Inventory can be the backbone of a good customer management system. At the basic level, inventory is used to maintain a list of parts you sell along with a description of each part, the selling price and your cost. Advanced inventory management may include physical stock counts (on hand, on order, short on tickets), multiple warehousing, truck inventory, kit assemblies, multiple price levels, purchase orders and delivery receipt, and recording items installed in a subscriber location.
Useful in managing inventory is what is often referred to as “Kit Assemblies”. This is where you can assign a number of components that are to be included when the ‘master’ component is sold. Kit Assemblies can be packages of parts that you buy as a group from a Vendor or they can be a list of parts that you typically include in a system.
For example, you typically sell a protection system consisting of:
1 alarm panel
2 smoke detectors
2 door contacts
2 Motion detectors
2 Key fobs
You can make up a ‘master’ part in the inventory file. This part would then have a list of the above components as its ‘Kit’. Whenever you select the Kit part number on a quote, service ticket or an invoice, the components you assigned will automatically be entered onto the equipment list for you and bring the corresponding price/cost so that you can look at your profitability.
Using kit assemblies can reduce the amount of time it takes to create a quote, ticket or invoice, especially if you tend to sell the same types of systems to your customers. You can simply begin with that Kit and increase or decrease the component parts for your specific customer’s needs.
In Cornerstone’s integrated customer management system, inventory is a connecting thread from prospect to customer installation through ongoing servicing, recurring billing, and relationship management of your customer base.
Featured image photo By Axisadman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons