Inventory situation

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Joined Mar 6, 2015
Here's the situation. I do the inventory. And there are wild swings in credits and usage. Yet, I'm counting what we have. I count it down to the 2nd decimal point. 

With that said, since I'm on a campus, we have nearly NO business during the summer. So a fluctuation of 2 dollars will send everything out of control.

My GM is saying that during the regular school year, the variance we are seeing would amount to barely 1% of food cost. But, my GM is saying I don't know how to count right and that I am not taking it seriously. I just spent 8 hours breaking down the variances section by section. I'm not finding certain products anywhere in the inventory and comparing it to the previous week it's like they don't exist even though we haven't used them. Theft isn't an option as there are no employees other than me, my GM, 2 supervisors, and a admin assistant. 

WTF is going on?

I took this job 5 months ago and she's telling me that this sort of variance didn't happen before I was here. The lady who did inventory before me I took over and she wasn't counting them the way the company wants us to. So finally, my GM told us to do it together. Now we get wild swings all over the place. Any thoughts????
 
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
um? I'm confused. Your GM told you to do it together with who? When you did your breakdown and things were missing compared to the previous inventory, did you take the previous inventory? If so, it's time to change the locks and install a video.

Do you let your drivers put up their own delivery and do you allow them into the area? How is your receiving area set up? Do you have a purchasing person during the regular year?

What do you consider a wild swing? and how are they effecting credits? Credits from purveyors? Are you in control of your revenue? or does your usage and credits come from a different source?

Sorry for all the questions? I was once on a college campus and had inventory problems. It turned out to be one of the fraternities who had keys and they also struck during the summers. On top of that we were using, I won't say the name, s   o, and the driver was walking with product after the purchaser checked them in.
 
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um? I'm confused. Your GM told you to do it together with who? When you did your breakdown and things were missing compared to the previous inventory, did you take the previous inventory? If so, it's time to change the locks and install a video.

Do you let your drivers put up their own delivery and do you allow them into the area? How is your receiving area set up? Do you have a purchasing person during the regular year?

What do you consider a wild swing? and how are they effecting credits? Credits from purveyors? Are you in control of your revenue? or does your usage and credits come from a different source?

Sorry for all the questions? I was once on a college campus and had inventory problems. It turned out to be one of the fraternities who had keys and they also struck during the summers. On top of that we were using, I won't say the name, s   o, and the driver was walking with product after the purchaser checked them in.
I now do the inventory with my kitchen supervisor.

I refuse to take the previous inventory due to me trying to figure out wtf is going on. ALTHOUGH my boss wanted me to give up and just take the previous weeks inventory.

Drivers only drop it, the supervisor puts it away.

A wild swing would be it went from 10% usage to a magic 150% usage literally.

The credit shows up in our inventory. Like last week I had 26.8% in usage for Meat. Now this week I have a -50% usage.

I do not control revenue, my GM is in charge of all the budgeting. We literally have no sales. Our income was $192 from an outlet lol. and its saying we used $304 in usage.

Everyone has keys basically. So I don't know. I DID identify where the person who writes down my inventory wrote something in the wrong box and it cost me $150. That sucked, but the other variances are unexplainable.
 
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Well that's why it's odd because her admin assistant tells me she takes stuff home and when I ask her about it (the GM) she says she's going to pay for it. Like I said I just got here and this shit is wack lol
 
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Might be time to take out the PP manual and see who is free to use the school's wholesale accts and exactly how this is reimbursed.

Odd that the GM is being such an ass about the inventory when he/she is being hinky with the school's supplies.

This is prolly a good time to change the locks and carefully control only 2-3 sets of keys.

mimi
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Welcome to campus foodservice. Everyone has all the answers but don't realize they aren't asking the right questions. 

Because you can't count on the previous inventory as correct, it's pretty much useless to base the new inventory on. 

There are also too many variables you don't have control over. 

Theft needs to be clearly defined first. The GM is planning on paying for the stuff??? When? How is that stuff recorded? Are we simply trusting the GM? Who else is doing that? 

So a recording system should be in place for any and all product removal and the system needs to be followed by EVERYone, all the time. 

     The locks need to be changed and a record kept of who  has the keys.    

     A system for receiving product should exist or be created and followed. As has been noted, drivers don't always deliver the right product amounts or fail to remove it from the truck. This can be  human error or outright theft. 

     The human receiving the product needs to be vigilant about actually seeing ten cases of whatever, not just recording that it came in. If two people are needed for receiving product accurately, then that's what's needed. 

Transfers of product to other outlets on campus need to be recorded at all times. 

A central location should be decided on for all paperwork related to product receiving, storage and transfer so you aren't running around trying to get the info you need. 

