Show menu


Getting the most from Kobas stock control

By Dan Gilligan |

Efficient stock management is key to keeping your business ticking, and Kobas provides a suite of tools and reports to manage your stock from delivery to sale. The integration between Kobas Cloud and your Kobas EPoS means that every sale, wastage, or comp will immediately log stock usage in a variety of reports that give you a detailed analysis of your profit margins and cost of sales.

Today, I’m going to focus on the Stock Usage Comparison report: some hot tips for best practices, and how you can get the most out of Kobas Cloud.

Completing Stock Checks

To make use of the Stock Usage Comparison, you will first need to have two stock checks: an ‘opening’ check and a ‘closing’ check. Kobas will then take the values input for each and calculate your usage by looking at all sales, deliveries, transfers, and wastage within the period.

Stock checks are broken down by Ingredient and Product categories. It’s possible to check just one category if you need to, but to get the most out of your Stock Usage Comparison, we recommend checking everything. Anything missed off either of your stock checks will be omitted from the comparison report, and we won’t be able to display your usage.

Although this report needs two stock checks to function, we do still track and store stock usage without checks being made. To see this and get an idea of how much stock you should have at any time, without doing a stock check: simply access the Stock Current Position report. This page will take your last stock check and all usage that has been recorded in your account since, to calculate what your theoretical stock position is.

Whilst excellent at crunching numbers, Kobas cannot physically see the stock in your store rooms, so without stock being declared in a check, we’re unable to calculate your Actual usage in a period.

If you’re unsure of the difference between Actual and Theoretical usage, then read on below!

Theory vs. Actual

Any stock report in Kobas refers to one of two figures: Actual Usage, or Theoretical Usage. These two figures are fundamentally different, and understanding the difference between them is the key to understanding your stock, as well as helping you track down any variance that you might experience.

Actual Usage is simply the difference between the figures declared in your opening check, plus any deliveries or transfers in, and your closing stock check, plus any deliveries out. This means that if you declare 2 units of “Bread” in an opening check, with 2 units of “Bread” being delivered in the period, and then declare 0 units of “Bread” in your closing check, your actual usage will be 4 units. Sales figures from your EPoS do not affect this figure.

Theoretical Usage is calculated by using sales recorded through your EPoS, as well as any deliveries, transfers, or wastage you have recorded in Kobas Cloud. This figure lets you know what you should have in stock, based on the values that have been submitted to Kobas. Your Stock Usage Comparison report will also give you a breakdown of where your stock has been used, this includes: Sales, Waste, Comps, and Directors.

Tracking Variance


Variance between your Actual and Theory usage is a worry, and it’s important to quickly track down the cause of it. If you are seeing a very large variance on your Stock Usage Comparison report, here are some of the key points to check:

Waste, Comp, and Director

Special usage should be your first port of call when tracking variance. There are two ways that special usage can be recorded in Kobas: either in Cloud through Operations > Stock Usage, or through your EPoS itself (Admin > Log stock Usage).

These special functions allow stock to be recorded as used, without having been sold. If a cask of beer is out of date and needs to be wasted, but isn’t recorded in Kobas, your stock check will be showing a variance of around 70 pints; enough to send your variance through the roof! By using the “Waste” function in this instance, you are attributing the usage to “Cost of Waste.” This means that your usage variance won’t be affected, but the cost of your ingredients will still be taken into account for profitability reports.

If your variance is down to a wastage mishap, you are able to backdate any usage logs through Operations > Stock Usage. Once this has been logged, you can simply refresh the Stock Usage Comparison page and you will see your updated figures.

Stock Movement

The Stock Usage Comparison report shows you all stock movement within the period, allowing you to see what’s been delivered, transferred, and recorded in a stock check period. Frequently, a large variance can be explained by a typo when inputting a delivery or transfer. For example, if you see a 9.0 unit variance between Actual and Theory, then more often than not, this can be explained by entering 1 unit instead of 10; this could be on a delivery, transfer, or stock check.

If this is the case, then you can quickly see this by looking at the Actual Usage Breakdown. The example in the picture above demonstrates this situation, and you can immediately see where the issue lies; all that remains to be done is correct the offending delivery by accessing Operations > Orders & Deliveries. Once the Stock Usage Comparison has been refreshed, your changes will show.


To check your recipes, click on Manage Ingredient within the pop-up. This will take you directly to the ingredient’s master record, which in turn shows you every recipe in which this item is included. An incorrect recipe will mean that each time an item is sold or wasted, Kobas will record an incorrect amount of ingredient usage. It’s therefore vital to ensure that your recipes are correct.

One thing to remember is that we store ingredient costs historically, in order to protect your older data from changes made in the present. In this case, it means that you will still see the historical variance for any incorrect recipes, but once the mistake has been rectified, you’ll be all set going forward.

Control Gap

If all stock usage is logged correctly, then your usage variance should be £0.00, but this isn’t to say that your store is necessarily running efficiently. This is why your Stock Usage Comparison report includes a Control Gap column. Your control gap is the difference between your Actual Usage and your Cost of Sales, thus taking into account your Cost of Waste, as well as any giveaways.

This figure is expressed as a percentage of your Total Sales, which gives you an idea of how much of your income is cancelled out by waste. For example, if a store has a Control Gap of 10% then this means the cost of ingredients being wasted or comped accounts for 10% of its total income; in this example, this would highlight that ordering or wasting policy should be changed in order to improve efficiency.

Thus concludes an enthralling crash course in effective stock management. Watch out for the improvements we have on the horizon, which will make the process even smoother and the reporting ever more accurate. As always, if you have any questions on this (or any other!) topic, please get in touch over at

About Dan Gilligan

“Left bars for tech, combined them at KOBAS. Loves Watford FC, good beers and bass.”