Author: Melinda A. Johnson, Marketing Content Manager
As you read in the first blog in this series, centering operations within your alcohol category around efficiencies can make the day-to-day simpler to manage and give you back hours to dedicate to your customer experience. But what’s the best way to go around building that experience so that it meets the needs of your clientele and brings you profits?
Creating the experience that best serves your guests and delivers a profit can be a unique challenge for any alcohol business. You need first to understand your market and what customers in your area even want. Then, you need to build out a menu that not only meets those desires but affords you opportunities to profit. Finally, you have to order your products and build an inventory to keep up with your menu. Sometimes balancing all these moving parts can feel like a fool’s errand – one that could end up costing your alcohol category (and your business) big time.
The best way to navigate these challenges, especially during times of uncertainty, comes from intelligence. Understanding information, then applying it to practice. Reread the definition, though; it’s not just about applying insights – it’s about having the ability to acquire knowledge in the first place. So, where is an alcohol operator to turn? Well, as you probably can guess, the same technology delivering key efficiencies for your business can also bring you the necessary intelligence about your products and pricing.
One way to acquire insights that lead to improved business intelligence is through online invoice management. Whether you utilize a custom portal like Fintech’s or navigate the details afforded by most back-office systems, access to pivotal information about your business can help you effectively understand, strategize, and profit. (Even better, combine the two by setting up a Fintech integration into your back-office system, so invoices are automatically imported as soon as they’re paid.) Digital access to invoices brings important info to your fingertips, accessible at any time, without spreadsheets or paper invoices. Plus, providers like Fintech also deliver detailed, easy-to-digest spending reports, like the price discrepancy and split case reports.
So now that you’ve acquired the information, how do you apply it? Start by using the details in your invoice reports to understand the very basics of your inventory and costs - what products are your locations purchasing, and at which prices. Are your locations following your approved product list or buying brands that give you the best discounts? Are they taking advantage of quantity buys and avoiding split case fees? Did one of your stores purchase the same product, from the same distributor, at different prices? Digital access to invoices and simplified purchase reports make it plain to see the exact price for each SKU, so you can understand the buying behavior of each store then reinforce habits that support your bottom line.
Using Fintech reporting for improved intelligence can save your business money, as you can see, but accessing information digitally also saves you time. Questions like the ones above can be answered with just a few clicks into your back-office system or the Fintech portal, without wasting hours at the desk. And, as any operator will tell you, time is a commodity in high demand for any alcohol business. Additionally, through online invoice management and analysis, your business gains a better, smarter way to navigate the trials associated with curating a unique experience for your customers.