Article published by UK Hospitality, July 2023.
Effective stock control is crucial for success in the hospitality sector. It ensures operational efficiency, minimises waste, maximises profitability, and delivers excellent customer service. Stock control involves managing deliveries, tracking inventory, and conducting regular stock takes.
In this article, Capcon Ltd, a stock control expert and member of UK Hospitality, emphasises the importance of stock control in the hospitality sector and outlines key steps for effective implementation.
What is Stock Control and Why is it Important?
Stock control is the systematic management of inventory in a hospitality establishment. It involves monitoring stock levels, tracking usage, and maintaining accurate records to ensure optimal stock levels. There are several reasons why stock control is important:
Cost Efficiency: Proper stock control minimises waste, prevents overstocking or understocking, and reduces the risk of expired or spoiled products. This saves costs and boosts profitability.
Customer Satisfaction: Adequate stock levels ensure prompt fulfilment of customer demands. Consistent available items enhances customer satisfaction and encourages repeat business.
Streamlined Operations: Efficient stock control enables accurate planning and forecasting, managing inventory turnover, avoiding stockouts, and optimising storage space.
Effective stock control involves several key steps:
- Deliveries: Thoroughly inspect deliveries to verify quantities, quality, and accuracy. Follow established protocols for accepting and recording deliveries. Accurate record-keeping is crucial for tracking stock levels and identifying discrepancies.
- Moving Stock within Your Business: Organise and label stock for easy access and to prevent confusion. Adopt a first-in, first-out (FIFO) approach to use older stock first, reducing the risk of items expiring or becoming obsolete.
- Regular Cellar Balances: Reconcile stock levels in storage areas with recorded inventory to identify discrepancies, theft, or mismanagement promptly.
- Preparing for a Successful Stock Take Day: Organise storage areas, ensure accurate labelling, and communicate expectations to staff. Provide clear guidelines and training for stock take procedures to streamline the process.
- How to Complete a Stock Count: Physically count and record all items during stock take. Use accurate measurement units and ensure proper counting techniques are followed to minimise errors.
- Analysis of the Results: Analyse the results of the stock count to identify discrepancies or trends. Compare recorded inventory with the physical count and investigate variations. This analysis helps understand stock usage patterns and informs future orders.
- Problems, Cause, Action, Review: Follow a problem-solving approach to address stock control issues. Identify the problem, determine its cause, take appropriate action, and conduct a review to prevent reoccurrence. Continuous improvement enhances stock control practices.
Training in stock control is crucial for the hospitality sector. It enables businesses to optimise costs, enhance customer satisfaction, and streamline operations. Capcon offers comprehensive training programmes tailored to the hospitality sector, covering stock management systems, data processing, analysing, understanding key performance indicators (KPIs), and effective control measures. They provide personalised one-to-one sessions, classroom training, and webinars to disseminate knowledge and help businesses optimise performance, understand KPIs, and maximise profits.
In summary, effective stock control is vital for success in the hospitality sector. It minimises waste, enhances customer satisfaction, and streamlines operations. By following key steps such as managing deliveries, conducting stock takes, and analysing results, businesses can maintain accurate inventory records. Training programmes offered by Capcon empower hospitality businesses to effectively manage stock control and achieve maximum profitability.