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Achieving Accuracy Across the Board
Accuracy is a word that gets used a lot in business and especially in our sector. The more accurate the stocktake, the further on the road you are to improving the all-important gross profit margin. But it goes much deeper than that. Accuracy needs to exist both in the fine details and the bigger picture of your business. It’s required at every step of the process to ensure optimum return, which everyone wants to achieve.
Let’s start with the count and why that’s so important. One of the main reasons we created our software is to digitise the stocktaking process, making it immediately more accurate. There is far too much waste in the food and beverage industry. We are on a mission to reduce food waste for our customers and positively contribute to sustainable food production across the globe. Having an accurate count regardless of the size of your food business is essential to achieve this.
The same goes for products and suppliers. Having one uniform standardized list of products ensures accuracy. Pricing is another key area where it’s also paramount. If your count at the time of a stocktake is not accurate, then your margin will be incorrect and you will likely be making decisions being based upon incorrect data. It may only be at a minor level, but over time, all these inaccuracies from count to order to price can build-up and will cost you. And the bigger the gap, the bigger the price you will pay.
In order to look at the solution, we must first look at the problem. The size of your business does not matter here. Small, medium or large companies in the sector are all at risk of inaccuracies of count, order and price. However, the bigger you are, the higher the risk of inaccuracy across the board. Why? Because as a business expands, it can become more a case of trying to keep up rather than leveling up your processes. Being a larger business means that the errors at ground level are compounded over time and become significantly larger issues.
It all comes down to the system you choose to use. People gravitate towards familiarity over change so often, old and outdated systems tend to stay with us when they need to be let go or at least upgraded. A great example of this is the manual pen and paper method used for food inventory management. This is hugely prone to error and does not support a high level of accuracy, while an automated digital one does.
If you are a multi-location business, as many of our clients are, we ask what system you are using or is it a case of having different systems at different locations? Is the data accurate, and is it easy to access? You need alignment with your systems and easy accessibility to ensure accuracy across the board.
Finding the right system is the way forward. We say make it a software solution, streamline your process and one that integrates with your third-party systems. It will sustain itself with far less commitment required from you or your staff. For example, we provide a food inventory management system that does precisely these and can be implemented across all your sites, giving you a bird’s eye view. It ensures an accurate read on your stock, reduces the time spent on the manual implementation of data, and this is time you can put back into your business.
We’ve reduced the stocktaking process from 2 hours to a 45 minutes process – Same day reporting is a no brainer. You need the processes in your business to move at the rate you want to progress. Don’t let a poor system get in the way when it should be supporting it.
The best part is, your location doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be on the ground to get the data. And that goes for all of your locations. You can get it wherever you are as long as you have your device. It’s independent food inventory management as it’s best. Digitising processes are here to stay, so it’s about getting the system that will keep up and adapt to trends as needed.
Visibility also supports accuracy. Being able to view all the data across all of your sites means a level of oversight that previously was not possible. This gives you the insight you need. From a performance management perspective to a gross profit margin one, you have the 360-degree view to make more informed decisions for your business. You spend less time collating and more time analysing. You can act faster and utilise your time being able to trust this reliable data.
You’ll also see the benefits in your actions. The accuracy has a ripple effect. As you have all the information you need at your fingertips, you can go directly to the core of the issue. Whether it’s comparing locations, best use of staffing hours or inputting data, you can spot it and sort it immediately, lowering the risk of an issue manifesting over time. You can act on the results because they are there in front of you. This also means faster and more accurate action taking as well as decision making. This is what achieving accuracy across the board looks like.
It’s very much about getting the basics right. Ditch the pen and paper for digital. Ensure you have one system for the same process across all your sites. And focus on accuracy at all levels. If you can commit to this, it will sustain itself. You should never be left second-guessing. If you are, you haven’t got an accurate read, whether that’s your stock, pricing or product. So make sure you are never in this situation, and make accuracy the priority in your business.