News

Serving fresh products requires accurate, agile inventory management solutions

3/24/2015
In a crowded foodservice marketplace, delivering top-quality fresh foods can be a major differentiator. Today, consumers are increasingly looking for fresh and healthy options, and in some cases, they're willing to pay a premium for them. Restaurants that want to stay relevant and competitive would do well to jump on this trend.
Easier said than done: Most fresh foods spoil easily, so they can't be stored for more than a day or two. This means that accurate order forecasting and waste management is key for managing a perishable inventory. Today, there are SaaS supply management solutions that make it possible for restaurants to easily handle fresh food inventory. Here is how they can help:

"SaaS supply management solutions make it possible for restaurants to easily handle fresh food inventory."
Real-time ordering from central commissaries
An SaaS supply solution allows you to order fresh inventory from a central kitchen or commissary at a moment's notice. You can order fresh food items and instantly transmit an order through an order portal. Because the supplier will have a real-time view of what you enter into the system, they can immediately start the prep and shipping process.
Adapting to seasonal price changes
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, both freshness and price are often a function of season. When something is out of season, it's generally more expensive to order it. An SaaS solution will be well-equipped to deal with these fluctuations in price, as well as any menu changes that arise as a result of changes in seasonal ingredients. Managers can simply change the prices, and the rest of the system will automatically adjust based on the new data.
Reducing waste
As the name implies, fresh ingredients spoil quickly. Ordering too much inventory will lead to spoilage, which is an irrecoverable expense. SaaS solutions offer pinpoint accurate order forecasting and inventory management by taking a comprehensive look at weeks' worth of historical sales data. From there, the platform can hone in on the right level of inventory for each item depending on the specific shift, day and week, keeping waste at a minimum.
Maintaining flexibility in a changing supply agreement
Depending on the time of the year, and what's in season, you may find yourself needing to work with certain suppliers during some times of the year, while not needing them during others. As suppliers come and go, the rest of the supply agreement is impacted. An SaaS solution can be easily updated to reflect these changes without throwing off the rest of the supply chain.