Leveraging Vendor Data to Improve Your Brand’s Operations and Align Locations
3 Min Read By Alan Weiner
Supply-chain management has always been a pain point in the foodservice industry, even in pre-pandemic times. But these days, between labor shortages and challenges in the shipping industry, staff is scrambling just to keep day-to-day operations running smooth. And with a lack of visibility into the supply chain, teams are left to guess on shipment and pick-up timing for critical supplies, including beverage-grade gas. These teams want to focus on customer relations and hospitality, but are instead navigating how to get the supplies they need.
Luckily, there is hope. By selecting data-rich vendors with expert-level insights, you can outsource some of the supply-chain burden and focus on what matters most – keeping your customers and employees happy.
Innovative Suppliers Offer Real-Time Data and Industry-Wide Insights
Vendors can supply you with data to help you make the right calls in terms of order amount and frequency. For example, with data, a franchise owner may see that they are ordering more beverage gas than they need. With this knowledge, they can then adjust their delivery schedule to a more suitable time frame. Not only does this save them money on product and delivery costs, but it can also free up storage space since they will not have as much excess product on-site.
Suppliers can also help restaurants plan and adjust their ordering strategy by offering greater visibility into the supply chain – often at an industry-wide level. These key insights can help restaurant owners or managers plan orders and navigate disruptions such as potential shortages, safety hazards, or industry changes. These insights can be particularly useful for restaurants with more than one location, allowing operators to know which locations will be affected and adjust supplies if necessary.
While restaurants may know the general basics, nuanced details are essential for health and safety. After all, gas supply delivery is more complex than one might think and there are safety guidelines that each jurisdiction needs to meet which can raise safety concerns if done incorrectly. Tanks of beverage-grade gas supply are heavy and require care by the supplier. With industry-wide insights, supply vendors can create uniform standards for trained professionals and quality-controlled vehicles for transportation. From a regional brand to nationwide brand can partner with the supplier to align on quality standards that must be met in every store, meaning the gas quality is the same in California as in Georgia. This helps create a consistent brand experience that today’s guests have come to expect.
Find a Supplier Who Will Work with You
While most any supplier can present you with basic facts and figures about their product and your usage, what is most important is finding one that uses their data to help you find solutions that fit your business needs. The relationship between suppliers and restaurants should be built on cooperation, not competition for profits. If the correct partnership is formed, a supplier should be able to break through limitations and accelerate your business into a new level of growth capabilities.
Finding a partner that can provide you with the insight and data you need to make purchasing decisions can help cut down administrative work and free up staff to focus more on your customers. A responsive partner will have a pulse on their industry and know its needs and issues. Partners also tend to have more robust supply networks and can leverage those to help foodservice businesses get the supplies they need. They offer a unique perspective that reaches beyond your business doors to offer insight into improvements and possible cost savings.
The benefits of having a supplier partner are many in today’s market. With the continuing adoption of e-commerce principles across all sectors, having real-time insights on timing and supply cannot be overstated. For those restaurants ready to improve supply chain operations, finding an aligned supply partner is mission-critical.