Stock management can be a challenge for any field service business. Whether you’re a plumber, electrician, or fire safety technician, you’ll handle various parts every day that need to be properly ordered, stored, and managed.
When looking to develop a new and better stock management workflow, it can be difficult to know where to start. The best place to begin is with a stock control barcode software that will handle your entire stock process from the arrival of parts to returns. If the software includes a barcode stock control app, this will offer the stockroom manager the right tools to quickly scan barcodes and check in parts.
To decide what sort of stock control software your business needs, it’s important to first understand the problems that you have with your current solution. Here are some common issues that field service businesses face when managing stock:
- You don’t know what (or how much) is in stock
- It takes too long to check in new stock
- You don’t use up existing stock before ordering more
- Parts get lost, broken or even stolen
- You have to cancel jobs due to stock availability
If that sounds like your business, keep reading to learn what can be done to remedy these problems. Stock control barcode software can help solve many of these challenges by giving you access to real-time stock levels, barcode scanning, and a returns workflow.
What are the benefits of stock control barcode software?
Real-time stock levels
Properly implemented stock control barcode software should give your team access to real-time stock levels. This means everyone can know exactly what items are in stock and how many of each item are available. When engineers need a part on site they could first check if it’s in stock and request it from the stockroom, instead of ordering another. Without real-time stock levels, it’s very difficult to manage the flux and flow of parts in your business as the system would always be one step behind.
A barcode stock control app
One of the major benefits of stock control barcode software is being able to utilise the barcode already attached to a part. When parts arrive from the supplier to your stockroom, the stockroom manager will need to log all of the delivered parts. If you wish to benefit from real-time stock levels, those parts must be added to the system as and when they arrive.
A barcode scanner is the quickest way to check parts into the stockroom. Simply scan the barcode on the part to add it to the system. Through this method, you would be able to build an entire barcode library that matches up with your parts list. Ideally, stockroom managers will have access to a stock control barcode app on their smartphone. This means they can see all the parts due in and out from their mobile device without carrying a laptop around the stockroom. Stockroom managers would be able to check in hundreds of parts in just a matter of minutes with their barcode stock control app. It doesn’t get much more efficient than that.
Additionally, barcode scanning can help you identify unknown parts. For example, if you’ve found an old part, but you’re not sure what it is, you could simply scan the barcode and check the system record.
Track parts wherever they are
Managing the stockroom is only half of the problem. Stock control barcode software, with the ability to track multiple locations, allows you to track stock across all your stockrooms as well as engineer’s vans. Knowing which parts are in stock in your vans, which parts have been installed, and which have been requested from site allows you to comprehensively manage stock across all of your locations.
A reliable returns workflow
Without a reliable returns workflow, engineers will leave unused parts in the back of their van. These parts often get forgotten or broken and are unable to be used by other engineers. With the right stock control software, however, returns can be monitored and engineer’s can even be prompted to return unused parts to the stockroom.
Increased cash flow
Because stock control barcode software can stop your engineers unnecessarily ordering new parts, it can help improve your business’s cash flow. This allows you to reduce stockpiling and tying up money in stock, by making sure you always use existing stock first. Additionally, proper management of stock returns reduces the associated expenses of lost and damaged stock.
Improved customer experience
Real-time stock levels and a streamlined check in process can help improve customer service by letting you know if parts are available for a scheduled job. With the right data you can know in advance if parts will be ready in time for a job and can give the customer notice if the job may need to be delayed. No customer likes finding out on the day that the job cannot be completed.
Are you ready to implement stock control?
Not sure if your business is ready to implement stock control barcode software? Take a look at this infographic to see all the things you’ll need before getting started.
What is the best stock control barcode software?
If you’re looking to drive efficiency in your business with a new stock management system, consider Commusoft stock control, which is offered as part of our job management software. It handles the entire stock workflow from requesting and ordering parts, checking parts in and out of the stockroom, all the way through to returns and stock audits. It includes a stock control barcode app which allows stockroom managers to manage their daily tasks and quickly check in parts with a mobile barcode scanner. Learn more about Commusoft stock control.