Running a field service business requires a lot of inventory management and control, especially since the margins of error are tiny. Field service providers run the gamut from home service providers, HVAC providers, cable and utility companies, medical device manufacturers, and more.
Regardless of your industry, proper inventory management is the paramount in providing reliable service. If you stock way less than you need, you run the risk of delays or lost jobs. If you overstock, you could incur massive overhead costs and end up with less room on service vehicles for the parts customers need most often.
Accurate inventory control is, therefore, crucial in effectively managing field service work. When scheduling staff, for example, you need to have complete visibility into inventory levels to know if you have the parts required to complete the job. Field service technicians rely on central warehouses and truck inventories to plan for and complete their service calls. An inventory control system can help you gain better visibility and control of your inventory, from the warehouse to your service vehicles to the job site.
Without an inventory control system, operations can be inefficient, resulting in issues like overstocking, shrinkage, and ultimately, providing a poor customer experience.
Benefits of an inventory control system in field services
Here are the main advantages of using an inventory control system in your operations:
Accurate tracking of inventory items
Poor inventory management can lead to lost tools and parts, not to mention delays in completing jobs—resulting in wasted time and money. Inventory control allows you to tag and track all parts entering and moving through your inventory.
This gives you full control and visibility of each item during its entire lifecycle, so you immediately know whether or not you can send field workers to complete a particular project. Remote workers can also access and update most inventory systems in real time, allowing everyone to see accurate data every time.
Shifting from manual to automated management
If you’re still managing inventory manually, then you already know how tedious and time-consuming it can be. Additionally, manual tracking opens up more room for mistakes.
Inventory control systems allow you to automate tedious tasks, like purchasing, reordering, and invoicing—freeing up time to let you work on more critical tasks. You can set reorder levels on essential items, for instance, and the system will automatically reorder items once levels fall below your threshold.
Improve customer satisfaction
You can shift to a more customer-centric service model as you become more proactive with your inventory and work towards streamlining operations further. Communication issues are commonplace in the field service industry, mainly because there often has to be a lot of back-and-forth between customers, technicians, and operational staff at the home base.
Accurate asset management can provide much-needed transparency between team members, allowing them to communicate critical information to customers clearly.
Field service providers can definitely benefit from inventory control systems, especially when it comes to tracking moving parts and business-critical materials. Not only can businesses improve workflows through inventory management, but they can also increase customer satisfaction and enjoy higher revenues as a result.
If you are interested in learning how Fishbowl’s flexible inventory management solution can help your business now, you can book a demo.