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Tillypad 9.5: Purchase automation and other new features

The latest version of Tillypad, release 9.5, includes a new, highly sought-after feature — purchasing automation for restaurants and restaurant chains. This upgrade equips you with an all-in-one stock system that organises every operation in your venue from order-taking to stock-in record creation.
Every purchase request, stock order and stock movement is documented; stock items and consumables are ordered in exactly the amounts you need, exactly when you need them. The program takes into account standard daily consumption rates and delivery times to calculate the optimal purchase quantities and suggest the best supplier for each item. Thanks to Tillypad, managers, chefs and other staff can rest assured that the stock items they need will always be on hand and that spoilage caused by overstocking will be kept to a minimum.
Entrusting the system with the task of monitoring purchase prices means saving on both purchases and payroll. When you automate standard processes and streamline communication among employees from different departments, you speed up crucial operations, free up staff, guarantee that requests from restaurants are accurate and keep your office employees and suppliers in check.
How does the Purchases tool optimise processes in restaurants and restaurant chains?
1.Original requests from restaurants: systematic, simple, accurate
To create and send a request to the central purchasing department, the employee in charge of stock at a particular venue opens the original request form and enters any stock items that need to be ordered. Tillypad XL not only quickly calculates the optimal order quantity for each item, it also ensures that all requests coming from restaurants are 100% accurate. Based on a stock item’s actual on-hand level, daily consumption rates and most recent supply delivery date, Tillypad automatically calculates the recommended order quantity.
Requests that calculate this quantity based on regularly-occurring purchase needs are called planned requests. Once the values used for calculation are specified for the first time, planned requests can be regenerated with little additional effort. Planned figures can be easily edited for seasonal changes or to account for decreases or increases in customer volume. Special mechanisms and correction ratios allow you to tweak the program to match the actual conditions in your venue.
In preparation for a holiday or large party, you may need to order more stock items than usual. For these situations, Tillypad offers another type of request, ad hoc requests. In an ad hoc request, you decide which stock items you want to order and manually enter quantities and delivery timeframes instead of using a calculation formula.
Both planned and ad hoc requests can be sent from restaurants to your chain’s central office. In its completed form, a planned or ad hoc request form contains information about the store in question, the estimated delivery date, a list of the ordered stock items and their nomenclature (quantity, SKU, barcodes etc., all of which are populated automatically), the employee who filled out the form, and if necessary, a comment.
2. Active Purchases: clear, intuitive, easy to use
As soon as the responsible employee in the restaurant changes the request's status to Ready, it becomes available on the purchasing manager's Active Purchases interface in the central office. The manager can then choose the best supplier for each item and assign the request a new status (rejected/not processed/processed). Using this status and information about the inclusion of each stock item into a supplier request, the system automatically assigns each request item its own status.
Meanwhile at the restaurant
Between stock item ordering and delivery, restaurants can check the statuses of requests and individual items without having to contact the main office. Any changes made by the purchasing department—to delivery times, trade names, comments, etc. — immediately become available in the restaurant where the original request was created.
The Active Purchases interface is a convenient and powerful tool that allows purchasing managers to stay on top of all stock orders and deliveries. It displays new and existing original requests as stock items rather than documents and filters them by priority. In addition, the purchasing manager's screen only shows data that are relevant to his or her work. If this staff member only works with certain stores, stock item groups, suppliers or restaurant employees, he/she will not be distracted by irrelevant extra information.
One of a purchasing manager’s major responsibilities is to ensure a consistent supply of stock items at the lowest possible cost. The Tillypad system evaluates the available stock item prices and delivery times to help these team members quickly assign a supplier to each ordered item. Suppliers can also be assigned automatically from a stock item’s most recent stock-in record. And if a supplier contract has expired, the system will issue a reminder.
When the manager selects the items to be added to a supplier request and presses ‘Create supplier request’, the supplier request window opens. After checking the data (supplier, delivery date and recipient store address), the manager can save the request and mark it as either Not ready or Sent. In the former case, the request will remain open for changes, and its items will be available in the Active Purchases section. In the latter case, the request is considered ready and is sent to the supplier for confirmation.
3 Receiving stock in: objective evaluation of the completeness and quality of deliveries
Once the supplier has confirmed the request and the purchasing manager has changed its status in Tillypad, it is time to prepare for the actual delivery of the stock item. Before the arrival of the stock, the storekeeper must ensure that there is enough space in the store and prepare a stock-in record. Creating stock-in records in Tillypad is incredibly easy—in 90% of cases the stock-in record specification for a delivery matches the supplier request specification exactly. During delivery, the system will automatically check the item’s purchase price; if the actual purchase price differs from the price specified in the supplier request, Tillypad XL will issue a warning message.
After the stock items are delivered to the store, the storekeeper’s final step is to change the stock-in record status. The last remaining task for the purchasing manager is to check the stock items’ prices.
The new Purchases tool not only fully supports and optimises every task within your purchasing department, but also offers you a step-by-step view of each process and lets you monitor your restaurant employees, purchasing managers and suppliers.
Other new features in release 9.5
In addition to the Purchases toolkit, the new version of Tillypad XL has several other key improvements.
Managing guest tabs
Waiters can now split guest tabs into any number of separate checks to allow customers, couples or families to pay separately, regardless of the total size of the party. Customers love this feature because they no longer have to calculate each person’s share of the check themselves.
In Tillypad 9.5, waiters and front of house staff can manage open guest tabs with even greater ease. If two or more guest tabs are opened at the same table, the table icon on the seating layout displays the combined total of these tabs.
And when a guest tab is split, the waiter is automatically prompted to enter the number of customers for the new guest tab. These additions make sales reports even more precise.
Reservations and banquets
In most restaurants, when a reservation for a large party is scheduled, a deposit is required. If by the end of the event part of the deposit has not been spent (for example, if the party was under-attended), the restaurant may wish to return the unused amount. Tillypad 9.5 helps you anticipate your customers’ needs — when the guest tab is closed, the system will generate a reminder to refund the leftover amount.
User interface update
In Tillypad 9.5, changes have been made to the pin panel; you no longer need to pin down windows to keep them open in the background. All open windows are automatically saved to the pin panel. You can close all open windows simultaneously by pressing Ctrl + Del.
All these features and more will be available to you once you upgrade to Tillypad 9.5!