News

3 ways analytics are transforming production management

2/4/2015
Restaurant managers face unique challenges trying to manage production and sales while maximizing profits. On one hand, it is essential to maintain sufficient inventory levels in the restaurant to meet customer demands, maximize profits and decrease costs. One dissatisfied customer is more costly than having to throw away a few extra items at the end of the day. At the same time, having excess waste is damaging to the bottom line. A good distribution and production management system can help you fully understand the needs at your different locations and adjust accordingly.
Data analytics play a key role in this process, as solutions can gather information from all of your customer-facing locations, track how many of each item sells and report those details to you in a variety of ways. For example, you can report how different items perform during the lunch rush on Thursdays compared to Saturdays. With informative data in hand, you can manage production more efficiently to maximize profits. Three ways data analytics can improve production management include:
"Data analytics solutions are emerging across a variety of industries."
1. Improve visibility
It is easy to gather observations about supply and demand at the locations you support. However, recording and reporting on critical data that can inform your production strategies isn't simple. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions makes all of this viable through the Web, reducing the costs and complexity of getting meaningful visibility into sales and inventory at customer-facing locations.
A connected production system makes it much easier to gather data from diverse sources and understand exactly what products need to be created and deployed to different restaurants.
2. Efficient projection
All of these insights into day-to-day sales makes it easier to identify how much of a product will be necessary at any given time. Having specific data about how many of a certain food item is typically sold at locations during a specific time is key. It lets you project what will be needed and enables you to produce the right quantities of any product. Furthermore, you gain insight into when different items sell, allowing you to fine tune your distribution strategies to get the right supplies to the right restaurant in a timely manner.
3. Reduce waste
Establishing production strategies that minimize waste create financial stability while maintaining customer satisfaction. Data analytics solutions can tell you precisely how much of a product normally sells at any given time, allowing you to manage your production with greater precision. Furthermore, analytics systems can tell you which ingredients are needed to meet production demands. Combining sales data with inventory usage empowers you to purchase the supplies to meet demand.

Data analytics can fuel production and distribution efficiency.Data analytics can fuel production and distribution efficiency.
At the same time, all of these details pertaining to ingredient use can help you identify the cause of any bad batches and identify waste. For example, your recipe may call for X pounds of flour, but inventory analysis can reveal how much flour you're actually using and, perhaps, wasting. That data can be a sign of process problems in production, and can give you insight into day-to-day trends that allow you to reduce waste. Data analytics solutions are emerging across a variety of industries, and there's no reason why production managers should ignore the trend. The right data can provide valuable insights that let you maximize operational efficiency and fiscal health.