An inventory program can make or break a restaurant or bar business. Finding the right program for your business is one of the most important steps you’ll take in setting up your business for success. When you’re setting up your restaurant business plan or bar layout and design, finding the right inventory program should be right there with them.
Today we’ll take a look at what an inventory program is. We’ll dive into the mechanics of it, and the rhyme and reason behind a great inventory system. If you’re unsure about why an inventory program is important now, rest assured, you’ll have found clarification by the end of this article.
An inventory program has two definitions. Those definitions are:
- The existing inventory program and practice of a business.
- A software program designed to ease the inventory process.
Those definitions are often used jointly, as a business inventory practice will typically include the usage of an inventory software program. The inventory meaning itself is often a mix of subjects included in those definitions.
In the following lists, we’ll be focusing on inventory software programs. From beverage inventory software to inventory software for restaurants, we’ll be taking a look at what makes those software programs tick. The more you understand about the features and benefits of an inventory software program, the better equipped you’ll be to pick the right one.
5 Best Inventory Program Features
No two inventory programs are made equal, but many of them do share features. There are some features that are consistently used across the board, and there are some that are uniquely designed for specific functions. Knowing the features to look for will help you make the best decision about your inventory program.
For these five best inventory program features, we’ll be taking a look at a mix of common features. We'll also look at some less common elements that make for a great inventory program. The program you choose doesn’t need to have all of these features necessarily. However, finding a program with at least three of these features will get you off to a great start.
Inventory forecasting gives you the ability to predict what you’ll be dealing with in your inventory. From knowing your reorder point to planning for potential supply chain issues, forecasting can save the inventory day.
Forecasting gives you the benefit of looking ahead and preparing for future issues, and future benefits. It can help you plan for the rough months and find solutions to boost profits in time with your inventory trends.
4. POS Integration
Anyone who has worked in a bar will tell you the woes of a bar POS system that doesn’t fit with the bar or restaurant tech setup. It can mess up the entire night if you have to continually check in with your POS system.
An inventory program that can be integrated with your POS system will save you countless headaches and recounts. BinWise Pro is designed to be integrated with your POS system, to save you the work of having to mesh two incompatible programs.
3. Real-Time Inventory Tracking
There’s no better type of inventory tracking than real-time inventory tracking. An inventory tracker that constantly keeps track and works with you and your employees will make your inventory count that much easier.
Inventory counts can catch up to you quickly if you’re not keeping a close eye on them. A real-time tracking system helps you always have a finger on the pulse of your inventory.
2. Intuitive Reporting
Reporting is a vital component of an inventory system, but intuitive reporting is even better. Intuitive reporting is reporting that makes sense for any user. Reports can get complicated quickly. An inventory program with intuitive reporting that you can pick up and use right off the bat is ideal.
Of course, any reporting is good reporting. It’s always best to know as much as possible about your inventory situation. If you can find a program that is easy to use, however, you’ll be much better off.
1. Mobile Compatibility
Mobile compatibility is one of the most important inventory program features. The ability to check your inventory and track everything from your phone or tablet means you can always be in control of the process.
When you’re looking for your program, be sure to scan the features for mobile compatibility. It’ll save you a lot of time and hassle in the short and long run of your business.
5 Top Inventory Program Benefits
Now you’re familiar with the features you can expect from a variety of inventory programs. With that, it's time to dive into the benefits of those programs. On the surface level, an inventory program is beneficial in giving you more control over your inventory process. However, it goes far beyond simple control of your stock and counts.
These five top inventory program benefits are the above and beyond things you can expect when you start using an inventory program. You’ll notice these benefits showing up within anywhere from a week to a month to a year after you implement your inventory program.
5. Time Saved
As a business owner, saving yourself time is one of the best ways to drive your business forward. A great inventory program can help you streamline your inventory process and avoid spending days on counts within your warehouse organization system. Overall, time saved belongs on this list in any order, we just put it at number five because everything else is equally beneficial.
4. Better Organization
A quality organizational system is the backbone of every bar, restaurant, lounge, and every other kind of hospitality industry establishment. Without organization, even the best location can fall apart quickly.
The right inventory program can help you organize your inventory in the best way possible. It can also give you the time and energy to keep everything else running smoothly. From an organized store room–with a wine cellar app to help–to a well-regulated system of serving customers, quality inventory practices go a long way.
3. Employee Satisfaction
Happy employee, happy business, right? We think that’s how the saying goes, at least. If your employees find your business to be a great place to work, then your business will be a great place.
Having a simple inventory system will help your employees feel settled with the inventory program and their jobs within the inventory process. The more you and your employees can work together on the inventory process, the better your business will be.
2. Profit Boosts
As the business owner, one of your top priorities is finding ways to boost your profits. A quality inventory system can help you do just that.
Inventory management gives you the ability to plan ahead for dips in supplies, and a surplus of supplies. That means you can plan around the lows and improve the highs. You can find the profit points among your inventory forecasting.
1. Improved Customer Service
Profits, time saved, happy employees, and better organization are all vital to a business. That said, customer service will always be one of the main goals in everything you do with your business.
When your inventory program runs well, your customers will receive the best service. That's because you and your employees will be fully focused on customer service. With this benefit and everything else, it’s easy to see how a great inventory program can benefit every aspect of your business.
Frequently Asked Questions About Inventory Program Features and Benefits
The crucial place inventory programs hold in the industry means there are lots of folks interested in learning about inventory program information. That means there are a lot of questions floating around about inventory programs, how they work, and how inventory works within a business overall.
When we dove into the frequently asked questions surrounding inventory program options, we found a unique mix. For these answers, we’ve stuck mostly with some general questions to help you learn as you find your own way into an inventory program. Our answers will guide you towards a great inventory program and system for your business.
What Is the Best Program for Inventory?
There isn’t one single best program for inventory. The best inventory program for your business will depend on your business type and your specific needs. You might need something as simple as a barcode scanner app, or you might need a full restaurant inventory tracker. There are a lot of great inventory programs out there, but the best one depends on you.
What Is the Best Way to Keep Track of Inventory?
The best way to keep track of inventory is to start with a quality inventory program and practice when you start your business. From there you should always stay on top of it. With organization, consistent counts, and time for tracking your inventory, you’ll be able to stay ahead of it. From your safety stock to your cycle stock you’ll have it covered. You'll also be able to provide your customers with the products they’re looking for.
How Do I Make an Inventory List?
A basic inventory list includes your products, a space for quantities, and additional notes. Beyond that, you’ll find what you need as you begin your inventory practice. When you’re setting up an inventory list, starting with those basics will help you find what is working. It'll also show you what you’ll need to focus more attention on.
Inventory Program: Program It Into Your Business
Establishing and mastering your inventory program is one of the most important steps you can take towards operating a successful business. Knowing what you have, what you need, and where you can do better will always help you move forward and find better business practices.
The BinWise blog will be here when you need information about inventory programs, running a successful business, and finding your niche. Come on back for a refresher, or whenever you’re looking to learn more.
BinWise is an end-to-end beverage inventory software solution for bars and restaurants. Save 85% or more of your inventory counting time, eliminate manual data entry, and track variance effortlessly. Book a demo now to see how our platform can improve your bottom line today. Note that product demos are a walkthrough of our software, not a source of business advice.