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2 ways SaaS solutions help foodservices jump on growing product sourcing trends

4/2/2015

Today, there are a number of trends that are redefining the restaurant industry across the board. To see exactly how the foodservice world is changing, the National Restaurant Association surveyed professional chefs and members of the American Culinary Federation on which food, beverage and general culinary themes will be dominant over the next year and beyond. Of the top 10 trends, five of them had to do with new sourcing practices.

Specifically, locally sourced meats and produce are becoming a key point of distinction for restaurants of all types, especially among the millennial consumers making up an ever-growing part of the consumer landscape. Local sourcing isn't just a marketing scheme, it's becoming a real business model.

"Older supply management platforms tend to be very rigid and unforgiving."

Older supply management platforms tend to be very rigid and unforgiving for managers who need to alter the system to reflect a changing supply agreement. Thus, supply chain managers should look to SaaS solutions to help them take on new suppliers seamlessly. Here are two ways they can do just that:

Accurate waste management
When we talk about locally sourced ingredients and products, we're often referring to fresh inventory. Because these items are perishable, ordering too much can lead to spoilage, and thus, wasted money. If you're working out of spreadsheets or old supply software, you are much more likely to run into errors that lead to over-ordering.

SaaS solutions, on the other hand, make waste management much easier by automatically determining how much product you'll need to order based on weeks' worth of sales data. In addition, you get a real-time look at perpetual and periodic inventory levels that will give you a realistic idea of what you'll need now and in the future. This will make it easy to bring on local suppliers without worrying about too much food waste.

Locally sourced ingredients are a point of pride for many restaurants today. SaaS solutions make it easy to start working with local suppliers.Locally sourced ingredients are a point of pride for many restaurants today. SaaS solutions make it easy to start working with local suppliers.

New suppliers are easy to integrate
On-premise supply management software is limited because it's tethered to a physical location. Managers and staff have to collect orders, invoices and other inventory related data from every single supplier and then enter it into the system, which can lead to errors.

With a SaaS solution, users throughout the entire supply chain can access the system through any Internet-connected device. This allows them to input orders, shipments and other data types from wherever they are, making it so data collection and input can be done in one step.