How to Organize Your Produce Department Systems

Organized Produce Department

Need a boost to get your produce department more organized? Here are a few tools to fine-tune ordering and keep workflows moving– all while making sure nothing gets overlooked!

  • Loss Log: Keeping a loss log is the first step in controlling inventory. Anytime product is pulled off the floor, keep a record of what and how much you are tossing out.  You may discover you are throwing out more than you are selling.  If you do not have access to daily/weekly sales reports, you can use the data in your daily loss log and compare it with what you have purchased, providing you with your total shrink.
  • Par Sheet: Creating a weekly par sheet will help you keep your orders on track and your inventory under control. A par sheet will be easier to set up if you have access to weekly sales reports. But if you don’t have access, you can start by taking a month’s worth of invoices and averaging out your weekly purchases.  The next step is dividing the totals between the number of deliveries you get. For instance, if on average you order 8 cases of celery a week and you get deliveries 3 times a week, that’s (2.66 cases) 3 cases of celery you need to order per delivery. This is how you will start the par list. If this is a new program you are introducing to track sales and inventory, you will need to maintain tracking, comparing, and adjusting amounts until you find your true weekly par. Most accounts find out that they are missing out on sales because they are running out of staple or popular seasonal items. Sales reports will not tell you that information because they don’t track missed sales but tracking your ordering will. If you are always selling out of celery or almost running out to the point you have no back stock and your floor display is almost empty the day before your next delivery, it’s a safe bet you could up your order by a case or so to keep your display looking full and attractive to your customers which will lead to increased sales.
  • Daily Shift Guidelines: Laying out clear expectations for each shift of your team will help keep them on task and working efficiently and effectively. Instead of walking into the department every day without plans, filling holes, and putting out fires; make sure to set up and outline clear shift duties. When your team knows what they are expected to accomplish during their shift, it makes their efforts run more smoothly. The best method for outlining the shift duties is using scheduled breaks to set benchmarks for task completions. List tasks that need to be accomplished before the first 15-minute break, before lunch, last 15-minute break, and ending with what needs to be done before clocking out–including cleaning up their work area before leaving for the day. Having each shift be responsible for specific duties will ensure that all the needs of the department are taken care of each day because all important tasks have been assigned and delegated.

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