Inventory Kits for Commissary

I just started running a restaurant commissary now and want to know if Manager.IO is a good app for running inventory management.

  1. We get around 65 different ingredients/raw materials (RM) from different suppliers to produce 15 finished goods (FG) that we send to 4 different restaurants.
  2. The RM I account for by using Purchase Invoices.
  3. Everyday, we use up these RM to produce the FG (we don’t produce on demand, we produce in advance).
  4. We already have a formula to calculate the Bill of Material (BOM) of each FG. And this is set (at least theoretically).
  5. I tried to use Production Orders, but this is just too tedious, because it does not calculate the quantities of the BOM automatically.
  6. I used Inventory Kits, and I know that theoretically it will do the calculations automatically.

a. BUT my problem is I do not have a running quantity of how much we have produced because the FG cannot be seen in the Inventory Items tab.
b. And the only way for me to “produce” the Inventory Kit is if I use Sales Invoice to sell it. I am not selling it yet, I am just producing it for future sales.

Help! Is there an elegant workaround? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

A question to ask yourself is whether you need to employ inventory at all. The answer to that may depend on local tax regulations since you are selling a product. But if not, consider the fact that you use the RM every day and sell the FG almost as fast (or hopefully just as fast since your items are perishable). Ask whether it is worth the effort to track FG into and out of inventory. Perhaps you can just expense the purchase of RM as an operating expense. Do you ever actually conduct an inventory count?

Only you (and possibly your accountant) can answer these questions. But you are right that it may be a tremendous amount of effort for little benefit. The point is to have the necessary information to run your business and achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Hey Tut! Thanks for the quick reply. We do manual count of inventory every week, but we also want to know theoretical counts to do two things:

  1. Track wastage (pilferage or mistakes in production), we are alerted to this by comparing variances in Manual vs Theoretical counts
  2. Our purchasing needs to track inventory so they can order from suppliers.

OK. Then you’ll need to use the inventory features. I don’t personally use production orders, so I’m the wrong person to answer your questions. I can only suggest that you read all the related Guides if you haven’t yet. But just based on previous experience with other accounting/production systems, it sounds like you are missing something. Your expectations sound completely reasonable.

Thanks Tut!
Anybody else can give me advice on what to do? Or should I do Inventory Management in a separate app?

I think you should use Inventory Items tab to track quantities on hand and Production Orders tab to convert raw items into finished items.

Don’t use inventory kits because as you said, you produce finished goods in advance (not on demand). Inventory kits are for producing finished goods on demand.

I don’t understand this. You need to specify how much quantity will be produced in production order. How do you imagine the software could figure it out automatically?

Lubos, it is tedious.

i.e. FG 1 is composed of 10 or so RM – to make 10 packs of FG 1, you need 5ml of RM 1, 1000 grams of RM 2, 300 grams of RM 3, 17.5 ml of RM 4, and so on…

Now in one production day, we have to create 350 packs of FG 1, 20 packs of FG 2, etc.

So I can use an excel sheet to do that every production day, then enter it into Production Orders right? I could also use Inventory Kits to do the calculation automatically. That’s what my question is all about.

Inventory kits should be used only when manufacturing on demand. This is not your case, so let’s rule out inventory kits.

The issue here is to make it easier to record production orders and the way it could be done is that you could set up BoM upfront and then in production order just select BoM and quantity of FG to be produced. Right?

Or maybe add ability to use inventory kits within production orders. That would be even better correct?


A report on how many Kits sold is needed

Hi Lubos, the ability to set BoM upfront AND THEN for the BoM to automatically calculate based on FG to be produced WOULD BE GREAT and exactly the solution I’m looking for! Can you please include that in the next update?

Just to test the theory (and help you think it through): at least in my test case, there would be FGs that are also considered Inventory Items, but they have BoMs composed of RM Inventory Items. Would this be a problem?

In production order, all final goods must be inventory items because production orders are about producing inventory items. So no, it wouldn’t be a problem.

This is great to hear! I look forward to this functionality!

Lubos, is there a date of implementation for this function so I can tell my commissary people to hold off on buying software we won’t be using in the near future and won’t be interoperable with Manager?

Thanks man, you’re doing a great service for us!

It’s something I will definitely implement. It’s better if you get back to me on this in 2-3 weeks as I have some other features on my plate right now.

However production orders will work for you as they are now although it will be a bit more work entering them. You can clone them which will avoid you selecting the same inventory items over and over again. You will need to update quantities based on how much is produced though.

Hey @lubos! Any update on this feature? Thanks!

It’s on my to-do list. I’m going to finish control accounts sometime this week, then I dive into this.

Thanks a lot! Looking forward to this! @lubos

Hi @Lubos! Just in case you’re not doing it yet, we’ve decided to use a different program for tracking inventory, using a POS within the commissary (probably something like a Warehouse Module in Inventory Tracking). Our production speed is just too fast and we couldn’t keep up with Manager.Io. I know this was not what Manager was intended to be, and it’s unfair to be asking you for this.

Continue rocking on the things you’re great at! And don’t be tempted to be a catch all program. Thanks!

Is this change still going to be implemented?
It would be very useful for my application.


It is not clear exactly what change you are talking about.