Inventory Control Goes to School

City councils and other government bodies are getting serious about cutting their budgets. Low tax revenue and an economy struggling to improve have forced government officials to scrutinize where and how well their money is being spent. And some officials are not pleased with what they find.

Money graduate, Fishbowl BlogFor instance, Boston’s public schools were recently grilled by a city councilor for letting 320 boxes of food worth $7,000 go to waste because of poor inventory control. They simply weren’t rotated before their expiration dates.

The article “Expired food worth $7,000 removed from Boston schools, Connolly is told” notes that City Councilor John Connolly is highly critical of the public schools’ food department for failing to use inventory management controls.

“The four main issues, he said, were lack of inventory control, the cost of storage fees, the ordering of extra food when the same food sat in storage, and poor menu planning.”

Let’s take a closer look at these four problems, and see how they can be solved by using inventory control software.

Lack of Inventory Control

If your inventory is out of control, you have a big problem on your hands. It means you don’t know what you have on hand, when you need to reorder or how to make other key decisions. Inventory control software, as its name implies, gives you the tools you need to control your inventory levels, reorder the right products and save both time and money.

Storage Costs

Keeping too many products in stock, especially when they’re perishable, is a bad idea. It’s not just the fact that every minute they’re getting closer to passing their freshness date, but they’re keeping you from using your money in more productive ways. It costs money to store and protect your products, so it’s much better to find the right balance between too many and too few. Inventory control software helps you find that inventory balance and cut your costs.

Unnecessary Orders

The city councilor said the Boston schools kept ordering more food, even though they already had it in stock. This is simply an information failure. School officials didn’t know they already had a certain product in stock or they couldn’t find it, so they thought they needed to reorder it. If they used inventory control software, they would have been able to locate the food and find out how much they had by scanning its barcode.

Poor Menu Planning

It sounds like school officials don’t know exactly which food items are the most popular, so they don’t know what to stock up on. With inventory control software, you can see product sales and quickly figure out which are the top sellers. You can also look at seasonal trends to see if certain items are more popular at different times of year.

It’s not too hard to see how all of these problems can be solved. Simply use inventory control software to constantly update your inventory records and you’ll always have the information and tools you need to make smart inventory choices.

Check out how other organizations have used a food inventory system to improve their inventory turnover and become more efficient. And start using Fishbowl today.


About Robert Lockard

Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks and small business. Fishbowl Inventory is the #1-requested inventory management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies. His favorite movies include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Fiddler on the Roof, Back to the Future and Lawrence of Arabia.
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