"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. "
- Ralph Emerson
Baking and the food industry altogether is a daunting venture in itself. It involves producing and delivering the right mix of quality and quantity to consumers so as to make them coming back for more. Many new businesses struggle with the questions of how to produce the right amount of goods that cater to customer demand and minimize the cost of production.
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Inventory plays a big role in any food business, especially in the baked goods and cakes sector, in this context it refers to all the ingredients used to bake and the finished baked goods themselves. As almost all the ingredients used to make cakes are perishable, it is important to have a systematic and efficient inventory management system to minimize wastage that eventually leads to loss.
There are many pragmatic methods of tracking and managing inventory that one can use for their home scale business. One of the most simple ways of tracking inventory is determining the cost of your products by individually adding up the cost of ingredients used in a recipe, this helps in efficiently pricing your products and managing the number of ingredients needed.
There is an easy formula you can use while calculating the cost of your food which is:-
(Beginning Inventory + Purchases – Ending Inventory) / Sales
One more way is to list every item that you possess and manage its use in a spreadsheet. Keeping track of units that you currently possess and updating them regularly will help you avoid last-minute hasty purchases and help you use the ingredients or products that are about to go past their best-by date.
Inventory management is important for the effective execution of a business as it can avoid production delays, saving the company’s time and profit. The digital era has made inventory management possible to execute in real-time and with increased accuracy by providing a whole market of software inventory management solutions that cater to small businesses.
There is quite an abundance of inventory software in the market currently, but to get the most out of a software is making sure that it allows you to track inventory in real-time, has an effective security and backup system, that can scale itself according to your demands, has an in-depth reporting feature, easy interface and is mobile enough for multiple users.
Whether you choose to use a more traditional and manual approach or you go with the technical software, it is always a good idea to invest your attention towards inventory control as it aims to provide a different perspective towards managing costs and minimizing losses.