5 Signs Your Inventory Is Out of Control

For service contractors, having the right supplies on hand is a must. Without the right supply, your technicians waste valuable time running to the store for materials. As a result, they have less time in the day to complete jobs, which hurts your bottom line.

While having adequate stock of commonly-used items is good for business, the tendency toward preparedness can cross the line into hoarding for some technicians. Here are five signs that your company’s inventory management processes may need help:

  1. Inventory is disappearing. By not having a way to keep track of what inventory lives where or who has touched it, it’s hard to know whether an item has been used or moved, or whether it’s been broken, lost or even stolen.
  2. Your trucks are packed to the brim. If your technicians are only using a small fraction of what’s in their trucks each month, and they’re not sure what’s at the bottom of the pile, they probably have a lot more product stored in their truck than they really need.
  3. Your technicians are storing inventory in their garages. If your technicians are hoarding materials at home, it’s probably not due to a lack of space in the company stockroom. More likely, it’s because they don’t know if there’s enough inventory back at the office to meet their needs, so they keep things at home just in case.
  4. You’re noticing jobs are getting postponed or taking longer. Your technicians don’t have the materials or tools they need to complete a job, so they run out to a supply house or big-box store for an emergency purchase – inevitably delaying the start or completion of a job, slowing your organization’s sales growth and negatively affecting customer satisfaction.
  5. Your technicians make trips to the store to buy just one or two common items. The best way to avoid these time-consuming trips isn’t to hoard even more supplies. The solution is a mobile inventory management system that tracks your team’s material usage in real time down to the user, job and customer level, and linking that system to your suppliers to take advantage of the benefits of automated replenishment.

Your technicians’ hoarding tendencies are the result of a lack of inventory transparency, which leads to a lack of control. Unfortunately, hoarding is a poor substitute for control, leading to higher carrying costs, obsolete inventory, lost productivity and fewer completed jobs.

MarginPoint provides a mobile inventory management solution to HVACR, electrical, plumbing, facilities management and other service contractor organizations. Learn more at marginpoint.com

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