5 Reasons to Trade Excel and Paper for a Specialized App

May 10, 2024

Reading time : 5min

Wine Inventory: 5 Reasons to Trade Excel and Paper for a Specialized App

What system do you use to take inventory of the wine in your establishment? Do you use a good old-fashioned paper spreadsheet or an Excel* file that you update frequently? Traditional inventory taking is a well-known process, but technology has brought several digital solutions that better support restaurants. Our restaurant technology experts have listed the five top benefits of switching to a specialized app for managing your wine inventory.

5 conseils pour débuter votre cave à vin

1. Ensure the Accuracy of Your Wine Inventory, in Real Time

Paper-based spreadsheets are easily lost and damaged

While a paper-based inventory is simple to use and doesn't require any training whatsoever, using it also carries considerable risks for your restaurant, including the loss of important data. 

Papers can be easily misplaced and are susceptible to damage, especially in the hectic environment of a restaurant. Damage from frequent handling can also affect the readability of your wine inventory data.


Data in an Excel spreadsheet is never updated in real time

You may say an Excel spreadsheet can be saved in the cloud and you are right, but it does not save you the tedious task of frequently doing inventory. An Excel spreadsheet will never give you an up to date overview of your data in real time, except for the exact moment that the inventory was completed.

Furthermore, even if it is a digital software, using an Excel file for your wine inventory is just as time-consuming as a paper-based inventory, since your employees still must take the time to manually enter or verify each product in the spreadsheet. The risk of human error is just as common in a paper-based wine inventory as in an Excel wine inventory. Both threaten the accuracy of your data.


A real time inventory gives you the upper-hand in cases of theft or product loss

A specialised wine inventory management solution registers all transactions in real time, from supply to sale during service, ensuring optimum tracking of your products. This functionality is crucial in the event of loss or theft, as it provides your insurance company with an accurate assessment of the total value of your wine cellar.

“In the past, our establishment was the victim of a theft and if we had Alfred at that time, the management of all this would have been much easier since we realized that with the insurance, to prove that our wine cellar included a lot of wines for laying down and bottles bought 20 years ago at the time, it was really not easy.”
- Jason Stafford, Directeur général du Manoir Hovey.

A specialized wine inventory management app ensures that your wine cellar data is always accurate and up to date as it records every action in your inventory.

2. Maximize the Profitability of Your Wine Cellar

A specialized app is a beneficial solution over the long run

At first glance, using an Excel or paper wine inventory file may seem more affordable than a specialised application. However, in the long term, a specialised wine inventory management application for the restaurant trade will be more cost-effective, as it will allow you to :

  • Redirect your staff's efforts to tasks that enhance the customer experience;
  • Limit the risk of human error;
  • Reduce the time spent on inventory taking;
  • Ensure product turnover and avoid loss.

Furthermore, since it is only done periodically, traditional inventory taking does not allow you to always optimize your product turnover as well as a specialized wine inventory management app can. Nor does it give you a centralized overview of your accounting reports for any desired period.  For these reasons, it is much more profitable for a restaurant owner to use a specialized inventory management system.


Sell your wines according to their optimal tasting range

Some applications specialising in wine inventory management provide information on the optimal tasting period for products and send notifications when the decline phase is approaching. This feature allows restaurateurs to better monitor the quality of their products in stock, avoiding taste and financial loss, and maximising sales at the right time.


3. Increase the Productivity and Efficiency of your Service

Find a bottle more easily in the wine cellar

For a restaurant with a cellar containing just a few bottles, this may seem like a trite phrase. However, for a gastronomic establishment with a large wine cellar, with several hundred bottles, the situation is quite different. During service, the staff are very busy and the sommelier does not always have the time to look for bottles in the cellar for the service staff. This can lead to an unnecessary waste of time, especially for service staff who are less familiar with the wine cellar. A specialised cellar management application allows you to centralise and track the entire cycle of each bottle, from its entry into the inventory to its final sale, while enabling you to pinpoint the precise location of each product in the cellar. This feature gives service staff greater autonomy to quickly find the products they are looking for in the wine cellar.


Avoid selling a bottle of wine that is no longer in stock

As a restaurater, have you ever seen your service staff recommend a bottle to a customer, only to discover later that it was no longer available? This embarrassing situation happens more often than you think. A specialist inventory management application provides a real-time view of your stock, avoiding such disappointments by updating product availability as soon as it is sold.


4. Save Considerable Time and Redirect it to Other Value Added Tasks

There's no point underestimating the considerable amount of time required to manage traditional inventory, with all the constant handling and updating required, as well as searching for products in the wine cellar. On average, a restaurant needs to keep track of its inventory once or twice a week, with a monthly global stock-take to avoid over-ordering and neglecting product rotation. With a specialised application, you can eliminate these tedious and repetitive tasks for your staff and reinvest the time you save in value-added tasks for your establishment.


Offer stimulating tasks to your employees

By automating redundant tasks related to your wine inventory management, you allow your staff to focus on more engaging tasks aligned with their areas of expertise such as:

  • Recommending the right food and wine pairing to customers;
  • Developing an attractive wine list;
  • Improving their own knowledge by conducting tastings of new products;
  • Ensuring the best possible customer experience;
  • Keeping track of the latest news in the hospitality industry.


5. Eliminate the Risk of Human Error When Entering Information

The hospitality industry, particularly restaurants, is an industry where speed is key. A simple oversight in inventory taking can affect the quality of service, but more importantly, it can cause errors and inconsistencies in your reports. With a specialist wine inventory management application, the risk of error is significantly reduced because the technology takes over much of the work, ensuring data accuracy at all times.

Trade In Your Excel Spreadsheet for an Inventory App Now

Discover how Alfred, the wine inventory and supply management solutions, can help you optimize the efficiency of your operations during a personalized demonstration.

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