The Parts Inventory Management Playbook

October 20, 2023 | Read: 7 minutes

RP @ Commusoft · UK Parts Inventory Management

As the field service industry continues to modernise workflows, parts inventory management software is essential.

Practically every trades business orders, installs, and replaces parts in their daily operations. The shift from paper to digital, or from software to software, can be daunting – but we’re here to help! 

In this playbook, we’ll jump into parts and discuss their true impact on your business, what a successful parts management system looks like, and four benefits of parts inventory management software.

The Impact of Stock

Parts and your stock management system impact your business more than you may think. 

Parts are a keystone for any trades business. After all, parts costs directly affect job costing, employee wages, and company revenue. 

Further, the timeline of parts deliveries and stock levels influences your job scheduling and labour. Balancing time and these costs is a must. 

Having the right parts at the right time also heightens the chance of your business beating competitors. Think about it, if you were a customer, wouldn’t you book service with a business that either already has the necessary parts, or can acquire them easily? 

This is why an optimised, and easy-to-use parts management system is a must-have. Organising and maintaining parts is too important to be handled with paper and spreadsheets. 

Keep reading to see what an efficient parts inventory management system looks like!

What Does a Successful Parts Management System Look Like?

Parts management software is becoming a necessity, but it’s important to choose the right solution for your business.

Engineer icon

Consider your stockroom manager. If they’re currently sorting through paper files, or entering parts one by one into a spreadsheet, it’s time for a time-saving upgrade. Getting the right parts to the right team members can be easy.

Think about your engineers. Parts that are lost on the road, or damaged in the back of vans are costs that chip away at profits. If they can’t view live stock levels and make parts requests from the road, your team is falling behind. 

Finally, reflect on your office team. Ordering parts and creating job pricing and financial reports doesn’t need to be a time-consuming headache. 

The best stock management system seamlessly integrates these three workflows into one cohesive parts operation. An organised parts system enhances your day-to-day, so your team can focus on more important tasks.

Let’s walk through a streamlined parts process. 

Accepting New Parts

New parts are delivered to your warehouse. The manager easily checks in the part with their barcode scanner on their mobile stock app. They simply scan, and enter the quantity of parts.

Stock control app from Commusoft

If there’s a new part, it’s no hassle. They assign the barcode to the new part, and the system will automatically recognise it in the future. 

Building Picking Lists

How long does it take to get the right parts to the right team members? Moving parts from the stockroom to your team’s vans doesn’t need to be a headache.

Engineers don’t have to rummage through the stockroom themselves, they simply need to collect parts. The best stock control solutions come with a dedicated stockroom app. This tool helps your warehouse manager efficiently create accurate picking lists. 

parts inventory management software on mobile app showing parts to pick up

Picking lists seem small, but their contribution to your team and parts workflows is tremendous. Ensuring the right parts are given to the right engineers straightaway sets their day up for success.  

Leveraging Van Management

Truck icon

Your team’s vans are mobile stockrooms. Just like socks getting lost in the laundry, vans are a place where parts tend to disappear. Or, unused parts can rattle around in the back of vans and break. While these costs against your business can be minor, they do add up.

The greatest stock control software accommodates parts swaps from the road. Rather than driving all the way back to the stockroom, two vans can meet up and transfer parts.

A simple scan of the bar code and push of a button ensures the part won’t get lost within the software. This means your team can have accurate financial data in parts reporting. 

Plans change, that’s why it’s important to have a parts management software that accommodates flexibility. At the end of the work day, your technicians can return unused parts to the stockroom manager. 

Maximising Supplier Management

Having good business relationships with suppliers is crucial.

After all, your business and customers depend on them to come through with important parts. 

Some of the finest vendor software, like Commusoft’s supplier management software, has a dedicated supplier dashboard. You can view different suppliers, invoices, payments, past correspondence, and more, in one place.

supplier payments dashboard in Commusoft

Further, with supplier reporting tools, management can easily understand business debts and supplier invoice financials.

Ordering Parts

Purchasing parts is critical to your entire operations. After all, without stock, your team can’t perform a majority of your services.  

Commusoft has convenient supplier integrations with City Plumbing, Wolseley, and Worcester Bosch. You’ll have access to live parts prices and can send direct purchase orders, all within Commusoft. 

Parts inventory management software showing Purchase orders and Stock control

With less time spent flipping between different screens and software, your office team can spend less time ordering parts, and more time on bigger tasks

We’ve walked through a streamlined parts process; but why does it matter?

4 Benefits of a Parts Management System

Let’s discuss four benefits and see how your business can reap the benefits of a parts inventory management software.  

1. Save Money with Vendor Management

The best parts inventory management software include supplier management.

A supplier management software helps trades businesses like yours can thrive with valuable supplier information, in one place. This includes access to supplier purchase orders, and live parts prices (which we’ll dive further into in the next section). 

Supplier payments report in Commusoft

Further, reporting software can help you organise supplier and financials, so your team can stay on top of relevant numbers, and plan the best course of action for your business. 

2. Make Effective Purchases with Parts Prices

Knowing parts prices is invaluable. After all, each part is a direct cost against your business. On the flip side, parts are all profit opportunities. 

And, as a bonus, Commusoft’s supplier integrations with City Plumbing, Wolseley, and Worcester Bosh automatically update parts prices, making ordering and fact-checking easier for your office staff. 

Parts inventory management software overview showing stock and prices

Accurate and up-to-date parts pricing ensures your team can set the pricing for your services with confidence. 

3. Have the Right Parts for the Job

Perhaps most obvious, and arguably most important, a parts inventory management system ensures that your entire team will be armed with the right parts for the right job. 

Commusoft parts inventory management software on the mobile app

The ability to arrive at jobs with parts on hand, and being able to request parts from the job site is another way to stand apart from competitors.

The quicker your team can order parts, the quicker they’ll be delivered. You can complete jobs quicker, and engage with a much happier customer. 

4. Optimise Margins and Job Costing

A dedicated reporting software empowers decision-makers and managers by helping them understand parts margins and valuable job costing stats. They can easily review business finances and set profit-driven pricing structures for your business

Job costing profit report within Commusoft

The best parts inventory management software pulls parts and financial data into reports automatically, meaning more time can be spent on taking action rather than gathering information. 

The Best Digital Parts Inventory Management Software

Commusoft app on five devices

Ready to revamp how you handle inventory?

Whether you want to track parts, or reorganise your entire stock management operations, Commusoft’s parts management software can handle it.

We understand the unique needs of the trades; that’s why Commusoft was built from the ground up specifically for field service. 

Explore parts management by Commusoft

When I'm not writing about the best digital solutions for field service businesses, I'm either playing with my three dogs, or baking sweet treats!

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