Small Business

7 Signs You May Need A Construction Inventory Management Software

August 30, 2017 • 6 min read

7 Signs You May Need A Construction Inventory Management Software System

Contractors and services providers offer skilled, on-demand assistance to homeowners, tenants, landlords and property managers. These service providers—whether they are general contractors, electricians, plumbers, roofers, landscapers or exterminators—all have one thing in common: they use lots of valuable materials to get their jobs done.

If you yourself are a busy service provider, then there’s a good chance you’re frustrated with how you keep track of all those supplies. Some inventory is stored right on your truck; other items in your toolbag. More materials are kept in stock at the company’s headquarters, but even more stuff might be in storage at a second location. How do you know where all of your inventory is?

Maybe you just try to commit it to memory. Or you use a fancy business management software that’s expensive, confusing and full of useless features. Or maybe you’ve made an Excel spreadsheet that’s been emailed around, but only a few employees know how to read and use the spreadsheet and it’s impossible for anyone to tell which version is actually up-to-date.

Read on to discover seven signs that you and your business might benefit from simple, on-the-go mobile inventory management software.

1. Your Ever-Changing Inventory Seems Impossible to Keep Track Of—Especially on The Road

A worker references his tablet while working out of a truck.

Everyday, trucks loaded full of supplies zip across town to service customers. For many service providers, it’s nearly impossible to predict which materials they’ll need to do their jobs on a given day. So electricians and exterminators and plumbers often take a little bit of everything with them each morning.

If an electrician runs out to his van to check for a certain wire only to realize he’s out, then he disappoints his customer and wastes his and his company’s time and money. And if a plumber uses the last of her water filters on a busy day, she might forget by the time she gets home for dinner that she needs to reorder more.

Mobile inventory management makes it easy to know what items are where with the click of a button, whether you’re in the shop or on the road. You can also painlessly update inventory counts from anywhere and set automatic reminders to reorder a given item when inventory gets too low.

2. You’re Overwhelmed by Not Knowing What You Have and Where It Is

Is that box of flared tube fittings in your shop, your van or some other employee’s truck? Without a solid inventory system, it can be hard to guess and even harder to know for sure.

Understand what’s where and how much of it you’ve got with a user-friendly inventory system that saves you time instead of wasting it. A good mobile inventory management system will allow you to instantly see all your items in one place, verify who has what and check current stock levels.

3. You Waste Valuable Time Tracking, Counting and Searching for Items

A plumber works in a bathroom with tools and piping.

Your day is long enough driving from one client’s property to the next’s. If you find yourself heading back to headquarters to figure out exactly what’s on hand far too often, then it might be time to look into an inventory management system that can make this process easier on you and your team.

This is especially true for service providers who really need to spend little to no time in-shop on most workdays. Why head back to the office when you can update your cloud-technology enabled inventory from your truck, your job site or even your own couch?

Once you’re all setup with a good mobile inventory management system, you’ll never have to invest hours of your time counting supplies again. You’ll just make tiny adjustments here and there as shipments arrive and supplies depart or are used up. Plus, tools like scanners will make even the initial inventorying process easy and accurate.

4. You Throw Away Money Purchasing Items You Forgot You Owned

Most service providers don’t like to spend a single penny more than what’s necessary, and why should they?

When you know where all your stuff is and how much of it you have, you won’t nervously overorder expensive supplies “just in case”. You’ll confidently place orders for only the materials you really need, which means more money to advertise to new clients, improve your fleet or hire a new employee. Your mobile inventory app will even alert you when stock is low, products are expiring or items need to be returned or replaced.

5. You Can’t Afford A Designated Employee to Handle Inventory

Many service providers are either self-employed or work for a small business. These businesses typically cannot hire somebody just to keep track of all their stuff. And why should they? Surprisingly inexpensive, cutting-edge mobile inventory management systems can manage all those supplies at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.

What’s more, modern mobile inventory management systems require no special training. There’s no special hardware and anyone can learn how to use the app right away.

6. You Tried a Traditional Inventory System, But It Was Expensive and Full of Useless Features

If you’re running a local pest control company, why does your inventory system look and feel like it was designed for an automotive plant? The truth is that many inventory management systems—even if they do help you stay somewhat organized—are often unnecessarily complex and expensive.

Consider switching to a mobile inventory system that’s collaborative, easy to sync, accessible anywhere and free of pricy-but-pointless features.

7. You Keep Track of Things on a Spreadsheet to Save Money, and It’s Not Working

A business owner talks on the phone while reviewing paperwork.

Whether you’re a wiz at Excel or just trying to get by with a simple little chart, it’s probably become clear to you that a thrown-together spreadsheet isn’t helping your company stay lean and organized.

There are a lot of drawbacks to using old-fashioned spreadsheets, which are usually:

  • Not intuitive at all
  • Difficult to access, read, and update from smartphones
  • Nearly impossible to sync when on the road
  • Hard for multiple users to collaborate on at once
  • Not intended to send reminders, display pictures or provide other helpful information

Save yourself time, money, and stress by upgrading to a mobile inventory management system. Soon, you’ll be able to simply open an app on your phone for an accurate snapshot of what you’ve got and where it is at any given moment, whether you’re on a jobsite, stuck in traffic or ordering supplies remotely.

Sortly inventory management software is shown on a tablet, laptop and phone.

Sortly is a super-simple inventory system and asset tracking system that lets you visually manage all of your company’s stuff. Our intuitive (and less maddening) app enables your team to track just about everything from anywhere and gives your business instant access to inventory details like item location, stock level, price and condition and any other details..

Sortly is intuitive; we built it to be up-and-running in minutes–so you can spend less time inventorying and more time businessing.

Visit our website to learn more or try Sortly free for 14-days.