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Sarah Ward

Hotel Inventory: 7 Issues and Efficient Solutions 

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The process of hotel inventory requires constant input from every member of the hotel staff to be successful. From the food and beverage director to the front of house staff, managing inventory work is imperative on a daily, weekly,  monthly, and often quarterly basis. It also plays a role in hospitality risk management.

Like any other inventory program, hotel and hospitality industry inventory comes with problems to overcome along the way. Issues can range from integrating software programs and staff-based work like housekeeping, to problems when things with guests don’t go to plan–like a changed reservation date or unexpected room update request. In all cases, there's plenty of room for error in hotel inventory.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at seven common issues that come up in hotel inventory practices. We’re also going to walk through solutions to these issues. When issues arise, you’ll be well-prepared to handle them by applying the most relevant of the following solutions.'

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7. Vendor Reliability

Vendor reliability issues take place when supply chain management processes deteriorate. From supply chain issues of items not getting to the vendor in time to poor business management within the vendor business, issues are bound to take place at least once in a while. 

The solution to vendor reliability issues is to plan ahead as much as possible with current inventory items and safety stock options. In addition, it's important to have potential backup vendors in mind. Switching vendors to deal with supplier relationship management isn’t ideal, but it can be a quick fix when the need arises. 

6. Shifting Customer Demands

The issue of shifting customer demands can show up from day to day in the industry overall, or from customer to customer. While hotel guests are primarily seeking a comfortable place as a retreat, individual demands will come up. 

The solution for these shifting customer demands is flexibility in your operations plan. You don’t have to worry about having different supplies on hand. However, being prepared to bring guests extra amenities or learning how to create a new mixed drink in the bar will go a long way.

5. Order Management Issues

The order management issues that show up in hotel inventory tend to revolve around inventory tracking and knowing when to put orders through. Of course, they can also come up with inaccurate counts, which leads to insufficient order quantities.

The best solution for order management issues is to use order management software. A program like BlueCart streamlines your order management process, giving you reorder point data, inventory forecasting information, and order control–all in one dashboard.

“Key Takeaway: When you know the most common hotel inventory issues to watch for, you can be prepared with solutions to those problems.”

4. Data Tracking

The issue of data tracking is related to issues of having the stock you need on hand. It also covers the work of knowing your guest capacity in rooms available. Both of these facets of an inventory management system can be affected by inconsistent inventory data from unreliable or mixed up sources. 

The solution to improving your data tracking is to keep your inventory process as unified as possible. Using minimal hospitality software programs and keeping inventory tracking in one place will put your data management in your hands. That's exactly where you need it to maintain control.

3. Effects of Outside Constraints

The effects of outside constraints include supply chain issues to a global pandemic to fuel shortages. This issue covers the range of things that can come up from outside forces–from shortages of common products to delayed shipments.

The solution to dealing with these effects is the process of dealing with these issues with alternative solutions. The best thing a hotel business can do is have safety stock options. You can also be prepared to offer alternatives–from different drinks to room upgrades–when things don’t go as planned.

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2. Inefficient Technology

In a hotel business, inefficient technology can lead to inventory issues and slower service for guests. From inventory management software to the reservation software a hotel uses, inefficient technology can have a direct effect on guest satisfaction.

The solution to technological issues is to choose the best software right off the bat, and stay up to date with technology options. Using BlueCart for order management and BinWise Pro for all your beverage inventory software needs is a good starting point. 

1. Staff Shortages

The issue of staff shortages can be an ongoing problem in the hospitality industry, and it can also be a day-to-day issue. Staff shortages can affect hotel inventory because of less staff being available to keep operations running, and less staff available for inventory processes. It can even affect which banquet table setup ideas can be used.

The solution here is two-fold. One part is to hire the best staff, so that everyone on the clock is able to work efficiently and effectively. The other part is to bolster the work of the staff with supporting software programs–primarily the software mentioned throughout this post, from inventory software to reservation software. The staff can lean on those programs, and the hotel can rely on both the software and staff to maintain operational efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions About Inventory In Hotels

Hotel inventory is a multifaceted, ever-present practice for everyone working in a hotel. The need for a high-functioning inventory practice runs throughout the entire hotel, and therefore comes with a lot of questions. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will clear up some background on hotel inventory. They'll help prepare you for every step of the inventory process.

What Is Inventory In a Hotel?

Inventory in a hotel refers to the physical objects that must be ordered, stocked, replenished, used, and sold–everything from kitchen needs to housekeeping supplies to the rooms themselves. Overall, hotel inventory is everything that gets used in a hotel, in a consumable sense and in terms of guests using the space. 

What Is the Importance of Having an Inventory Program In a Hotel?

The importance of having an inventory program in a hotel is the fact that hotels have a lot of moving parts. Keeping track of the hotel inventory is one key factor in keeping the hotel running smoothly. When that happens, guest satisfaction can remain top of mind. 

How Do Hotels Control Inventory?

Hotels control inventory to the best of their ability by planning ahead, tracking supply needs, and working with what they have at any given time. There are plenty of parts of hotel inventory that aren’t entirely under hotel management’s control. The best way to maintain control is to accept those parts and work with the rest to keep everything moving. 

How Do You Solve Inventory Problems?

To solve inventory problems you must to be able to work with what you have and accept that not everything is under your control. When problems arise, you can work with the supplies on hand, and plan ahead for similar problems to make your inventory system more efficient as you go along.

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Inventory In Hotels: Inventory Counts and Thread Counts

Hotel inventory practices run through the entirety of a hotel business. From the kitchen inventory counts, to keeping track of bedding supplies, to knowing how many rooms are available, inventory issues can crop up across all hotel departments. 

When you know the issues to look out for, however, you can be prepared with solutions to those problems. Come back to the BinWise blog whenever you’re looking for more business strategies to keep your hotel and hospitality business profitable. 

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