Meat Inventory Management: 5 Grocery Best Practices

Inventory management might be the most important aspect of running a grocery store. If you don’t stay on top of your store’s stock, you’ll experience lost sales from frustrated customers and diminished profits from expired items. 

With perishable stock like meat where freshness is paramount, effective inventory management is crucial. Meat inventory management boosts your customers’ satisfaction by ensuring they receive a high-quality cut of meat every time they visit your store — and it boosts your bottom line by preventing spoilage. 

Here are five of the most impactful best practices for meat inventory management. 

1. Implement a First In, First Out Policy

The First In, First Out (FIFO) approach is a helpful meat inventory management strategy in which the items that have the soonest sell-by dates or have been stored for the longest time should be sold first. 

To properly implement FIFO in your meat inventory management system, you need to identify meats that will expire first and label them accordingly. Then, arrange your meat displays so that items with quickly approaching sell-by dates are at the front, and items with farther-out sell-by dates are toward the back. 

This labeling and organizational system will ensure that no meat is wasted and that you have steady, predictable turnover in your grocery store’s meat department. 

2. Print Custom Meat Labels

To prevent spoilage and protect the freshness of your grocery store’s meat inventory, you need to be able to print proper labels for your meat products. These labels should include critical information like packed, sell-by, and expiration dates that can help you and your team ensure that all meats on display are fresh. 

Labels are also helpful to customers when they include clear information about the cut of meat and the amount in each package. Plus, labels make the checkout process speedier and more accurate if they include a barcode and pricing information. 

To make labels a part of your meat inventory management strategy, you need a point of sale (POS) system that supports custom label and barcode printing. 

3. Lean on Your POS System

Your point of sale system can be your greatest asset in your meat inventory management approach. Your POS system provides real-time inventory updates, allowing you to conveniently see what’s in stock at any given time and alerting you when products are running low and it’s time to reorder. 

Features like integrated purchase orders also save you time and make it easy to keep your grocery store well-stocked. When it’s time to reorder a product, you can create a purchase order from your POS system for a streamlined inventory management process. 

4. Train Your Team

To effectively manage your meat inventory, your team needs to be on board. Your employees should understand exactly why meat inventory management is essential for customer satisfaction, your grocery store’s financial success, and even compliance with health and safety standards.  

Inventory management training for your employees should include how to properly label products with their sell-by dates, how to utilize the principle of FIFO, and how to use your POS system’s inventory management features. 

Regular refresher training will help your employees keep these practices top of mind and ensure that your meat inventory management system is successful long term. 

5. Leverage Sales Reports

A robust meat inventory management system is not only useful for avoiding losses from frustrated customers or expired products, but it can also increase your sales overall. 

A POS system with integrated inventory management and sales reporting features offers valuable insights to help you optimize your inventory. For example, information about your sales trends, customers’ shopping habits, and product preferences should inform your stocking strategies, so you stock more of what sells and less of what doesn’t. 

Leveraging these POS system reports empowers you to fine-tune your meat inventory management process, reduce waste, and boost your bottom line. 

IT Retail guide to POS hardware

Streamline Your Meat Inventory Management Process With IT Retail

A meat department that’s well-stocked with your customers’ favorite fresh cuts is critical for your grocery store’s success. But for thorough meat inventory management, you need the right processes and tools. 

Your grocery store’s POS system is a valuable tool for transforming your meat inventory management process — allowing you to properly label, stock, and track your product. 

If you’re looking for a POS solution designed by grocers, for grocers to help you get your meat inventory management on track, consider IT Retail. With advanced inventory features, detailed reporting and analytics, and more grocery-specific features, IT Retail might just be the perfect POS option to grow your business.

If you’re ready to see IT Retail in action, schedule a personalized demo with one of our grocery industry experts today.