The power of data and how it can help your procurement decisions in the hospitality industry

26 April 2018
The power of data and how it can help your procurement decisions in the hospitality industry

In the hospitality industry, we now have a huge reliance on accurate data for everything from predicting GP, to ensuring the right number of employees are scheduled to work. When you think back to just a few years ago before significant advances in data technology, the man-hours required to obtain the data we now rely on is staggering.

In 2018 data is the key influencer when it comes to making procurement decisions. Ensuring you have a technology solution in place to give you real-time accurate data is crucial!

We look at the different areas where multi-site operators can use data to achieve the best results.

In the kitchen

‘How much did we spend as a group last year on meat and poultry and in particular lamb?’

Historically this would have involved asking multiple suppliers to provide the data in the hope that they can do so in a timely manner. Several members of the team would then have to try and piece together the data received from multiple suppliers on a common format for analysis.

Fast forward a few years and a single click of the button can not only pinpoint the expenditure on a commodity group such as lamb but in seconds, it can also tell you:

  • Product details
  • Average spend per unit
  • Menus
  • Profitability of lamb dishes
  • Current stock holding
  • Average price paid

The advantage to this is simply the ability for the procurement department to interrogate data to reap the rewards of product consolidation and maximise value.

Find out which menus are performing (and which aren’t)

Operators now have access to real-time menu data. They can find out which menus are under or overperforming, thus implementing quick changes and turn around in GP. This results in rebalancing menus, repriced on an almost just-in-time basis, as the data is fed into common, simple to use analytical UI reports pinpointing your dogs and highlighting your stars.

Accurately predict stock availability

A few years ago, a manual stocktake was the norm – by the time the stock take is finished the information is already out of date. Technology has changed this dramatically, giving managers quick access to real live stock data at the click of a button.

Long gone are the days where managers and head office alike had to wait until after period end to be told their retail surplus/deficit results. Technology now enables smart stock-taking by key line, focus group or valuation to be completed daily, giving granular level control on a colossal scale.

To ensure that volumes can be met, and customers’ expectations are catered for, operators are able to accurately predict stock availability based on complex menu algorithms, ensuring they join together to maximise efficiencies, minimise costs and get the best possible outcome for all parties.

With the advent of technology, companies can easily provide transferable data files through APIs and via FT. This sharing of data in real time has created an environment of business intelligence that empowers users not only at the top of the tree but at every route and branch ensuring that decisions are made based on factual performance and not gut feeling or outdated statistics.

Data to drive smarter HR decision making

From an HR perspective think back to how shifts were planned, and hours recorded prior to time and attendance solutions being introduced. The impact that this technology has had on payroll is huge, let alone with the insights they provide to managers planning their rotas.

Scheduling employees accurately to reflect the business demand is a critical skill that can make or break an organisation’s profitability. The margin of error is slim and the implications of miscalculating this can be detrimental to an organisation’s reputation, as well as its profitability.  Being able to provide the management team with key information relating to sales patterns, company KPI’s and budgets at the time of rota production helps managers not only prepare a more accurate requirement but understand and react to the needs of the business, customers and sales.

Technology has enabled demand forecasting to be perfectly aligned with staffing requirements to ensure that we’re never under-resourced at peak times or over-resourced at down times. With ever-increasing connectivity through APIs, EPoS, smart rotas and workforce management solutions, this has become a much more straightforward task with managers now receiving automated alerts and warnings via their mobile apps, resulting in better outcomes for both customers and the business.

Not too long ago payroll was fully reliant on paper timesheets and managers had to hope that they were accurate and submitted in a timely fashion. Once the timesheets were delivered (by hand, fax or even post!) it was on to the job of manually inputting the information and calculating each employees’ hours.

Fast forward a few years and operators can now see up to the minute labour expenditure all feeding into live payroll, topped with sales data showing employee movement and business performance beyond what was even considered possible just a few years ago.

Operators will be pleasantly surprised at the user-friendly nature of modern technical solutions. They bring that comfort of a familiar user experience along with the power of the business management model to ensure that there is no threshold, regardless of how technologically savvy they are, to maximise business benefits. Most organisations now are providing software as a service (SAAS).

Simply speaking, this means that you will get the lion share of the benefit without the need for expensive hosting or an IT burden on your organisation, leaving you to enjoy the actionable insights that these deliver.

Want to know more? Contact us to find out how technology can give you the data you need to maximise efficiency, increase profitability and drive better procurement decision making.

 

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