Inventory management is often a colossal gatekeeper to field service cash flow. Strategic inventory management is essential to any successful field service business. A few distinct features separate traditional inventory management from intelligent inventory management software solutions. Let’s take a look at the challenges of field spare parts inventory management and how you can get the right parts, in the right places, at the right times.
Intelligent—or “smart”—inventory solutions use the latest available software features and technology to help manage your inventory. Software systems can track all of your inventory—across multiple warehouses, stocking locations, customer locations, and even field service technician vehicles. Using advanced geo-tracking and geo-fencing technology, intelligent inventory management software provides you with a map detailing where every available part is at any given moment.
Long gone are the days of tirelessly tracking down needed inventory. When one of your technicians needs a material or part, the software system will connect them with all of the closest available options. With intelligent inventory management software, you and your technicians can maintain full inventory visibility at the click of a button.
Unlike manual inventory management systems, intelligent software solutions can work around the clock for your business. This software recalculates your supply levels each time your parts are used or transferred. Best of all, intelligent field inventory monitoring will notify you instantly when there is an issue with your supply levels.
How does this technology work? Each part or stock-keeping unit (SKU) within your inventory has a minimum and maximum parameter. Once you fall below your minimum supply level, you will get a notification informing you of low inventory and helping you restock. Beyond sending notifications, systems can also automatically reorder parts when quantities drop below the established minimum threshold levels.
Conversely, systems can notify individuals managing field inventories to return excess inventory exceeding established maximum level quantities.
You will get a notification informing you of the surplus so you can send materials back to the warehouse.
Where do you send your inventory? If you are like most businesses, you will distribute inventory where your business needs it most. Without the right technology on your side, this decision can feel more like a guessing game. You are left trying to predict the wavering supply and demand of parts and materials across all of your locations.
Intelligent field inventory software provides a better way forward. Using data-driven insights, this software can make recommendations for your inventory distribution and help regulate your supply and demand shifts.
Within field service industries, repeating unnecessary service visits can consume double the amount of company resources—costing you twice as much money.
Why would a technician need to repeat a field service visit? One of the primary culprits for this issue is insufficient inventory. Mobile inventory management software makes it easy for technicians to keep track of which supplies they have in stock. It can also help them find the parts they need when they are running low on inventory. Having the right parts, in the right place, at the right time makes same-day services easier for your technicians.
Poor inventory management can send money down the drain as your parts expire or become obsolete. In the field service industry, most materials or parts are ideally used within 6-12 months. The longer your inventory sits, the more likely it is to become obsolete.
In these situations, your company will eat the costs of unused inventory. You can prevent this financial loss with intelligent field inventory management solutions. When you make the most of your inventory, you will use older items before they expire or become outdated.
Paper processes can make inventory management challenging while slowing down your technicians. With compatibility with a mobile app, intelligent inventory management solutions can be completed entirely from a technician’s smartphone.
Smartphone accessibility makes it easy for technicians to work on the go and from any job site.
Growing and maintaining any field service business requires you have access to a steady cash flow. Unfortunately, poorly-managed inventory can quickly tie up your service-to-cash cycle. You can find your business in tough financial situations when diverting your money into unnecessary part surpluses. Intelligent inventory management solutions can help you keep your money flowing.
Are you ready to get the latest inventory management technology on your side? FieldEquip has the field service software solutions you are looking for.
While we are known for our work in field service industries, our solutions are perfect for any manufacturer or business that would benefit from upgraded inventory management support. If you are ready to see this software in action, schedule a free demo with our professionals or contact us today to get started!