Introduction to Operations

Operations helps your roastery roast, package, and ultimately ship out coffee each day. Its goal is to simplify the daily process of getting more coffee out the door.  

In this article

Overview of Operations

Operations encompasses that (daily) sprint from the moment that orders arrive until they are ready to be delivered.  It is everything that is needed to help your team successfully Roast, Package, and Ship out hundreds of orders.
Operations involves keeping accurate Inventory, calculating Demand from orders (and other internal needs), and planning Tasks to fulfill that Demand.  You can check out individual articles on each of these areas (linked at the bottom of this page), but we recommend you continue reading to get the 10,000 ft view of Operations and how to use it.  


Inventory is how much is currently available of everything from packaged coffee to its in-process ingredients to non-coffee items like merchandise or paper goods that you may sell.
In previous versions of RoasterTools, the app only tracked in-process inventory like bulk roasted coffee or blended coffee.  In Operations, you can track everything from green coffee through packaged 5 lb bags of a particular blend.


Demand is the total amount that you need to produce at every stage of the process, and has two key inputs.  Demand is what’s needed from orders that are due by the end of today, and also what’s needed by extra planned tasks later in the production process (aka Internal Demand).


Tasks are planned to help you roast, package and fulfill everything that is due today.  Completing a task uses a recipe to transform ingredients into something new (e.g. green coffee into roasted coffee, or multiple roasts into a blend).  You can create a single task at any time, or you can Auto Plan to let the system automatically create all of your tasks for you to fulfill outstanding Demand.  

Using the Today's Checklist

You can use the Today's Checklist, found on the Operations Dashboard, to walk through what needs to happen each day.  Your goal is to ensure that you produce enough - or have enough inventory - to fulfill orders that are due today.  Using the Today's Checklist makes this simple.

Import Orders

If you have ShipStation connected, then you can click this button to import orders from services like Shopify or BigCommerce.  
Schedule Orders
Demand is calculated based upon every order that has a Roast Date of today, or older.  You can use the Scheduler to drag and drop orders from today to tomorrow or the next day.  You can also get a preview of the raw Demand, without taking into account Inventory, by clicking on one or more orders, or selecting all orders in a given day at the top of each column.
Review Inventory
Because Demand is calculated based upon your current Inventory, it's crucial that your inventory balances are correct.  Having to restart the roaster because you found out that someone took 5 lb of a coffee that you thought was there is a bummer.  Accurate inventory at the beginning of the day will help prevent those kind of issues.  Clicking the Review Inventory button creates an Inventory Count, which can feel a little heavy handed at times.  You can also click on any of the Inventory categories in the Inventory section to jump to an Inventory count for just that section.
Review Demand
Demand is the magic behind Operations, and at times it can feel like too much magic when it doesn't make sense.  Reviewing Demand hopes to peel back the curtain and to make it easier to understand how Demand is being calculated and why.  
Auto Plan Demand
Clicking Auto Plan Demand will create just enough tasks to fulfill any outstanding Demand, using the batch minimums and maximums associated with things like Roasts.  It may lead to carryover if a batch minimum is higher than is Demanded.
View Bag Labels
Once you've planned tasks, you'll be able to see the Labels that are needed for the day.  Completing a task here marks the associated subtask in the Packaging step as complete.
Complete Tasks
Completing tasks is where you'll spend most of your time as a team.  You'll be able to see when tasks are completed as they happen, track who completed a task and easily see what remains to complete the day.  Clicking this button starts at the first step in your production cycle. 
Fulfill Items
Once your coffee is roasted and packaged, it's time to fulfill items and eventually orders.  Fulfilling items deducts from your Roastery's inventory, and transfers it to the order.
Create Shipping Labels

If you have shippable orders created in RoasterTools, use this area to push those orders to ShipStation in order to create Shipping Labels. 

Ship Orders  

Your last step in the daily flow is to mark an order as shipped.  Orders will appear here when all items on the order are marked as fulfilled.

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