Staying on top of your inventory can be a challenge. Trying to keep track of all the inventory on individual trucks can be even more difficult. Trying to use a manual process to keep track of the inventory stored on vehicles can be exceptionally difficult for a variety of reasons. Using software to help manage truck inventory is an option that is more effective and frees up more time for employees to focus on other important tasks.
First, let’s look at the challenges of the manual method of keeping track of truck inventory, whether it’s a work truck in a small or large fleet involved in electrical, plumbing, HVAC, another trade vocation, or construction.
GETTING THE INFORMATION
The hardest part of tracking inventory on trucks is getting accurate information about the inventory itself. Unlike inventory sitting inside a warehouse, one can’t simply walk up and look through the stock. The trucks are moving around each day, so access to the inventory is extremely limited. This leaves it up to the technician or employee manning the truck to report back to the office what inventory is inside of the truck
KEEPING TRACK OF QUANTITY
Calculating how much material is on each truck can be difficult with so many moving parts. The trucks are moving around and so is the material. So, trying to get just a quick update on a certain material would require the office to contact the employee manning the truck to give a count. This takes the employee away from being able to work in the field and the office staff from performing other, more important, duties.
WHERE INVENTORY GOES
Since the trucks are at multiple locations each day, trying to stay on top of where materials are on certain trucks can be a nightmare. It would require an enormous amount of manual effort. Also, the rate at which materials are being used and or transferred from truck to warehouse also makes it a challenge.
Now, let’s look at some of the advantages of using software technology to handle truck inventory.
FAST AND ACCURATE
The biggest advantage of using software to manage truck inventory is that it streamlines the process and eliminates the need for manual processes. In the system, each truck is assigned to a specific employee. Users in the software can assign material to each truck so when the material is used and billed in the system, the materials are automatically removed from the truck’s inventory. Rather than having to call and ask how much of a particular material an employee has on their truck after a job or work day, the information can be easily looked up within the system. In fact, reports can be generated detailing the material on each truck.
STREAMLINES THE PROCESS
The process becomes simpler with Construction Accounting Software. Typically, to track the truck inventory, an employee from the front office would have to call the employee out in the field and inquire about materials. Another method would be the employee on the field would have to record on some form the materials and quantities on the truck then turn it in at some point. Both manual methods take time away from employees in the office and in the field. With Construction Accounting Software, everything can be done from the comfort of a computer, making the process smooth and fast. This frees up both employees in the office and in the field to focus on the jobs they are paid to do. Also, by switching to a digital method from a manual method, the amount of paper used can be cut down.
Contractors that have large truck fleets face the enormous task of trying to effectively manage inventory on the trucks. Every truck added to the fleet adds more work for the office and employees on the road. Taking advantage of technology like Construction Accounting Software to help manage these tasks can allows owners and workers alike to breathe a sigh of relief that all inventory on trucks is accounted for.
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Eric Goldstein is the president of C/F Data Systems. With over a quarter of a century of experience in the construction software arena, Goldstein has led C/F Data’s ongoing development of the company’s flagship solution, STRUCTURE. He began his career at ADP, and first joined the C/F Data System sales department in 1985 and was quickly promoted to vice president of sales. After sales positions with Timberline software and Textura, Goldstein returned as C/F Data’s president in 2009. For more, visit www.cfdatasystems.com.