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How Often Should You Stocktake?
When it comes to food inventory management, the frequency of your stocktake plays a significant role. The answer to the question of how often depends on multiple factors. These include what type of business you have, how much control you want and the reason for doing this particular stocktake. Once you reflect on these, you’ll know what’s best for you and your business.
Why It’s Important
It gives you the information you need to increase your gross profit margin. With accurate, efficient and consistent stocktakes you can spot inefficiencies, issues with portion control, poor governance and even theft. This means you can intervene earlier and sort it out before it gets worse.
On the whole, across various sectors, such as hospitality, doing a monthly stocktake is quite common. For those in the food and beverage sector, perishable goods need to be taken into account. Shop delis and restaurants are good examples. When it comes to fish or meat cuts such as steaks or chicken, if possible, these should be counted daily. Tracking of expiry dates is also a key part of this operation.
Having this level of stocktake frequency for goods such as these keeps the process more manageable and contributes to waste prevention.
The frequency of your delivery – If you want to ensure optimum competence with your order, make sure your count is carried out before you make a new one.
Accuracy of your product tracking system – A more accurate system such as DigiTally may give you the freedom to do it a little less often as it keeps a better track of items. If it’s less reliable like using pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets, you’ll be required to intervene more regularly.
Size of your business – The size of your business doesn’t necessarily dictate the regularity of your food inventory management process. Whether a small or large company, you need to keep on top of your stock as unaccounted items exist at all inventory levels.
This action of stocktaking can be carried out daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. It ultimately comes down to your desired outcome, business type and aspired level of control. In our opinion, the more frequent, the better. It’s all about minimising food waste, keeping your stock levels healthy and having a great food inventory management system.
If you want better control over your profit margins, and to prevent problems, do your stocktake often.