Like most industries, the field service management sector relies heavily on the supply chain, from production to delivery of parts and products. Assets that rely on a strong supply chain are often foundational to field service businesses. Unfortunately, most of what goes on in a supply chain is beyond the control of those businesses.
As we all have experienced, pandemics can heavily impact field service operations. So can more ordinary delays due to traffic, electrical outages, price increases, etc. Price increases in particular are often a result of far-reaching disruptions like natural disasters and international conflicts. While those factors aren’t controllable, there are some proactive ways field service businesses can minimize risk. One of the most effective is by using inventory management software. Here are the top three benefits of using inventory management software to build resilient supply chains.
Keeping tabs on what’s in stock can be a challenge for field service companies. They must track products or goods required by their business while they manage customers’ needs. Timing and inventory control are keys here — wait until the last minute to reorder a part and business may slow down or even stop. That’s where inventory management software comes into play.
Inventory management solutions allow field service leaders to track inventory in real-time, avoiding under- and overstocking. The most robust versions of inventory management software will allow users to set alarms when supply reaches a certain level. That alarm generates a notice to leadership to act, which could mean halting future orders to avoid unnecessary purchases or replenishing the supply immediately to dodge possible future delays.
The last thing any business wants to do is pay too much for something and have to pass that expense on to customers. When that happens, bottom lines can suffer and good customers may decide to move to a competitor. It’s a real risk for field service businesses that lack inventory management software.
Imagine you’re a national construction company that failed to plan around the recent California wildfires. Wood prices increased nationally as supplies decreased, leaving a grim outlook for the lumber industry. In order to get your wood as soon as possible, there were two unsavory options. The first is to pay a hefty rush fee on expedited shipping (assuming your vendor even has enough wood on hand to sell you), and the second is to hunt for new vendors with inflated prices. In either situation, you’ve spent more than you normally would. Inventory management modules can help field service businesses steer clear of these scenarios, empowering management to effectively plan and maintain a budget.
It’s easy to see how the implications of poor supply chain resiliency can impact the business’s financials. But there’s also a customer service element that can’t be overlooked. Let’s use our lawn maintenance company example for context. In this case, the business was forced to use a new vendor—one it had not used before—due to an inadequate fertilizer supply. What if it isn’t up to leadership’s standards when that fertilizer comes in? As a result, the company has to either use a product it doesn’t stand behind or put off fertilizing many of its clients’ yards.
It’s an uncomfortable dilemma and one that no business wants to encounter. However, it shouldn’t ever happen with inventory management software in place. Knowing exactly how many goods and products are in stock can help the business to deliver superior customer service year-round.
EnSight+ is a comprehensive field service management software solution that includes a built-in asset and inventory management module. We help businesses just like yours keep track of stock and streamline processes, providing full control and complete visibility into all assets. To see firsthand how the module works, book your demo today.
All monitored by you, in real time. Are you ready to take control?