This is the sixth article in a nine part series about the role that software plays in the field service industry. It’s focus is on inventory management and how software can help you run a better service business by managing your inventory operations. We’re passionate about software and the service industry, and we want to help you find the right software for your business, whether it’s our product or a competitor’s.You’ll receive the next white paper in the series next week, but if you can’t wait we encourage you to use the links at the bottom of the page to read the rest of the series now.


 

How Can Software Improve Inventory Processes For The Service Industry?

Basic Inventory Requirements

Inventory management can be one of the most complicated and detailed aspects of running a good service business. Inventory processes vary wildly from business to business but the list below outlines some of the basic requirements you might look for in an inventory system:

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Detailed info for an inventory item

  • Rolodex of all inventory items
  • Store and track vendor info
  • Track purchase orders
  • Available and reserved stock quantities
  • Warehouse location management

It might be possible to handle these details using spreadsheets or some standalone inventory software. But when your needs get more complex and you need to integrate your inventory into your purchase orders, tie your purchase orders into work orders and give detailed equipment requirements to your technicians for their work orders it can get overwhelming quickly.


Advanced Inventory Processes

As your business becomes more complex and starts integrating purchase orders, inventory and work orders your inventory processes need to become more precise and synchronized with the rest of your business. Some functionality that might be necessary and can probably only be handled well by good, integrated software are below:

  • Combining items into packages

    Video walk through of a good software inventory system

    Video walk through of a good software inventory system

  • Tracking returned inventory
  • Automatic reverse receipting
  • Complete selling and purchase order history
  • Note taking capability for:
    • Parts
    • Packages
    • Vendors
    • Billing and shipping
  • Price variation by part number
  • Minimum level and reorder alerts
  • Bar code scanning
  • Stored photo documentation
  • Pricing levels and mark up
  • Inventory reports with part name, location, quantity, status and other details

If you go through the basic and advanced inventory checklist you should be able to rank your need for good inventory software. It’s possible that you have no need for anything more than a spreadsheet, but if you find yourself wishing you could handle some of the advanced functionality then you might want to look into some inventory software.


In Summary…

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The Whole Package

We hope our software fits your inventory needs since we’ve been designing software specifically for the service industry for over 25 years, but we’re quick to acknowledge when the fit isn’t right and we’d be glad to point you to one of our competitors who might suit your needs better. If you have any questions about inventory systems and how they relate to your specific business processes please feel free to give us a call at 360-293-3000.

This article is the sixth in a nine part series of white papers designed to inform you about the role that software plays in the field service industry. You’ll receive the next article in the series next week, but if you can’t wait until then we encourage you to check out the entire series using the links below. Thanks for reading!

The Team at High 5 Software


Read The Whole Series
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Watch a video overview of Service Management Enterprise (SME) from High 5 Software

Part 1: Overview
Part 2: Customer Relationship Management
Part 3: Work Order Management
Part 4: Sales, Leads and Proposals
Part 5: Dispatching and Scheduling
Part 6: Inventory Management
Part 7: Double Entry
Part 8: Automated Email
Part 9: Reporting