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Food Service Management Stories – In Vino Veritas

Warehousing and inventory. Pretty much standard topics in the field of food service management. And yet – modelled into a software suite, these two classics often bring unexpected challenges. In many cases we advised Customers to question the “one solution for all“ and leave the beaten track.

In the following article, let us show you some examples of how our customers have optimized their processes and saved money with the help of our warehousing and inventory modules.

The following project stories give you an idea about

How do I optimize manpower and time per inventory?
How to make internal processes more secure and controllable?

Project 1: What really matters in inventory taking

The customer
A Swiss food service corporation with a 5-star restaurant, company catering and industrial catering. Even a kebab stand is part of the company portfolio.

The project
Delegate modules for purchasing, formulation, warehousing, cash register and Conference & Events are to be implemented.

The road to success
Project successfully completed. On time. Within budget. After 3 months, our customer service team receives a call: “It just doesn’t work like that. Global inventory management and the associated inventories eat up so much time that the value of an accurately managed warehouse doesn’t justify the inventory effort!”

In a workshop with the customer, we were able to find out that there was one area in particular that was causing costs due to stock depletion and incorrect inventory counts. The item class concerned was wines and spirits in the highest price segment (up to 2.000 EUR per bottle), which were mainly used in boardroom catering and in the associated exclusive and star-rated restaurants. The clear identification of the relevant product groups also brought the necessary focus. As a solution, only high- and highest-priced products were considered in detail in the inventory instead of spending valuable time and energy by covering all merchandise areas and thus frustrating employees and burdening the system.

My tip for all those companies that rely on software support for the first time in food service management:
You need 2-3 complete rounds of inventories to identify the real challenges. Only then should you start to eliminate initial shortcomings. This way, you will first gain confidence in using the system and generate truly valid figures.  Only when the users confidently and routinely handle the system will they gain security and trust the data.  Then they can recognize that unexpected figures are not a matter of input errors and the process is actually represented as it is. On the basis of this realization, changes are much easier to achieve!

The solution in this case was to focus on selected product groups. This meant that the available manpower could be used optimally!

The result

Selective inventories secure the high-priced goods
Relieved employees!

Project 2: Inexplicable stock depletion explained

The customer
An energy supply company with company catering

The project
Delegate modules for purchasing, formulation, menu planning, warehousing, cash register/POS and Conference & Events are to be implemented.

The challenge
Soon after implementation and going live, it became clear in the inventory management system that the customer experienced inexplicable inventory depletion in the wine warehouse. For example, a meeting, where 2 bottles of high-priced wine were consumed, was hosted. However, at the next meeting, the precalculated inventory levels clearly showed that three bottles were missing from the warehouse. The wine had “grown legs.” With the help of Delegate’s inventory management system, this could be proved and verified.

The result
The processes were changed internally in such a way that stock withdrawals of this kind (e.g. high-priced wines) could no longer be carried out arbitrarily by any person. The kitchen management had to be informed in advance. The inexplicable shrinkage was thus a thing of the past!

The energy supplier itself said that “the certainty we could gain from the generated data enabled us to take the right action. Only the operation of Delegates’ merchandise management and the inventory based on it could explain the discrepancies. It showed that the flow of goods for the additional bottles never existed, and the wine was never sold.”

My tip!
Employees and companies that have been working according to the same routines for months and years have the opportunity to re-examine their processes by switching to our product. Instead of remaining trapped in the same, historically grown processes, the question now comes from the outside: “Why are you actually doing what you are doing? What should be the result? What is the added value?”

This is where great opportunities for improvement lie. However, in order to answer these questions in a qualified manner and address the really relevant problems, reliable Data are needed.

The success:

No more inexplicable depletion/loss of valuable stock.
Clear and straightforward processes create confidence.
Processes can be re-examined, underpinned with data and thus improved!

The author:
Silke Steiner is a Project Manager with Delegate. Silke is a trained engine fitter and an academic graduate of Biotechnology. She worked abroad for several years in the Food Safety sector in F&B in Israel and Georgia. After 3 years of project management in national and international business, trade and research cooperation projects she joined Delegate and has been with Delegate for 6 years. Silke has supported the successful implementation of Delegate Food Service in a variety of different sectors such as catering, restaurant chains, corporate catering and healthcare catering.