Stock control is an essential part of most business operations, but particularly in the licensed trade, catering & hospitality where profits can quickly turn to loss if stock isn’t carefully managed.
Start… managing stock deliveries
Good stock control starts with monitoring and managing deliveries effectively. This often boils down to making sure every delivery is properly checked and signed for but while this may sound obvious, as an independent stocktaker I come across many occasions when this doesn’t happen.
A couple of recent examples:
- 2 Barrels signed for that weren’t delivered
The manager went to check delivery & noticed that two barrels were missing that they remembered ordering. On checking the delivery note, the missing items were listed even though they had not been delivered.
When contacting the brewery their reply was that the delivery had been signed for and therefore there was nothing that can be done.
Luckily when we conducted a stocktake, the results made it obvious that they had been short delivered. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean a brewery will reconsider, after a lot of hard work from the client talking to the company, they were eventually able to get replacement for the missing stock free of charge.
- Missing case of 6 x1.5 litre bottles of mixed spirits
When a PLU report was completed as part of our stocktake for a bar, there were several spirits with large deficits – this equated to 6 x 1.5ltr bottles.
Further investigation revealed that these items were listed on the delivery notes. After the stock count was checked & delivery notes were rechecked to make sure they had not been marked as undelivered, the client was advised of the issue – which they had been unaware of.
Checks at the Brewery confirmed the items had been despatched and so at this time the business is picking up the tab for the missing spirits.
Stock control pays for itself
Both examples show the value of regular stocktaking to business of all sizes in the licensed trade and of the importance on managing the delivery process.
The first example showed how stocktaking helped to prove the delivery didn’t take place, recovering a potential loss for the client. In fact, the retail value of the recovered items more than paid for the independent stocktake.
The second example highlighted how independent stocktaking can reveal issues and problems that the owners were not aware of. Identifying and fixing these issues will again make big savings for the owner and cover the costs of the independent stocktaker.
5 stock delivery tips
Here are some basic stock delivery tips:
- Make sure all empties are out of the cellar or moved to one side away from existing stock and stock about to be delivered
- Mark the full barrels in the cellar as an easy guide to help double check delivery
- Make sure barrels & stock are checked before they go in cellar or delivery area
- Make sure the delivery drivers are supervised & don’t leave unattended
- Make sure every delivery is properly checked and signed for by both the delivery driver and the person receiving the order
Helping your stock control
An independent stocktaker can help you manage your stock more effectively by using their experience to interpret your systems, invoices and reporting.
As the examples above show, as independent stocktakers we regularly identify issues, even if clients didn’t know they had them, and then help them put in place fixes and better processes to stop the issue repeating.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you with stock control and inventory management please call us on 07917 176 005.