 Either people are stealing outright or people are not of the belief that what they are doing is stealing. Your GM is an example. As Panini pointed out, a group may have access to the storage units, has been using product without recording it in the necessary manner and has been doing it that way for so long they don't realize they shouldn't be. Or they know they shouldn't be but no one has called them on it. 

Cameras are a great idea. You don't need many, just in select locations to see what happens. 

Taking inventory with no controls in place is a set up for failure. Set up the controls as soon as possible. Of course being campus foodservice that may be a big challenge all on its own. 
 
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I took over a kitchen once where the same thing was going on, but the Chef before me was over counting items on the inventory and fudging the numbers some how to make it look right each month.

For instance he would record  chicken stock in gallons on the inventory but give it a jacked up price...like $14.00 per gallon. Even with bones, vegetables, AND labor, chicken stock does not cost $14.00 per gallon. And so it went on down the line by line of items I checked on. Somethings, while documented on inventory were nowhere to be found in the storeroom.

First thing I did was create a new inventory system and didn't count on the previous numbers. Everything in inventory was paired with its' newest invoice pricing to date before I took the inventory. I found many discrepancies.

I was let go in 4 months after failing to keep the food cost down, but I know I counted everything correctly and made the changes where necessary.

That was my undoing.

Taking the correct inventory and figuring the food cost was now all blown apart.

When I brought all my evidence to management, they did not believe me.

I became aware after I left that the GM and the Chef were in on it together and several months later I found out that corporate fired the GM and pressed charges against him
 
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
I once worked in a large well know hotel.The F&B was new and young, right out of Cornell. Her uncle was corporate. She must have not paid attention in her Food Cost and accounting class. The Exec.Chef was older and really good. She told the Chef that the monthly food cost had to accurate to the dollar and match the current monthly sales. The Chef was going nuts because every month ending the Chef had to order in items for upcoming events, but she would tell him his food cost was was way off. We did quite high volumn. He had no other choice but to sandbag. Some months the kitchen stewart would roll a 2000 lbs of frozen shrimp into my pastry freezer for inventory.I had to do the same thing because a lot of my product was imported. It was quite comical, especially when she would be so proud to announce in corp. meetings that her numbers were perfect. She was moved 5 months later to a very small property after they found the 4 bars and the pool bar had a scheme going on where they reprogrammed the pos and walked with cases of booze daily and then sold them to local bars. They weren't even caught internally, they got caught through one of the bars they were supplying.

If your responsible for any kitchen area, production, butcher, pastry,outlets etc. and you don't have non-copy keys, or keys that can be removed and no lock box key issue, you just can't trust anyone. Cameras and even motion detectors are a must. 
 
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Another wrinkle: just happened today. 

So since I work for a large corporation I went back to their inventory training and I tell my GM i'm going to retake the inventory training and immediately she starts telling me everything that the company wants done that she doesn't want to do it that way. WTF. Never seen this before. 
 
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Joined Oct 11, 2014
@mrGlacier  yup.....my spidey senses are on full alert now /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif  I think you have solved most of the problem.....(*cough* GM *cough*)
 
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I dunno....

Problem diagnosed, yes absolutely.

But problem solved?

Who do you report to? How do you cover your butt?

Mr. Glacier you are in a "situation".

If you report you suspicions AND findings to head office, how long before they take action?
 
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I agree with @foodpump  ......you are in a bit of a situation...... although I was trying to get a wee bit of a laugh out it.....you might be in a pickle if you do not take care of yourself first. If your spider senses are alert as well or you are seeing those red flags getting larger by the minute then I would suggest taking a boo at some other jobs around town. That way you have choice as to how you would like to move forward. 
 
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Okay so it went well. I brought up the fact we don't follow proper inventory procedure she said she'll take the write up when the auditor comes. She also said, that in the past the District Manager has backed her up as they are good friends. We narrowed it down to some human error. But, it was interesting all that was going on.
 
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Joined Feb 23, 2015
Boy.....Am I ever getting a good laugh out of this!!!!

HELLO? ANYBODY HOME?

You're getting jerked around my friend by this GM and she's pretty good at this scheme she's got going. She'll take care of the auditor? Oh, she'll take care of the auditor just like she's taking care of you!

You basically have 2 choices: (but really one)

Take a stand and exercise your position as Chef and insist to the GM that you can turn the place around, but you require more authority in the kitchen and you will get to the bottom of this, and later on mention to her that you'd like cameras and motion detectors installed, and see how she dances out of it.......she'll probably end up firing you.....

OR

Get the hell out of there. You don't need a job as private investigator. This place is out of control and you have better things ahead of you.

TruDat!
 
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I would make sure that waste log is in place and being utilized. Just be sure to reinforce with staff that is not for punitive reasons but for the sake of accurate inventory recording and accounting reasons, same for any food consumed by staff, same as food leaving the premises by GM, interdepartmental transfers, etc.

How are your prepared foods and production inventory being recorded?
 
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