Food wholesalers

How Catering Software protects suppliers

A Head Chef once told me he had arrived at his pub early one morning to find a delivery had been left outside the front entrance; facing the street and quickly defrosting. He knew no-one had signed for this delivery because, as it was a Sunday, he was always the ‘first one in’. Asking how that had happened, his reply surprised me. He didn’t know; he had simply phoned the supplier later that day and told them he was ‘still waiting for his delivery’.

The catering supplier now faced a costly situation. No audit trail, missed revenue, and a supposedly unhappy customer via an untrustworthy delivery partner. The pub management now faced its own risks; not knowing what the Chef had done and having stock in its freezers that wasn’t accounted for.

How could engaging with a procure-to-pay solution mitigate these risks, and protect stakeholders from this bad experience?  

Food fraud
When you supply a commercial kitchen with raw or semi-finished ingredients, your customer will require at least, the following; country of origin, storage instruction, weight, pack size, container (glass/can) and potentially pack photography. Being able to supply this data digitally should form part of your food fraud mitigation strategy. In our story’s example, the pub would have known if the supplier had sent substitute products in a replacement order.

Ghosted stock
Caternet seamlessly integrates with industry-leading EPoS solutions meaning your customers that use procurement software can book in their deliveries through a smartphone or tablet. This prevents the often illegible signatures you rely on your delivery partners to return. Suppliers can finally say goodbye to triplicate paper receipts and goods ‘not received’ and for sites it can prevent ghosted stock.

Seeking to trade with a hospitality business that uses a purchase-to-pay portal will bring benefits at any time of year. It was reported in 2016 that the typical window for suppliers to be paid is “61 days” (nearly 9 weeks). Selling through a platform removes rekeying and eradicates the gap between your operations and their finance department. Our industry partners tell us by working this way, mid to large estates can save more than 2.5 days a week in admin time – meaning you get paid sooner.

Management Intelligence
Modern catering operators require their orders to be received by a supplier via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). As a supplier, you benefit from gathering and storing this data in three ways. You can plan your own stock management (including warehouse space, refrigeration and transportation); you can forecast staff resource requirements, and use data to decide and act when negotiating contracts. Suppliers tell Caternet they quickly realise time savings (versus telephone orders) and cost savings (by removing the risk for human error).

Thousands of hospitality suppliers have already found it’s free to trade through Caternet. For wholesalers in the ingredients market, using a data-rich platform with help your relationship transition from an Established to Trusted supplier. Suppliers need minimal training, and head offices are becoming increasingly appreciative of automated allergen data when building recipes.

To review the many other ways procurement software can help keep your wholesale business ethically sound (and competitive) see our Supplier page.

James Waldron is Content Manager at Zupa

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