Part of the problem with success is that it can catch you unaware. You go from one construction job to two, then four, then six, and suddenly you’re still a small business, but a lot bigger than you really know how to handle. You need to keep your supply chain moving smoothly, supplying all your worksites with enough material to stay on time and within budget, and as a growing business, you can’t afford to leave it up to guesstimates. So, how do you prepare for success?
Get the Data
Field data collection challenges can seem overwhelming, and out of your price range as a small business, which is why it makes sense to work with something easy to use and scalable as you grow. You need to get your data fresh from your jobsites, your repair vehicles, or any place that your inventory happens to be. With mobile data collection solutions – FreD is a download that goes on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet – you have a real time picture of your supplies on hand, schedules and projects, and other important metrics that keep you updated on current status and needs.
Inventory is Money
The naked truth about inventory is that it’s not just stuff. Inventory is a type of overhead that exceeds the cost to acquire it. How? Think about it this way:
- Order and have the inventory shipped. (Capital expenditure: Cost + shipping + tariffs/duties)
- Land and get the inventory to your warehouse. (Transportation cost)
- Unload, unpack, receive, enter into inventory, and place in warehouse. (Labor cost)
- Hold in warehouse, service inventory via distribution to job sites or service vehicles, maintain, and count inventory.(Warehouse overhead + labor costs.)
- Inventory stagnates, lying unused on sites or in vehicles. (Capital tied up.)
- Liquidate when inventory becomes obsolete, expires, or is damaged. (Net loss via write-offs or write-downs.)
When you implement field data collection, you know not only the items needed for frequent use, but those that are taking up space. While every construction oriented business needs to keep come inventory on hand, you don’t need to overstock and tie up much-needed capital. Field reporting software takes the guesswork out of what you have, where it is, and whether or not it’s being used.
Three Quick Facts About Inventory
- Supply Chain Management magazine points out that a one-day power outage in China can cause shortages downstream months after the fact. You need to be as flexible as possible in your sourcing.
- Excess and obsolete inventory can cost as much as 25 percent of inventory value per year, according to Industrial Supply magazine.
- Understand your KPI – these in a paper from the University of LeHavre; page 4 table 1 – and how to measure your ability to meet them.
Meet the Challenge
Using field service management software, you can meet the challenge efficiently, with a minimum of training, and evaluate your supply chain and labor costs. You’ll also be able to manage work orders, assign jobs on-the-go, and customize your workflow with CRM, ERP, and accounting apps. Get your operation into the cloud with FReD, and watch your bottom line take off!
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