Standard Milk Orders

Do you have a standard Milk Order at your store? There is one, but sometimes no one writes it down. It’s useful to write it down so that everyone who writes and sends the milk order is thinking along the same lines. The standard milk order is based on one simple principle.

When the next order comes in you want the shelf to be full and the back room cooler empty.

That is the optimum isn’t it? No rotating the stock in the back room and everything that goes out is fresh that day. The customer should get such fresh milk that they don’t bother checking the dates at your store anymore! Yeah right. The shelf acts as the buffer. Most stores can last a good part of the day, at least half the morning, with the shelf full. If not, they are probably a prime candidate for expansion.


This is what our old standard order once looked like on the very left of this makeshift order guide:

Stndrd

M

T

W

T

F

S

.1

2% 250ml

_1_

_-_

_-_

_-_

___

___

.25

500ml 2%

_1_

_-_

_-_

_-_

___

___

.25

250ml Choc

_1_

_-_

_-_

___

___

___

1

500ml Choc

_1_

_1_

___

___

___

___

.5

250ml H-H

_1_

_-_

___

___

___

___

1

500ml H-H

_1_

_-_

___

___

___

___

.5

250ml whip

_1_

_-_

___

___

___

___

.25

500ml whip

_1_

_-_

___

___

___

___

2

1L 2%

_2_

_1_

___

___

___

___

1

1L 1%

_1_

_2_

___

___

___

___

1

1L Homo

_1_

_1_

___

___

___

___

1

1L Skim

_1_

_1_

___

___

___

___

.5

1L buttermilk

_1_

_-_

_-_

_-_

___

___

.5

1L Choc

_1_

_-_

___

___

___

___

.5

1L PL Choc

_1_

_-_

___

___

___

___

.25

1L Whip

_1_

_-_

_-_

_-_

_-_

_-_

5

2L 2%

_5_

_3_

___

___

___

___

4

2L 1%

_4_

_3_

___

___

___

___

2

2L Homo

_2_

_3_

___

___

___

___

3

2L Skim

_3_

_4_

___

___

___

___

15or20

4L 2%

_15_

_10

___

___

___

___

15

4L 1%

_15_

_20

___

___

___

___

4

4L Homo

_4_

_6_

___

___

___

___

6

4L Skim

_6_

_5_

___

___

___

___

The reason for 15 or 20 on the 4L 2% is that the milk is always stacked 5 cases high. If we order in denominations other than 5, the milk is less likely to be in neat stacks on the pallet when it comes in. and you will get messed up thinking that the last 4 of the 19 4L 2% you ordered is a stack of 1% because of the one case of 4L 1% on top. If you order in fives, it probably saves the warehouse picker some time because he just has to pull up to the pallet and slide the stack on from the warehouse pallet. It makes it easier for everyone.

At this point on this order guide we have written the order for Tuesday and you’ll notice that there are discrepancies between it and the standard order. First, you can’t order a quarter or half a case, so Monday’s order had a case of each. We won’t be needing 1L whip for probably the whole week since one comes in on Monday, so a few days ahead is crossed off already A quarter of a case is 4 1L, so it is only ordered when the shelf is actually down to less than 8. Only half a case of 500ml whip actually fits on our shelf, so it and the other part cases are basically ordered when the shelf is not full and the back room is empty. The rest is simpler.

Simply subtract what you have left in the back cooler
and add what you need on the shelf.

Therefore, it is best to write immediately after the Dairy is filled so you can go in the back and deduct what is there, then go to the shelf (or just turn around in some cases) and add what is short. On the Monday that this Tuesday order would have been written, we had a little more than five 4L 2% in the back and we needed about 5 more 4L 1% on the shelf.

Those items that are ordered, but possibly not there yet (i.e. Monday’s order on the form) may have to be taken into account if your back room inventory plus the order doesn’t add up to the standard order. For example, if there are 5 4L 2% in back and only 5 coming in, you would order 20 to make up the 15 needed for each day.

Every store is different but the principle is the same. If you understand what I’ve said, you will be able to tell how many 4L Homo I needed on the shelf and how many 2L 2% I had in the back. If you can figure it out, you’ve got it. If not, I’m sorry if I didn’t make it clear. It may become clearer when you actually try it.

Adjusting the standard order.

If you find that day after day after day you have to adjust for what’s in the back or what’s short on the shelf, then it is time to change the standard order down or up respectively. Talk to the boss about it, and adjust it so that everyone is on the same page. Sometimes you’ll adjust for more buttermilk in the summer heat and more whip cream near holidays. Small milks may change when school is in or out, and when there is a multiple deal, it might help to keep an extra case around for when people are buying for lunches.

I hope this helps.

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2 Responses to “Standard Milk Orders”


  1. 1 neuroaster August 27, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    “After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.” (Pam Shaw)

  2. 2 neuroaster August 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    “Eight words that’ll get you through life: It was like this when I got here.” (Homer Simpson)


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