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CTO at Triare
When building a food service business, you cannot put a miracle into a business plan. The market of HoReCa software solutions has become a promising segment for businesses looking to automate their supply chains. To dig deeper here is a prominent example: bakeries in supermarkets. When those appeared in supermarkets, it became clear that the potential of bakeries was far from oversaturation because so far, they occupy only 3% of the food industry outside the home market.
Today, procurement automation allows current HoReCa suppliers to cut costs. But it also creates competition, allowing new players to enter this sector, including manufacturers and suppliers who have not worked with public catering before. All market players have to consider the specifics of the industry and adopt HoReCa planning software and HoReCa management software suitable for their needs.
Where do supermarkets stand in the HoReCa sector and what software do supermarkets of medium to enterprise level use? We’ll discuss it in this article, but let us begin from the basics.
HoReCa is the sector of hospitality and catering services. The bottom line is that the goods are consumed directly at the point of sale. The term itself is an abbreviation of the words Hotel, Restaurant, Catering / Cafe.
The HoReCa trade channel unites catering establishments, suppliers of b2b goods, goods for resale at HoReCa points of sale, manufacturers of these goods and marketing intermediaries. As a rule, HoReCa is a specific channel used to expand market presence and create a brand image for consumer brands. Selling goods at HoReCa points allows you to add additional value to the goods due to the entourage of the institution, the art of the service personnel, and the experience of the chefs.
The main feature of purchases in HoReCa is the focus on the menu and not on the assortment matrix. A permanent list of purchases is formed on the basis of the menu. Some establishments often change the menu, but the bulk is long-term. That is why it is more difficult to introduce new products in HoReCa.
Wholesale online services in the HoReCa segment are developing in different countries. Hungarian Supp.li, Finnish Suppilog, Dutch FoodShed, Italian Emerge operate in the EU. Some of them work specifically with organic products and local specialties from farmers, but generally these solutions allow food service companies to purchase goods from numerous companies more easily and at a lower cost. Singapore HoReCa Marketplace operates in Asia. Metro Cash & Carry in Germany has launched a b2b marketplace for HoReCa in more than 50 countries. HoReCa B2B marketplaces contribute to the growing level of trust that buyers and suppliers have for each other.
Benefits of such online services for suppliers:
While such online services for buyers, including supermarkets, reduce restocking time.
To ensure uninterrupted operation and timely completion of tasks, suppliers and customers of products everywhere use various software. This helps them stay relevant and competitive. We have highlighted the main types of software that helps automate manual operations in HoReCa.
A HoReCa automation solution is used to organize a full-fledged automation system: a receipt printer, and a POS terminal. Complex POS systems help supermarkets better manage procurement of goods, control stocks and deliveries, and gather important statistics.
The data collected by POS software can be used to organize a loyalty program since it can take into account:
Examples of the software:
Automation solutions have been used in the hospitality sector for decades. It saves businesses from manual labor, increases productivity, and speeds up data exchange between suppliers and buyers. The growing number of CRM solutions like Salesforce and ecommerce CMSs like Shopify facilitates the operation of many grocery retailers.
Examples of the software:
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has modules that control all stages of a business. As well as POS software ERP collects customer data, but also has a finance and commerce management module. The chain module helps to manage the supply between the customer and the warehouse. These solutions can be integrated with third-party systems and tailored to the needs of the enterprise.
Examples of the software:
Besides integrating a ready-to-use solution, you can develop custom HoReCa software for your business. Food service businesses, including supermarkets, are looking for ways to automate and optimize their complex and varied processes. They need to lower the upfront costs and access business-critical applications at the convenient time and place. IndustryARC analysts estimate that an enterprise-grade application can handle these challenges, so it can influence apps for small and medium establishments: the enterprise software market is expected to grow to $545 million by 2025.
Let the fleur of changeability of the word “trend” not scare you away from studying this issue: in the HoReCa software development, trends are increasingly synonymous with the word “innovation”. Here are some of them:
Microservices are a style of application architecture that can be defined as a collection of interacting services. They can be written in different languages, and each of them can be managed independently. Microservices speed up the development but might be harder to scale and fix.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping to take software to a whole new level and handle business operations more efficiently than ever. Advanced AI speeds up application data analysis with fast data retrieval, tag classification, and simplified search. Thus it becomes clear what products are in better demand for thisparticulat supermarket and how HoReCa can optimize sales even more.
These concepts serve to develop an enterprise application — helping to scale, unify software deployments across multiple platforms, and reduce overhead. Containers as a method of virtualization optimize server capacity, so a business can run several computers with different operating systems on one physical server. This technology allows for more secure and faster creation of enterprise software solutions.
Automation in HoReCa is applied everywhere and this is exactly what helps this sector to develop by leaps and bounds. The question of whether to automate a supermarket work or not is no longer relevant, only which system to install and why is being discussed. POS systems, EDS are aimed at increasing customer loyalty and retention. Thus, the more experience and competence a supplier has, the more additional modules he offers.