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Is Your Back Office Sinking Productivity? Stay Afloat by Automating These 5 Admin Tasks

Between payroll, inventory, reporting, and more, it’s easy for a manager to get trapped in the back office, sinking under paperwork. Here’s how to throw your best steward a life jacket.

5 Admin Tasks Sinking Your Manager

How much time do your managers spend doing administrative work? Between payroll, ordering, reporting, and a mess of other paperwork, it’s easy for back-office operations to bog down crucial front-office efficiency.

While a level of admin work is part of the job description, managers don’t want to be trapped in the back office doing tedious work. They want to be on the floor, face-to-face with customers, making sure guests are getting the best experience possible in your stores.

Everyone feels taken care of when the manager swings by to check in with staff or interact with customers. Moreover, your managers get better at their jobs when they can move around in the front of the house and can react to challenges as they arise. When your manager must be everything from an admin assistant to de facto on-site accountant, it’s hard to know what’s happening on the floor at all, let alone how to improve the guest experience.

In this blog, we’ll explore some tasks that threaten to drag managers down and some service industry back office solutions to help them sail the ship in the right direction.

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The Sinker: Inefficient Inventory Processes

Inventory is a major iceberg for any restaurant operation. The constant need to receive orders and check stock levels can keep managers behind the scenes, holed up in stock rooms, counting how many tomatoes are on hand.

Even if managers are getting the counts right, they may not be ordering accurately — and the consequences are severe in food-handling industries. Each year, US restaurants waste 22–33 billion pounds of food, representing losses of 4-10 percent of all purchased food across the industry. Grocers face even starker losses — about 80 billion pounds of food annually, representing $50 billion in lost profits.

How to Stay Afloat

Find a system that can help managers take inventory accurately and easily — one with an intuitive and mobile user interface. This will allow managers to:

  • Be flexible and count from anywhere
  • Decrease the chance of error when inputting count to the system
  • Drastically reduce the time needed to complete stock takes
  • Keep the information managers need at their fingertips

A system that guides managers through every aspect of the inventory process can provide recommendations to ensure food quality and freshness. Your operations will experience reduced loss and your manager will have more time to focus on guests.

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The Sinker: Entering Invoices

Constantly wrangling invoices can eat up a lot of time. Stores have numerous vendors, and if your managers are receiving a slew of paper and electronic invoices from a variety of vendors, it’s easy to waste hours on collecting, tracking, and reconciling.

How to Stay Afloat

Instead of hunting down countless paper invoices or reconciling invoices in a vendor’s web portal, find a service industry back office solution that features integrations with your food and produce distributors and financial vendors.

Your inventory solution should empower managers to:

  • Electronically receive invoices in one central location. Searchable invoices make it easy to find discrepancies and missing items
  • Find cost exceptions at a glance for quick resolution
  • Use the tool as a comprehensive archive for any questions that may arise
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The Sinker: Approving Payroll

Ask any manager — reviewing employee punch cards and attendance can be a time suck. Employee punches can be inconsistent, and without the right tools, managers spend too much time trying to figure out who missed a punch or formatting data into the correct processing format. Plus, when going through time and attendance data at the end of the week, it’s too late to fix most labor overages.

How to Stay Afloat

Find a time and attendance solution that gives managers the ability to:

  • Easily review data before submitting it to payroll
  • Customize store-specific punch exception rules around long/short shifts to help flag missed punches and early clock-outs
  • Give real-time alerts to fix problems like missed meals and breaks or missed punches immediately
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The Sinker: Managing Payroll

For smaller and medium-sized operations, payroll is often handled in-house. The problem with this model is straightforward: payroll is too complex for managers, too tedious for owners, and too time-consuming for both. Especially with drastic changes to pay rates and benefits in response to the nationwide labor shortage, operators need a way to lift the burden of payroll off their shoulders.

How to Stay Afloat

Finding a qualified professional employer organization (PEO) can ensure your employees receive accurate paychecks on time — without chaining you or your manager to the office desk. PEOs handle payroll processing and HR administration for you, freeing up your team to tackle other important tasks while crucially keeping you compliant with local, state, and federal regulations.

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The Sinker: P&L vs Budget Report

We all know that food and labor costs are only one portion of a manager’s responsibility. A service industry back office solution that helps managers easily address not only food and labor concerns, but also provides insights into their full set of controllable operating profit and loss (P&L) items as the week progresses enables them to reconcile their P&L without surprises at the end of the reporting period.

How to Stay Afloat

Give managers better access to data that provides visibility needed for actionable insights. When you receive notifications in near real-time about potential issues, there are fewer items to reconcile at the end of a reporting period. A centralized system that can learn from your data and provide recommendations will reduce the time your manager has to spend on admin tasks.

Want to cut your manager’s admin tasks and get them back on the floor? Learn how an intelligent back-office operating platform can help.

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