Royal New York

Coffee Orders: Best Practices for Managing Inventory

When you’re managing a business, there are times when things go well, and sometimes you’re at a loss for what comes next. At Royal New York, we understand both circumstances. When you’re crushing it, we celebrate you. When you’re in the weeds, we’re here to help. Maybe you forgot to place coffee an order, there are shipping delays, or you’re running long on a contract. Whatever your problems may be, Mike Ward is here to guide you through it all!

coffee orders bags

Order More When You Can

No matter how well you or your business is doing, there are bound to be days when you ask yourself, “What am I forgetting?” That brings us to our first topic of discussion: your coffee ordering schedule. At Royal New York, your trader is on top of calling you to place an order 99% of the time. However, there may be a rare occasion you forget to order coffee. If this happens, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re covered.

The first and perhaps most obvious move is to consider ordering a little more coffee when you can afford to do so. If you typically use 5 bags of Brazil in a month and have space on your pallet for your monthly order, consider adding an extra bag. By doing this, you’ll give yourself a buffer that will allow you to take on that surprise wholesale order. In fact, if your orders are usually shipped with a pallet rate through your chosen carrier, there won’t be an increase in freight cost. When you break it down, you’ll actually see a bit of savings! the dollar amount for freight will be spread across more weight. This will result in a lower price/lb impact to your beans. Even if you’re billed by weight and see a bump in shipping cost, you can feel at ease. You know that you’ll have that extra bag to get you through any unexpected scenarios.

Schedule Your Coffee Orders

The second idea for maintaining your in-house inventory is to place your coffee orders on a set schedule. While this may seem more suited for the Type A personality, the Reminders App on your phone can make anything possible! Let’s say you know that you need a pallet once a month but always find yourself too busy to order. Try designating a certain day every month as “Order Day.” Set a reminder on your phone, mark it on your calendar, or simply keep in mind that the second Tuesday of every month is your day to get things done.

coffee orders forklift

If you have an employee with an interest in roasting, this would be a great task to give them. Have them put together the monthly green coffee order to be delivered by a certain time each month. By doing this, you’ll A: free up your own time/stress, and B: begin to nurture a growing employee. Both of these can only benefit you!

For our third idea, simply tell your trader that you’d like a call by a specific time every month. Many roasters do this, and for us it’s as simple as marking a date on a calendar and taking care of things when it’s your day!

Coffee Orders & Shipping Delays

Now that you’ve mastered your ordering schedule, it’s time to think about the inevitable green buying curveball: delays…

Shipping delays cause all of us headaches. They can be an unfortunate part of green buying and are situations for which you should be prepared. This is when working in tandem with your trader really comes into play. If you consistently place green coffee orders, then you regularly talk with your trader. It never hurts to asks questions during these conversations! One question we receive a lot is, “What coffee is like…in case I run out?”

Even if you’ve never thought to ask this, it’s a question that traders are more than happy to answer. We cup coffees daily from all over the world, so we usually have a pretty good pulse on replacement options for certain coffee. An example of this would be if you’re trying to find a replacement for a Papua New Guinea. A go-to substitution would be a Timor, another Oceania offering. However, if that were to be out of season, a trader may recommend an option from Tanzania. They’d suggest roasting it a little deeper to bring out body and mellow the acidity. Just a quick question like this provides you with more tools to utilize, in turn making you a stronger green buyer.

coffee orders cherries

Running Long on Your Contract

What if the opposite happens? What if you find yourself in the position of having too much coffee on hand? While this doesn’t happen all the time, this situation occasionally occurs and deserves some thought.

Let’s start with your reserve position. Imagine that you’re running long on a contract. Once the contract has matured and runs over into a new month, that coffee will receive additional finance charges. In other words, every month that coffee stays at an RNY warehouse past its contracted date will cause it to age and become more expensive. You know that the coffee you’re long on is likely one you could use in a blend, so that’s a road you can explore. Provided the price/lb. isn’t too different from what you normally use, you can make it work! Blend in a bit of the coffee you’re trying to finish, and you’ll be through that contract in no time.

Alternatives to Make it through Your Coffee Orders

If you don’t blend and find yourself long on a contract, you may want to explore different roasting options for that coffee. You could bring the roast a little further than usual to work with the notes the coffee may be presenting. Some coffees lose acidity as they age. If you’re 8 months into a 6-month contract on an offering from Burundi, if may be worth developing the body on that coffee. It could bring out more of the caramel note than to roast lighter and force acidity out of the cup. Maybe you’ll discover that some long-time customers have been searching for a cup profile like that and may take home a bag or two. This is always helpful when you’re trying to work through the remaining bags on your contract.

coffee orders roasting

Lastly, consider cold brewing that coffee. Cold brewing extracts more of lipids from the coffee and showcases less acidity, potentially making it perfect for that now darker roasted option of yours. Interestingly, cold brew makes up a large percentage of coffee consumption in the U.S. That being the case, there will surely be customers who will happily take that drink/bottle home with them. You’ll actually use more coffee by cold brewing as a typical cold brew ratio is 7:1. That’s more than half of your traditional 16:1 hot brewing drip ratio! You’ll be able to move through your remaining bags a bit faster than if you were to roast, bag, and shelf that same coffee.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re celebrating your triumphs or facing challenges head-on, remember that Royal New York is here for you, every step of the way! Your journey through the world of coffee is marked by constant change. With the right strategies and our support, you’re well-prepared to thrive. Here’s to your enduring success and resilience in the ever-evolving landscape of coffee.

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