Inside Logistics

Shrink prevention

Automated solution from Apex Supply Chain Technologies helps address pervasive industry problem


May 22, 2017
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Intelligent Controlled Spaces (ICS), offers the restaurant and foodservice industries an easy way to control and track access to a variety of high-value inventory, equipment and high-risk supplies.

Intelligent Controlled Spaces (ICS), offers the restaurant and foodservice industries an easy way to control and track access to a variety of high-value inventory, equipment and high-risk supplies. This automated solution from Apex Supply Chain Technologies helps address the pervasive industry problem of shrink.

Research shows inventory is a top operational cost for food and beverage (F&B) operations. Second only to labour costs, this is due, in part, to shrink. Shrink robs F&B operations of three to five percent of its total sales, a total that can skyrocket to more than 25 percent for bars. And the NRA notes that roughly 35 percent of shrink is due to employees taking things.

“Industry profit margins are razor thin, making shrink a problem that can’t be ignored,” says Kent Savage, founder & CEO of Apex Supply Chain Technologies. “Our ICS solution uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to transform any free space into a secure area. This gives management a flexible, affordable way to rollout a chain-wide solution that is bespoke to each location.”

ICS can be customized to turn back-of-house space as diverse as a set of simple shelves to an entire storeroom, refrigerator, freezer or dock into a secure area that automatically tracks who accesses the space and when.

Employees, vendors or even customers can enter a PIN, scan a barcode or swipe their unique ID badge to access the ICS area. Apex technology continuously monitors any activity and records this data in the Apex Trajectory Cloud platform. This cloud-based data platform can be easily accessed by management through a secure web portal or mobile app, giving them real-time visibility into who has accessed a secured area and when it took place.

Managers receive reports automatically from Trajectory Cloud, making it easy to spot unusual activity. They can use this digital record to talk with employees about items that may have been misplaced. And as employees realize ICS monitors access, accountability improves to reduce inventory shrink.

ICS solutions work for everything from back-of-house deliveries and storing rental equipment to securing notoriously hard to control inventory — including high-cost items like meat and liquor and low-cost items like toilet paper and other supplies. The solution allows for unattended deliveries, and makes self-serve order pick-up a convenient option for customers. And instead of waiting for a delivery or an order pickup, management and staff can focus on more productive tasks.

ICS can also monitor inventory levels within a secured space using Smarter Spaces technology from Apex. These optional, embedded sensors are added to ICS solutions to monitor inventory levels. When inventory reaches a predefined threshold, Trajectory Cloud automatically sends reorder alerts to suppliers. This ensures a location does not run out of critical items.