchasing System, the Accounting System, the POS System, and the Manufacturing System (if you are a food manufacturer), so that all your business processes can be automated and optimized.
5. Train Your Employees in Food Inventory Management
For better food inventory management, you also need to train employees who are responsible for managing it. Provide inventory management training so that your employees can consistently carry out their responsibilities well. Also, teach them how to use your inventory management system so they can make the most out of it.
6. Keep Track of Your Sales Regularly
Apart from monitoring inventory levels, you also need to monitor your sales to help you forecast inventory needs accurately. Check your sales data in real time from your POS system to find out which products are selling best and which are not selling well so you can make purchases more wisely later.
Note: Monitoring sales regularly also makes it easier for you to organize your promotional strategies, for example, you can discount your non-popular products or have them bundled together with best-selling ones.
7. Maintain Storage Cleanliness
In order to maintain the quality of your food inventory, you need to keep your food items in a clean storage with proper temperature and humidity. Remember that storage cleanliness affects the quality and lifespan of your food inventory. Provide proper refrigerators for food items that require low room temperature. Keep them away from high humidity and direct sunlight so they don’t spoil quickly.