Food Purchasing Stock Control

By September 23, 2020 No Comments
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Receiving and Checking

All too often the benefits of an excellent purchasing plan are lost because of poor receiving procedures.  Food commodities cannot be sold for a profit if they arrive short in weight, short in quantity, in poor condition or if it does not arrive at all!  It is essential that proper and effective receiving procedures be put into place in order to reduce these types of problems.  The following is a list of general principles that govern good receiving procedures:

This important step in the purchasing process is often overlooked due to the lack of a formal system.  You may be willing to rely on a usually dependable supplier, but not checking orders as they arrive can result in:

  • the wrong quantity being supplied
  • the wrong type, size, brand or quality being supplied
  • future discrepancies and errors in stock records
  • damaged goods not being identified
  • paying for goods not received.

These factors have the potential to absorb your working capital and your profits.  To overcome the problem, a simple step-by-step procedure should be followed.

Be ready for deliveries

 Many deliveries are made in the very early morning hours, therefore it is an important practice to ensure that there is actually someone physically present to receive the ordered commodities.  Loss by theft often occurs when there is no one physically present to act as the receiving officer.

Check the merchandise thoroughly

 It is essential that commodities are physically checked for quality and specification requirements.  If the receiving officer is not following this type of practice, there is a strong chance of accepting products that are either sub-standard in quality or short in quantity.

Weigh items separately

Remember that scales take into account the weight on anything that is placed on it.  Always remove the excess paper, packing materials, ice, etc before weighing products.  Also do no weigh similar products together at the same time.  For example, if a box of meat contained both fillets of beef and rump meat, you would weigh each product separately since they both have different purchase prices.

Store items promptly  

Check and store perishable items as soon as possible.  The longer they are left in a receiving area they become more susceptible to theft or quality deterioration.  Ensure that storeroom personnel transfer commodities to storage areas and avoid allowing the delivery person to actually drop commodities off in secured storage areas.


You do not get what you expect.
You get what you inspect!

Food Purchasing Stock Control

A common receiving mistake is that some managers, when rushed, do not thoroughly check incoming orders properly.  They simply find it quicker and easier to just sign the invoice and let the delivery person go on their way.  This practice can cause numerous problems.

Want to know more about food purchasing and stock control? 

For a very low investment, why not download a copy of

How to Protect Your Food Business’ eGuide

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