R.O.B. Stock (Remaining on Board)

The “R.O.B.” is an abbreviation for the term “Remaining On Board”, which refers to the quantity of provisions left in your store rooms at the end of each month, or the end of a voyage, although most vessels and shipping companies will use the calendar month as the cut off point for an R.O.B.

In plain English an R.O.B. is an end of month stock-take.

Over the years I have seen huge variations on how much attention is paid to the subject of R.O.B’s. ranging from no sock take at all, on smaller ships to a Stock Controller sitting putting figures into a computer for 12 hours a day solid on a cruise liner, and there are good and obvious reasons why there can be different approaches to the subject.

It’s about scale, if your buying food for 15 crew members it is pretty easy to track expenditure, but if you’re buying food for 2000 passengers and 1000 crew, it’s whole different ball game, the quantities and the fiscal value of food is astronomical.

One of the most important things I would impress upon other catering managers, campbosses and ships cooks is the importance of accurate stock taking, if you’re going to do it, do it right. It is inadvisable and could even be considered fraudulent if you enter into some form of creative accounting in order to massage the figures, after all, a ships cooks should not “Cook the Books”.

And the truth is there is never any need to do so, as in reality the cost of food and provisions is what it is, the ships cook has almost no control over what price he pays for the commodities he orders, all he can do is select less expensive items and avoid waste as much as possible. Waste the biggest enemy in any type of food operation.

We will examine the considerations when preparing for and carrying out an R.O.B. in future articles.

Related Articles to follow;-

  • R.O.B. Sheet
  • The Proviosions Spaces
  • The time it will take to Count All Provisions
  • Commodity lists
  • Provisions Orders
  • Physical Stock Take
  • Excel Spreadsheets


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