Inventory is an integral part of proposals, quotes, installation and service functions for any security alarm dealer. Having your inventory integrated with how you manage the other parts of your business can save you time and money.
When inventory is not integrated with your workflow, you can lose time and money to inefficiency. For example:
- You have to manually add inventory items and prices to your quotes, invoices and service tickets.
- Your techs don’t have all the parts needed for a job, resulting in expensive tech ‘go backs’ and customer frustration.
- Inventory does not have current unit price and average unit cost, so you cannot track profitability.
Security alarm dealers use inventory in a number of ways and as you consider workflow you will want to think through your business needs and the level of detail you require. A few questions to consider:
- Do you want to keep a detailed list of equipment so that you can easily select items to include on quotes, invoices, and service tickets?
- Do you want to include inventory items on your service tickets to make sure your techs have all the parts they need for the job?
- Do you need to track equipment in multiple locations? For example, if you have parts at the office as well as in your technician trucks, do have a real-time view of those part counts?
- Do you order kits and sell them as a kit, or do you order kits (for the discount) but store the component parts separately? Do you create your own assembly of parts and sell them as a package?
- Do you want to provide part images and detailed descriptions on parts when quoting your services?
- Do you want to keep track of equipment installed in each of your customers’ accounts and be able to record serial numbers or other data?
- Do you offer different price levels for different types of customers?
When you have identified your unique inventory tracking and management needs you will want to review systems that integrate inventory into key workflows. Systems like Version 39, allow security alarm dealers to build and manage inventory specific to their needs. Dealers can track categories of equipment, manage multi-location inventory and add vendors for easy PO creation.
When inventory is integrated into how you work, you can keep track of parts on hand, as well as equipment installed in each of your customers’ systems. Having precise information allows you to deliver better customer service and saves you from unnecessary rework.
How are you tracking and managing inventory? If you want to see how Cornerstone’s system can help in this process, give me a call at 847-405-9517, x 2.