When it comes to the best practices of inventory management, stock rotation is near the very top of the list. This is because stock rotation is an approach that helps you to ease the problem of stock loss. It gives you better control over the movement of products into and out of your store. In turn, this allows you to organise your stock so that you avoid loss by way of expiration or obsolescence. On top of this, effective stock management also increases food safety as it reduces the chances of expired products causing customers harm.
To learn more about food hygiene standards, take a look at our article, ‘What Is Due Diligence In Food Safety?’
There are two main stock rotation or inventory replenishment methods worth noting. These include:
The first-in, first-out (FIFO) method is the most common stock rotation rule used. It involves selling the products that arrive first in your store. In other words, you’ll place your slightly older products at the front of the shelf, with the newer products at the back. Essentially, it’s about replenishing your shelves from the back.
This will benefit your food establishment because it will allow you to stay on top of your stock, knowing what products to use first, thereby reducing waste. It also enables you to keep track of your stock, keeping colleagues informed and up to date as new products are delivered. Remember to keep your shelves looking pleasant as this will show customers that all of your products are worth buying.
First-expired, first-out (FEFO) is the second well-known stock rotation method used. This organised approach is used to deal with perishable products or those with a specific expiry date that begins at your warehouse and ends at your store. The expiry or sell-by date of a product triggers this process.
Here are our simple steps to carrying out this type of stock rotation:
- When products enter your food establishment, the first thing you should do is check the expiry dates.
- Place the products with the shortest shelf-life near the front of the shelves. This will encourage you to use these products first.
- It can be helpful to assign expiry dates to your various batches so that everyone in your supply chain knows what is happening right up to when your product reaches the shelf.
A robust inventory management system that tracks information will let you know exactly when to push stock from your warehouse to your store so that it doesn’t become obsolete.
To learn more about how to stay on top of your food hygiene, take a look at our article, ‘Essentials of Food Hygiene: 10 Rules You Must Follow’.