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POS inventory management is the process of using a point of sale system to successfully manage supply. In the case of hotels, you can use the POS to help you keep track of stock levels on cleaning and office supplies, any supplies relating to maintenance, food and beverage, and any other supply-chain-related matter that ensures the proper running of your hotel, along with ancillary services. It also relates to revenue and yield management.
A POS can help you track these stock levels and configure alerts so that your stock never goes below a certain level, and some POSs can even be set up to integrate with third-party management software to ensure consistent supply when supplies run low. In this article we’ll take a closer look at inventory management, why it's important in the hospitality sector, and the benefits of using a POS for this task.
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What is inventory management?
Part of managing inventory is about having the amount of supplies you’ll need to order from any vendor at a given period for the smooth running of your hotel. It’s especially important when managing perishable items in the food and beverage department of your hotel, but it's also important to be able to have all the necessary supplies for operations to run smoothly.
Having too much stock on hand can negatively impact profitability, while not having enough can negatively impact operations. So it really is a fine line. The other part of inventory management is managing revenue and yield in order to create and maximize demand to maximize returns. Only when rooms are sold at the optimal price at any given period can you be sure to effectively manage supply. Hotels, while less dependent on goods, rely on room sales, which are carried out with a point of sale device.
Why is inventory management important in hospitality?
Inventory management is important in the hospitality industry because it helps prevent losses and theft, while at the same time maximizing profitability by having the minimal amount of stock necessary for the hotel to run smoothly. It also ensures that the available rooms are being sold at the ideal price in any given period to maximize revenue, adjusting based on forecasts and market trends.
What are the benefits of using a POS for inventory management in hotels?
Since successfully managing inventory is such an important part of optimizing revenue, let's take a look at how you can use a POS to help better manage it.
Better control of food and beverage
Food and beverage is a fundamental department in your hotel, and you want to be able to maximize revenue by minimizing losses due to perishable goods as well as make the most out of ancillary revenue. With the help of a hotel restaurant POS’s built-in inventory management features, you can be sure that stock levels are controlled and can even set up alerts should that stock go below a certain level.
Take the example of a guest who orders a bottle of wine to their room: you want to make sure you always have what’s available on the room service menu actually in stock to ensure happy clients. On the other hand, having too many bottles of white wine on stock, which are best-consumed by a certain date, can impact your profitability. A POS can take the mystery out of ordering for this department.
With the reporting functions of the POS, you can keep track of how often orders are being placed and the frequency in which you order certain supplies. This allows you to make better predictions about revenue because you can better understand your fixed costs. You can use the POS to not only generate reports but also sales to see spending patterns and better calculate costs.
Automation is at the heart of successful operations, and it's definitely worth automating control of your supply chain with the help of a POS. You can automatically keep track of supply and place orders when stock is low. This not only helps avoid gaps in available stock, but also frees up your staff’s time to dedicate to other tasks while at the same time avoiding errors in ordering too much stock or too little.
Ancillary revenue is a very important part of increasing a hotel’s bottom line. By using a POS you can get the data you need to better optimize revenue streams, while keeping your available resources under control, so you have the right balance between too much stock and not enough to operate efficiently. After all, having too much in stock can put a dent in profitability.
By lowering the costs of managing inventory, you can therefore increase profitability. Instead of taking a guess about how much to order, a POS can tell you when to order supplies and how much to order of any given supplies, instead of improvising.
By having a digital record of all the inventory you have at your hotel, the POS can help control and reduce theft of goods, especially in hotels with various locations. If there is a big gap from one hotel location to the next, this might imply theft, and then you can rely on managers to get to the bottom of it, and put extra controls in place.
Reduce personnel costs
Because a POS is capable of telling you when it’s time to order and how much to order at any given time, this also means that you don’t have to have a dedicated person in charge of the supply chain. Instead, you can delegate this task to someone like the front desk, the food and beverage manager to take care of ordering, or any other department head.
In this article we’ve looked at POS inventory management, what it is, why it’s important in the hospitality industry, and its benefits. The use of a POS helps avoid mistakes, automate manual tasks, better optimize your revenue and to make the most of ancillary revenue, while taking control of your inventory. It’s without a doubt a very important part of making operations as streamlined as possible.
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Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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