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Mobilise your Purchasing, Receiving and Counting

Mobile technology can help you eliminate paper from your purchase-to-pay and inventory processes, which reduces errors and administration. Stewart Maranello takes a look at how goods receiving and inventory counting can be improved with mobile solutions

Purchasing and inventory management for restaurants and hospitality businesses is particularly important. Food and beverage is one of the largest costs so needs to be controlled, and not having the right products in place means missing menu items which impacts your guests’ experience.

Accuracy is therefore key, but usually results in admin-heavy processes that are prone to error – especially when paper is involved. Food service businesses are busy places and so it’s easy for paper to be misplaced, or handwriting to be misread meaning the wrong information is keyed into systems. Correcting these errors takes precious time for you and your suppliers, and if not corrected then they’re likely costing you money.

Systems like the Fourth Platform allow paper-free invoicing, electronic ordering and simplified inventory management, removing a lot of paper and administration. And adding mobile technology to the mix now means you’re even less reliant on paper. Let’s look at just a couple of examples.

Goods receiving

Receiving deliveries on a mobile device makes it easy to log orders wherever and whenever the delivery takes place. It also eliminates the risk of lost paper or unreadable notes by capturing information digitally wherever the delivery is received. Pending deliveries can be easily accessed, and items quickly checked off by swiping to accept or reject, or amend quantities or weights as required. And because data is being entered directly into the system, it’s immediately available for review centrally.

Inventory counting

Printed count sheets not only risk errors being introduced from rekeying data, but can also delay the process if what’s on the sheet doesn’t match with the areas or items being counted. Completing counts on a mobile device will speed up this process, allowing staff to count what’s in front of them rather than what’s on the sheet and with no need to re-key data. Stock areas can be created and managed on the fly, and ‘write-in’ items can be easily added in. You can even download the data to the device so you can complete the counts in basements or other areas that don’t get cell or Wi-Fi coverage. Once the count is complete and the device reconnects to the network, the data will be uploaded to the system.

Of course mobile technology can help in other areas. For example, with an ordering app you can walk around the storeroom and see the actual stock levels vs theoretical, along with what’s already on order. You can then create the order on the mobile device then and there.

Find our more about streamlining purchasing, receiving and counting in our complimentary white paper.

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