Having a clear picture of your inventory is helpful at any moment in business. However, during the COVID-19 outbreak, knowing what you have in stock is more important than ever. During a pandemic with shipping delays and material shortages, you want to be able to clearly track what was ordered versus what was delivered. You also want to keep in close contact with suppliers so you know which materials you will be able to replenish and which items you might not be able to purchase for a while.
The better you are able to track your inventory during this time of potential shortages, the more strategic you can be about the inventory you assign to jobs. Proper inventory tracking processes can also help you as you stagger the field staff entering the warehouse to grab materials while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Whether you’re a simPRO customer wanting to manage your inventory more effectively or whether you simply want a better grasp on how inventory management works in the cloud, we encourage you to check out these tips on managing inventory in simPRO during COVID-19.
Tip #1 Run a remote inventory count
Many industries are experiencing supply chain disruptions during this time. By running an inventory count in simPRO, you can get a clear picture of which items you should stock up on to weather this coronavirus storm. Now more than ever, it’s important to know which of your materials are running low so you can quickly reorder and potentially even order more than usual.
Use the inventory count to make strategic decisions. If there are certain jobs you aren’t able to perform at this time, it may not make sense to stock up on the materials used for those jobs. Think through your inventory levels in advance so you have the correct amounts of materials based on the types of jobs you are completing more or less frequently.
Tip #2 - Easily access supplier catalogs to compare pricing
If your business primarily depends on one or two distributors, now may be the time to diversify your supply chain. In simPRO, you can easily import multiple supplier catalogs and compare prices to determine the best materials at the best cost for your jobs. View the simPRO Help Guide (a free learning resource) to learn which suppliers are available for you to access.
Tip #3 - Use mobile inventory management to keep field staff safe
Do your field staff make extra stops at a supply house to pick up materials they don’t have on hand? If your field staff know what they do or don’t have prior to a job, they can avoid those unnecessary stops and thus minimize the amount of times they are coming in contact with others. With simPRO Mobile, you can allocate certain materials to a job so your field technicians can see what materials are needed. Additionally, staff can record the materials they used on the job while in the field, so those materials can be reordered if necessary.
Tip #4 - Report on inventory value for a better picture of your profitability
Times of crisis are times where it’s important to do everything you can to keep your cash flow positive. As you are generating reports to determine profitability, you can also report on the value of your inventory. The Stock Value report in simPRO provides a snapshot view of the value of your inventory in stock, on order or assigned to a job at a specific date and with an assigned value.
For further reporting, simPRO integrates with several accounting packages to reconcile inventory journal transactions.
If you’re a simPRO customer and you’d like to learn more about how you can get the most out of our inventory management features, please reach out to our Customer Success team. If you’re interested in learning more about simPRO in general, visit our website.
For other field service management resources during the coronavirus outbreak, check out our COVID-19 Crisis Management Hub.