Advances in eProcurement software systems mean that it is now very simple to manage your purchasing process using automated technology. But just how straightforward is it to implement such a system, what is involved and how long does it all take? These are questions we are asked by pubs and restaurants all of the time, so we thought this short but informative blog would set out some of the answers to the questions you might have before moving forward with updating your systems and approaches.
Day one: what has to happen?
In the case of Caternet, we will have set up your complete supplier list and your agreed products with today’s agreed prices ready for your trained team to start ordering items.
First week: what stage should you be at?
Managers and chefs will now be at a stage where they are comfortable with ordering items and receipting actual goods delivered at today’s agreed prices. Suppliers via an SLA, will also have to request price changes for you to accept or reject. Accepted price changes will show you the impact on theoretical GP of all dishes and sales items that include those product price changes. Your finance team will report fewer errors to correct when reconciling invoices and chasing credit too.
Two weeks in: would the system be implemented by then?
By this point, operators will have more time to spend with employees and customers focusing on service and brand values, as there is no end of week reporting related to products and all reports are available in real time.
One month on: what benefits should you expect to see?
Operators will be able to see their agreed budgets and the amount available to spend because budgets are no longer breached. Food and drink budgets will have authorisation levels, which means that operators can no longer overspend on cleaning equipment for example. The finance team will also have fewer invoices to adjust, less credit to chase and no missing invoices, which means that time spent correcting errors is now available to analyse accurate data. Management will also have fast accurate financial information to make informed commercial decisions much more quickly.
How could this transform your business?
Wadworth Brewery told us that control of live supplier pricing alone added 1% to their food GP margin and enabled consistency. Grind & Co told us that automating invoice reconciliation and cleaning credit online with suppliers has reduced their admin in the finance department by 2.5 days per week – which is huge!
All in all, a lot can happen even in the first day so you could be saving money from day one. Food for thought!