In Focus: Why Digitising Stock Is A ‘Must-Do’ For Stadiums
When visitors enter the gates of a stadium, whether they’ve arrived to watch their favourite sports team, to party into the night at a concert or to attend an exhibition or conference, they rarely spare a thought for everything that’s going on behind the scenes to make it all happen. Why should they?
As directors or managers working within the stadium environment, however, your mind has to focus on levels of strategic and logistical management like no other. While ‘bums on seats’ is probably always the number one priority, among the many other things you have to keep in sight is pricing, cleaning, maintenance, security, parking and deliveries, event set-up/ take down and environmental impact. The list can seem endless and there’s another huge area that we’ve not even mentioned yet – stock management.
Those fans or event visitors may not be wasting their time worrying about how the stadium runs as a business but, while they’re there, they will generally want to eat, drink and possibly buy a scarf or t-shirt to take home.
Making sure your food, beverage and merchandise inventory always meets demand and expectations is so important, not only in terms of ensuring your stadium business is fan-friendly but also that it sees growth in revenue.
The problem is that many live-event related businesses like stadium operations still rely on manual systems to keep track of their inventory. It’s surprisingly common but raises a whole host of issues – manual systems take more time, there’s a much higher chance of errors, it can be extremely difficult to keep track of stock movements, you run the risk of understocking or overloading, and there’s very little hope of ever getting a good handle on wastage.
In the past, there just wasn’t another option but today’s modern POS systems have literally changed everything. They’ve already become a top trend in the hospitality and retail sectors, providing businesses with a digital solution that avoids errors, reduces wastage and keeps inventory at optimum levels at all times. Isn’t it time stadiums caught up?
Digitising stock simply means using inventory management software that’s built into your POS system plus mobile barcode scanners for all your stock management processes. At the Goodtill, here’s what we’ve seen it do to make the life of stadium business managers and directors easier:
There’s no getting around the fact that one of our biggest flaws, as humans, is our seemingly innate ability to make mistakes! Using manual stock systems makes your business operations vulnerable to this human factor. As a result, errors can occur at every step – when recording deliveries, while tallying up quantities on an inventory sheet, when transferring that data to your business systems, while recording the movement of stock and so on.
With a digitised version, scanning a barcode and automating the data means there’s far less chance of mistakes. Deliveries can be booked in with ease (and any discrepancies quickly spotted). Integration with your other business systems means there’s no longer any need for double-entry data. And, with the production of stock variance reports after each inventory count, you’ll also be more easily able to identify what, where and why mistakes are occurring (and then take early action before such actions cause any long-term damage to your business).
Accurate, real-time stock management
With a manual stock system, there’s little you can do in between stock takes to monitor how much inventory you have or decide whether it’s the right time to send out the purchase orders.
The difference with a digitised solution couldn’t be starker. Using your POS system to manage stock allows you to know with total accuracy what stock you have in place at any given moment and to make updates on the fly. Viewing inventory data that’s synchronised with sales reports will also help you make smarter purchasing decisions. Ultimately, you’ll be looking to always have enough inventory in place that meets your stadium customers’ demand while avoiding the problems that come with overloading (wastage, higher insurance or security costs etc). The Goodtill’s digitised inventory management system can support you with all of this!
Movement of stock
In a stadium environment, keeping track of where stock is located (and where it has been moved) can be crucial. Luckily this is another area where digital stock management can assist, enabling you to carry out stock audits that monitor locations, deliveries and transfers of stock across your whole site operations. By studying the data your smart POS provides, you’ll also have much greater insight into how products move in and out of your business which, in turn, helps you to predict demand and consistently meet your visitor’s expectations.
Wastage can occur in stadium businesses for several reasons – for instance, overloading of product, poor monitoring of trends in demand or spoilage caused by servers or customers.
Waste makes a direct hit to the bottom line so, ask yourself: Do you know what products are being wasted the most in your business? Could you identify what kind of wastage that is? And, are there are particular days/times when this is more likely to happen than others?
Digitised stock management solutions provide that data that answers all of these questions, helping you to identify issues like whether a particular product is sitting on the shelves for too long or if there are periods when wastage becomes a bigger problem (e.g. during low seasons).
This is not just a case of having the data, however, it’s what you do with it that really makes a difference, for example adjusting your purchasing schedules so that procurement is better aligned to demand (and therefore wastage is avoided). Many modern POS systems like the Goodtill can also be set so that automatic purchase orders are despatched to your suppliers when inventory hits a pre-set buffer zone.
Moving to digital stock management with the Goodtill
Whether you’re an operations or financial director, retail manager, concourse manager, bar or catering manager, working in the sports/ entertainment stadium environment will always present several challenges but stock management genuinely doesn’t have to be one of them.
So much of what makes modern businesses run efficiently is down to automated and cloud-based solutions and the inventory management modules we’ve built into the Goodtill POS system can offer you just that.
If you’re still on a manual system and looking for a change that will improve your ability to meet venue visitors’ expectations, give you a far greater handle on stock control, make massive cost savings and boost your profit, talk to us about going digital today.