– Published on
March 9, 2020

Efficiency in Uncertainty

Whywaste are here to support retailers through this tough time. We stand with you and will be available during this period. We are all in this together. Tackling food waste remains our motivation as a business, but in these strained times the efficiency of task management takes precedence, so that retailers are able to serve and look after customers.

We are all entering uncertain times. And while governments scramble to protect the populace they remain keen to ensure that the people keep fed and watered. All nations that have imposed a ‘national-quarantine’ have taken measures to make sure grocery stores remain open. While this is a prudent decision it will put an increased strain on the daily tasks performed by the retail workers as laws on traceability, shelf-life and stock control still remain in place. Stores will not want out of date products to end up in the hands of the public. We are committed to helping retailers across the globe with their process efficiency, while ensuring that 0 out of all products end up with the consumer. By improving the efficiency of the process our Semafor systems allow for a positive decrease in the amount of food waste. With this in mind we have put together a little check list with some tips on how to make your daily processes more streamlined. If you work in retail, you probably have an endless to-do list, juggling several tasks all while making sure your customers are happy and this only grows during a time of crisis, when you need to manage frantic customers and legal requirements. To avoid being overwhelmed and overworked, you need to find ways to streamline your operations. The last thing you want is to get caught up in tedious jobs and fail to accomplish tasks.

Identify the manual and tedious tasks in your business

Streamlining certain business tasks can save you time and lower your operating costs. Time is money, after all, so the more you spend on manual tasks, the less time you have to do things that move the needle. Things such as selling products, serving customers, and growing your business. So how can you streamline your operations? You can start by identifying the tasks that are slowing you down. These typically include anything that requires a pen and paper, as well as manual data entry. Examples of such tasks are:

  • Manually counting inventory- Filling out employee time sheets
  • Managing paper invoices- Manually tallying up income and expenses
  • Anything that requires entering values into a spreadsheet
  • Double-entry tasks (e.g. re-entering information from your point of sale (POS) to your payment processor or accounting software)
  • Entering and managing information from different stores using separate systems (e.g. having to update your offline inventory every time you make an online sale).

Whywaste’s digital solutions are proven to cut time by up to 60% on the often long and tedious date checking procedure. Semafor and Semafor Deli are built to be integrated with your current systems.

It’s important to involve your employees in this step, as they are the ones who are performing the tasks, see where their daily pain points are and take steps to alleviate them. Once you’ve listed all those tasks, you can then start finding ways to put them on autopilot.

Can you automate certain tasks?

Go through the list you created and then ask yourself: which of those tasks will have the biggest impact on your productivity or bottom line? Determine the answer to that question and then find ways to “digitise” them. Get rid of your Pen and Paper Replace manually date checking with a new (and cloud-based) inventory system. You can even use a handheld device like your phone or tablet to do stock counts. (Whywaste's services are ideal for this & compatible with iOS & Android) Automate Stock Levels Use automatic reorder points. Using these means you don’t have to keep watching your stock levels. Your system will let you know when a product is running low and alert you when it’s time to reorder. Using Whywaste’s Aspekt Business analytics tool this automation is possible. What’s more it will also help you identify which products are selling well and which are not. Allowing you to take a positive action on food waste, by stocking less of the products that are not selling. Go cloud-based If you opt for a cloud-based inventory software (hint: you should), you’ll be able to keep track of your stock across multiple channels and locations all from one system. (hint 2: Whywaste's Aspekt can help with this)

Integrate apps and services

Using apps and retail platforms to run your business is just the beginning. For the best results, integrate your apps and allow them to share information in real-time. This will eliminate the hassle of having to update information on separate programs. Integration best practises -Go for apps with existing integrations. Check out your existing providers to see if they already integrate with other applications. Know what information will be synced (and what won’t). When you’re thinking about integrating different systems, make sure you know exactly what types of information will be synced. Bottom line Efficiency isn’t just about crossing tasks off your to-do list and getting things done. It’s also about utilising the right tools and making sure those tools work together. Hopefully, this post gave some ideas on how you can make better use of the retail systems and solutions you have in your store. Thank you for reading our post. Keep safe. Keep your loved ones close and we will get through this together. When you are ready, and the time is right please do get in touch with Whywaste and we can help you out to make your processes more efficient and help reduce your in-store food waste.

Ben Holden

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