Whether you work as an independent plumber, run a local plumbing business, or work for a large plumbing company, you already know just how important proper inventory management is to your business. That’s because plumbers in particular rely on quick, efficient, high-quality service calls, installations, and appointments to remain profitable and maintain a top-notch reputation.
Many plumbers turn to Sortly’s inventory management app to help them organize their inventory and establish proper inventory control practices across their teams. Here’s how our customers in the plumbing industry use the Sortly app to streamline inventory management and solve some of the most common frustrations they face, day in and day out.
With Sortly, plumbers can…
1. Know exactly what inventory is on hand
Sortly is a visual inventory app. That means it doesn’t just tell you what your business has in stock; it shows you. With the help of high-resolution images, customizable details, and the ability to add attachments and documents to every item, Sortly allows you an expansive view of every last item you have on hand.
This inventory list can be extremely useful if your business stocks items that have similar names, stores inventory across multiple locations, or keeps a sizable amount of inventory on trucks or other vehicles in your company’s fleet.
While a spreadsheet may work as an inventory list at first, it has limitations. For example, uploading photos, attaching documents, and keeping detailed records can be quite difficult on a spreadsheet. But on an inventory app like Sortly, these actions are either intuitive or happen automatically.
2. Set customized alerts for low stock and end-of-warranty dates
Many Sortly customers make good use of our customizable reminders and alerts, including our Plumbing customers. This feature allows customers to set expiration dates, warranty end dates, low stock alerts, and more for every part in their inventory.
For example, if you usually have five toilet flappers in stock on every truck, you can set an alert that reminds you when that number falls below a given threshold. You could set it at five, but many customers set it a bit higher, so they have plenty of time to order and replenish stock. You decide who gets notified, when, and whether by email or in-app notification.
These alerts also help customers set reminders for scheduled maintenance.
3. Streamline billing processes
From estimates to purchase orders to invoices, plumbers have a fair amount of accounting work to handle. Many of our plumbing customers use Sortly to keep track of what parts, supplies, and materials are being used at certain jobs.
For example, Bilo Plumbing & Heating creates a folder for each active job. When an item leaves the warehouse for a job, the team relocates that item to the job-specific folder. When it’s time to bill the customer, there’s already a paper trail of what inventory was used to complete the project.
Related: 6 Top Invoicing Tips for Construction Professionals
4. Place more accurate orders—faster
Sortly offers customers a quick, accurate glance at everything they have on hand, allowing them to shave time off every aspect of their ordering process. From counting inventory to double-checking backstock stored offsite, an organized, detail-rich inventory list makes a world of difference.
But there’s more to placing complete, thorough orders than saving time. You can actually save money by ordering the optimal amount of inventory every time—and avoid costly stockouts and delays. By leaning on Sortly to inform your ordering, you’ll practice better inventory control. It’s better for you and better for your customers.
5. Customize how your inventory system works
Because no business operates in exactly the same way, Sortly allows its customers to fine-tune their approach to inventory management. Create a hierarchy of folders that makes sense for your team, then customize meaningful tags and categories for the items in your inventory.
Many businesses like to create folders for different locations, then add subfolders for different storage areas within those locations. Additional information (for instance, an item’s exact location, condition, or SKU number) can be specified within the item details.
6. Use barcodes and QR codes to speed up inventory processes
With the help of Sortly’s in-app barcode and QR code scanner, plumbers can instantly check items in and out, verify stock levels, or speed up large inventory counts. Best of all, they can do it from any location using a smartphone or tablet. It saves our Plumbing customers time from having to search for specific parts and, when used for re-usable assets like equipment and tools, can create a record of who had what, when, and in what condition.
Barcodes and QR codes can also help you maintain a perpetual inventory—the term for an always up-to-date inventory list—by allowing you to update your inventory levels every time an item arrives or is consumed. If your inventory already has a barcode or QR code, you can simply sync it with an item in your Sortly inventory. If you have unlabeled inventory, use Sortly’s barcode or QR code generator to create a custom code. You can print it using label paper and a regular printer. It’s easy to set up a barcode or QR code system in the Sortly app and start using it within minutes—or you can easily connect existing barcodes and QR codes to your items in Sortly.
7. Track inventory from anywhere, using any device
Plumbers are rarely in one place for very long. But with Sortly, our customers can always carry an up-to-date inventory list with them wherever they go. This comes in handy when planning routes, answering service calls, or double-checking whether a nearby truck might have the part one of your plumbers needs before sending them across town to buy it at retail price.
8. Create the in-depth reports your business needs
Our customers in the plumbing industry use Sortly not just to track inventory, but to help them create detail-rich reports used in every aspect of their business. These reports can help you get a head start on your inventory audits, improve how you forecast demand, provide numbers and figures for your balance sheet, and even assist your accountant in claiming depreciation on certain assets.
Sortly allows you to filter and customize each report, so you can decide what data you want to include—essentially any data you’ve stored in the Sortly app can be added to the report, including price, value, item quantities, custom tags, and more. Then, you can export the report as a PDF or CSV and share it with the right people on your team.
Experience the simplest inventory management software.
Sortly is a top-rated inventory app perfect for plumbing companies of all shapes and sizes. If you’re looking for a more efficient way to track inventory, Sortly’s powerful automation features can help you do just that. From barcode and QR code scanning to low stock alerts, there’s no shortage of ways for Sortly to help you get organized for good.
Ready to give Sortly a try? Unlock a free, two-week trial of our premium features today.