We all love to conduct that annual inventory, right? Still running off sheets of seemingly endless paper that’s placed on a clipboard in order to manually tabulate and document parts?
Does conducting an inventory take extensive time from the workday just to count and research? Are there better ways we can make use of our time? Of course there are, but conducting inventory is a necessary component to any fleet management operation.
Don’t lose focus on the importance and impact of the inventory process. Ensuring a successful inventory operation takes planning to make the execution seamless and painless.
Got the Parts You Need?…
Having an incorrectly stocked inventory is not beneficial to any operation. Having underutilized parts and supplies (e.g., unmovable rocks and sticks unable to support their weight) take up space, are hard to move, and directly affect the department’s bottom line. Don’t randomly stock parts that might be needed or because a salesperson advises it.
Determine parts and supplies that are needed approximately 80% of the time in your shop’s operation. Pay attention to the items used most frequently such as fluids, filters, nuts, bolts, belts, etc. These items take top priority. Also, determine a list of emergency items. Although they may not be the top movers, if there are items that take top priority, protect yourself and stock as needed.
If the shop has implemented a preventive maintenance program, this dictates some of the most requested supply items. If a preventive maintenance program is not in place, let RTA show how effective and efficient your shop can become.
Determine supplies next in line that don’t move as fast as your “top” list and then, as space allows, stock those. Unless it is an emergency item, try not to have lesser moving parts on hand. Order those when needs arise.
…Now Track It!
Once an accurate inventory picture has been determined, be sure suppliers can get the items delivered when you need them. Have a fool-proof tracking system in place to maintain and analyze inventory. Manually handling inventory allows plenty of opportunity for miscounts and errors.
Implementing a barcode scanning system eliminates much of this unnecessary data loss and is 20 times faster and much more accurate than manual entry. Never run out of parts with an effective tracking system.
Know in real time what inventory balances are. Determine parts usage by work order. What about parts failure analyses? Where in the part’s lifecycle has the part failed? Is there a pattern developing? And, what about warranties? Are you able to track full-circle your part’s warranties?
Still using spreadsheets? Don’t get bogged down with pen and paper, there are more efficient operations available. RTA’s Paperless Shop allows any inventory system to become much more efficient and up-to-date. Create and assign work orders, instantly post parts to jobs, keep up with labor costs and more. Eliminate the paper and go paperless!
Utilizing RTA’s barcoding solution for inventory management provides restock notifications, vendor performance tracking, cycle counts, spot checking, and overall inventory tracking. Know instantly the lowest usage parts, parts usage by vendor, parts activity and inventory balances.
How often are inventories conducted? At a minimum, they must be performed annually. Some clients perform successful and painless inventories on a much more frequent basis ensuring an accurate year-end analysis.
Barcoding significantly reduces the time spent conducting inventory. Don’t lose a week’s worth of productivity taking inventory manually. With RTA’s Tri-Coder system, complete inventory within a few short hours vs. a full week! Utilize the Dashboard function within RTA to track parts scanning. Conduct frequent inventories so the end-of-year process runs smoother.
What’s Your Back-Up Plan?
Now that improved processes and procedures are in place to accurately manage your inventory, it’s a great idea to have a back-up plan. What safeguards are in place to maintain inventory accuracy and prevent data loss?
Although an unfortunate circumstance, it is possible to lose data say due to a fire, human error, or even hacking. Protecting your data through RTA’s cloud hosting plan is a viable and effective solution to prevent data loss from many unfortunate factors. Hosting allows for off-site storage of your data. Data is kept in real time and managed by the client without interruption to the operation.
Let RTA do the work. Eliminate the need to provide system maintenance, routine back-ups, security and support updates. RTA offers unparalleled support and assumes necessary updates, back-ups, and more. Reduce the chance of data corruption and experience increased security and hacking protection of your data while on RTA’s hosted system.
Effective Inventory Management Is a Must
Efficient and effective inventory management is a must for any business. A solid inventory tracking and management system keeps a firm handle on any inventory regardless of how many vehicles and at which locations they are being managed.
Organizing an inventory and improving its efficiency can be daunting tasks. With great fleet management software, these goals are readily attainable.
Experience the difference of RTA’s fleet management software. Software designed with inventory management in mind.
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