Food and Beverage Inventory Management

Food and Beverage Inventory Management

Inventory Management: The Heart of a Food and Beverage Company

The heart of any consumer goods company, including food and beverage, is its inventory! Inventory is what generates profits for distributors so proper food and beverage inventory management is essential for the success of any business. The importance of inventory is indisputable, so it is no wonder why inventory and network optimization tools are the most widely used by modern day companies. 35% of companies have had these types of systems in place as of 5 years ago (1). Optimizing inventory of both raw ingredients and finished products has always been a top priority for operations leaders and modern-day executives are turning to automation and inventory management software to help simplify the process.

Inventory Challenges for Midsize Food and Beverage Companies

Unfortunately, small and midsize food and beverage companies still struggle to implement best practices. 43% of retailers ranked inventory management as their number one day-to-day challenge (5). Furthermore, as of a few years ago, 43% of operations teams in small businesses still do manual inventory tracking or do not track inventory at all (3). Even with lower costs of automation, 80% of US warehouses are still largely manual (4). These manual processes can lead to a whole host of problems including errors, overstocks, stock-outs, forecasting problems, increased storage costs, and costly waste. In fact, worldwide cost of inventory distortion is a whopping $1.1 trillion, roughly the entire GDP of Australia (6)! This is especially costly for food and beverage operations since inventory usually has short shelf lives and costs more to store using refrigeration or other high-energy storage methods.

Food and Beverage Operations Leaders Plan to Invest in Inventory Technology

Food and beverage companies are recognizing the gaps in their inventory management processes and operations leaders are turning to technology to help. Using technology and artificial intelligence to predict demand takes the guesswork out of planning and procurement and means operations teams do not need to repeat the same calculations to decide what to order and adjust production schedules. In fact, item-level tagging can increase inventory accuracy up to 95% (6)! No wonder why 72% of all retailers plan to leverage real-time inventory visibility—enabled by automation, sensors, and analytics—to reinvent their supply chains (6). Tools that help to predict demand for products and match raw materials with the required production schedules also helps to minimize waste and ensure on-time delivery. 56% of consumer goods companies plan to invest in predictive planning and demand forecasting tools (2). Automated purchase orders and predictive technology, updated across the entire business in real-time, allows food and beverage operations leaders to effectively plan order and production schedules.

Conclusion

Inventory is the bread and butter of food and beverage distributors and manufacturers. To minimize costs and maximize profits, maintaining the optimal level of inventory is essential. Operations leaders at small and midsize food and beverage companies are leveraging inventory management software to simplify their inventory processes and solve inventory challenges of the past.

For more information about Inventory Technology included in SAP Business One, contact one of our SAP Business One specialists here at Softengine: [email protected]

Read the whitepaper on how modern manufacturers and distributors increase warehouse automation.

Read the whitepaper on how food and beverage companies optimize inventory management with technology.

Sources:

  1. https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/inventory-planning-network-optimization-mhi-report-warehouse/598653/
  2. https://www.bain.com/about/media-center/press-releases/2020/balancing_resilience_speed_and_efficiency_90_percent_of_retail_consumer_goods_companies_plan_to_modify_their_supply_chain_networks_in_response_to_fallout_from_covid_19/
  3. https://financesonline.com/supply-chain-trends/
  4. https://www.selecthub.com/warehouse-management/warehouse-automation-trends/
  5. https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/inventory-management/#what-is-inventory-management
  6. https://www.conveyco.com/inventory-statistics/

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