When dealing with the complexities of fresh food, a robust ordering tool is essential to properly connect sales of prepared items to ingredient levels and to accurately forecast what needs to be ordered in a timely manner while reducing waste. Many food retailers rely on managers' intuition or past order history when placing orders. As the business grows, fresh food ordering based on gut feeling only becomes harder and can leave retailers with a lack of ingredients for production or an abundance of ingredients leading to waste and loss of profit. For these reasons, ADC’s FreshIQ® has focused on innovating fresh ordering to grow sales, reduce food waste, and improve operations.
Inventory visibility or knowing what inventory you have on hand and where that inventory is located is critical to ordering. But ensuring that all fresh inventory is appropriately accounted for can be difficult. There are challenges around the three basic stages of inventory—backroom, in process, and on shelf. These challenges include:
- Backroom Inventory: there is often a lack of communication between departments on stock needs and raw material consumption, and spoilage and waste are more difficult to track
- In Process Inventory: faces the challenge of tracking data without barcodes and varying demand for preparing and moving products through their life cycle
- On Shelf Inventory: fresh food has a short shelf life and overproduction causes waste
With the help of AI forecasting within the FreshIQ platform, many of these inventory challenges are minimized for the order automation process. By combining internal data (products, promotions, locations, etc.) with external data (events, holidays, weather, etc.), an AI demand forecast can be created to make automated replenishment decisions by store, by product, or even by hour. Within FreshIQ, retailers have smart cycle counts and a financial inventory at their fingertips where the system allows for period over period reporting with a detailed shrink analysis displaying both known and unknown loss.
ADC Fresh Ordering is unlike other fresh item management solutions available for grocery and convenience. Our system takes the guesswork out of forecasting, scheduling, managing, and tracking fresh. With the platform, food retailers can utilize FreshIQ’s web or mobile tools to:
- Properly source ingredients, materials, and primals required to satisfy demand.
- Utilize powerful AI-decision forecasting to determine seasonalities and benchmark against industry norms.
- Improve in-store labor efficiencies by eliminating paper-based replenishment processes.
- Reduce food waste caused by inaccurate ingredient ordering.
Request a demo today to see FreshIQ’s ordering innovations.
About the Author
Pete Caito has worked in Fresh Item Management (FIM) for 15 years. He is the Senior Vice President of Product at Applied Data Corporation. As part of FIM, Pete has worked to support the transition to SaaS to better serve the Grocery/Convenience Industries by supporting the development of FreshIQ, the next-gen platform for FIM.