Author: Melinda A. Johnson, Marketing Content Manager
If we learned one thing from 2020 it’s that agility in planning matters for alcohol businesses. By March last year, the best intentions had fallen by the wayside, and most in the industry were left to react and adapt to events in real-time. With a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, new business plans will start to emerge for the year, and it’s likely that they’ll be centered around contingencies for the unknown. To help build out your blueprints, we’ve created this blog mini-series, which will explore three quasi-resolution-related words to serve as arbiters for achievements and challenges. Focusing in on a single word, especially during a time of unknown, can help guide your alcohol business to a successful recovery and resurgence for 2021.
For alcohol businesses, maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense is the ultimate goal. Without efficient processes, businesses from bars to hotels can get lost in the weeds and lose time that should otherwise be spent with their guests. Thankfully, automation can step in and alleviate inefficiencies, opening the door for higher profits.
Think back on a really busy day. Like, busy, busy. The window is full of orders that need to be expedited, one of your bartenders called out of their shift, there’s a stack of yesterday’s invoices that need to be entered into QuickBooks Online, and now, there’s a delivery driver at the back door waiting for payment for your beer order. Instead of chatting with your regular at the bar or helping your runners deliver food to hungry guests, you have to stop, gather payment from the safe in the office, and get the driver, and his delivery truck, out on their way. It’s overwhelming and certainly not efficient. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Automating the simple but necessary day-to-day tasks can help you reclaim the precious time needed to serve your guests.
To start, consider utilizing an electronic payment service, like Fintech, to automate your alcohol invoice payments. By doing so, you bring a whole new level of efficiency to your delivery process and eliminate cash, checks, money orders, and escrow accounts. Because invoices are automatically paid, your team can simply sign for a delivery and get back to business. That’s it! Even term invoices are paid on their due date, ensuring you maintain your ability to sell alcohol. Adding in simple, affordable technology in this instance falls in line with our 2021 word, requiring very little effort for a monumental shift in productivity in your alcohol business.
Another key benefit of creating a more efficient payment process comes after the delivery, by automatically integrating invoices into your back-office system. Do you know just how many line items you manually enter each week? Are you 100% confident in the numbers you’ve keyed in? Are you worried at all abot typos? – Case in point. Manual entry is inherently inefficient and inaccurate. But with Fintech, for example, invoices are submitted for payment digitally by the distributor, then uploaded directly to your back-office system, so you can conveniently view pricing and product details without ever entering a single line item. With one improvement in efficiency, you naturally gain another, one that significantly impacts the way you run your alcohol business.
In alcohol management, hours each month are dedicated to analyzing spend and calculating total profits. Retailers across the country build spreadsheet after spreadsheet to investigate pricing discrepancies and costly ordering habits. It’s likely that on your computer at this very moment, there’s an Excel dedicated to pricing or products that you use to set menu prices or order products. But at what point are you spending more time building out the spreadsheet than actually navigating the results in a way that positively impacts your business? Through automated payments, you often also gain access to personalized analytics that key into opportunities to save money and manage your product portfolio and menu prices more intelligently. With Fintech, retailers access reports that, at a single glance, highlight ways to save money and operate more efficiently.
Now go back to the scenario we described earlier – but remove the nuisances associated with accepting delivery, entering invoices, and building reports to understand spend. Simplifying and creating these efficiencies gives you back time to spend helping your staff where necessary or serving your guests, areas where your effort makes a much greater impact. On great days where business runs smoothly, efficiencies can only make your existing processes better. But, on the far more realistic busy days, they help you excel.