Streamlining Inventory Management For The Electrical Contractor
The residential construction industry is a unique business that relies on a vast number of critical materials and equipment. Combine that complexity with lean industry-wide profit margins and it is clear that inventory management is one of the most important factors in the financial success of any residential construction contractor.
Importance of Inventory Management In Electrical
Within the residential building field, electrical contractors face some of the most sophisticated material sourcing needs. Not only do they need extensive equipment and hundreds of items per job, but they also need to schedule multiple tasks at different stages of each project. Each of these tasks needs its own materials and equipment to be on-site at just the right time. And with schedules subject to change due to a multitude of external factors or delays by other trades, timing can be a moving target and a critical factor.
In addition, many electrical contractors now offer security and smart home installations as a secondary division to their main electrical install, increasing the numbers and complexity of products that need to be acquired and making tracking individual items an important capability.
Streamlining Inventory Management
As an electrical contractor, you need to be able to ensure that materials and equipment are there when and where your crews need them while minimizing inventory investments and carrying costs. Today, you can look to a software solution developed specifically for the residential building industry to help you streamline and optimize your inventory management. The right software can protect your profitability and help your field operations run more smoothly. To help you accomplish these goals, your software should include certain important functionalities.
Features To Look For
- Resource Tracking — In construction, inventory tracking can be important. Your software should enable you to track individualized serialized units such as main panels, smart homes and security-related items from the day they are received in your warehouse to the day they are installed and beyond. You should be able to tell, in real-time, where a unit is, where it is going and when it will get there. With information on individual units at your fingertips, including model and make, date and location of installation, service issues, warranty period, etc., you can be well prepared for warranty work, too. Tracking can also help eliminate unexplained inventory losses.
- Inventory Listing — An electrical inventory list can give you accurate information on the types and quantities of materials you have on hand. You can create requisitions for the materials needed for a specific job, expense those materials to that job and create a picklist for the warehouse. Accurate inventory lists can also help you prepare more efficiently for future jobs. They help you see what and how much you need for different kinds of jobs and determine the right stock levels for each item. An automated record of past purchases helps you reorder when appropriate and avoid running out of items or keeping too many in stock. It can also help you analyze which suppliers have the best prices and on-time delivery records.
- Purchase Order Solutions — An order processing system can enable you to translate Builder PO item references and intentions into a ready-to-order Bill of Materials. A click of the button should be all that’s required to prepare POs and order drop-shipping to one or multiple sites, for delivery on a single date or at multiple points in the construction schedule. You should have the option to send POs automatically at scheduled points in the process or on-demand.
- Material Specification Solutions For Job Estimates — Accurate estimating is critical to your profitability. If your software tracks the usage and costs of different types of supplies by individual project and project type, this information will help your staff prepare accurate estimates for future jobs. They will have specifications and prices right at their fingertips that can be easily transferred into new estimates.
- Change Order Facilitation — Change orders are a fact of life in residential construction. With all of your information and paperwork in one place, it’s quicker and easier to order new parts, re-schedule or re-route deliveries of equipment or materials and verify that you have made all changes as requested.
Benefits Of An Inventory Management Software
An inventory management software system with these important features can make life easier for you, your office staff and your field crews, by:
- Keeping projects on schedule and avoiding the waste of labor hours due to delays
- Ensuring project profitability by improving estimates and helping you operate within them
- Saving time by reducing redundant computer entries
- Optimizing inventory investments
- Reducing loss
Looking For Additional Ways To Streamline?
No matter how you operate your Electrical business, streamlining inventory management is important. Inventory management software for the construction industry that includes tracking, real-time and historical reporting, procurement solutions and easy integration with other project management and accounting software can be an effective solution for companies of all sizes.
SupplyPro GM is cloud-based construction software that enables you to manage residential projects from work order creation through approvals and payments, with visibility and consistency. Feature-rich and built for mobility, this effective contractor and supplier software gives you real-time information and control in every part of your business, so you can increase productivity, profits and builder satisfaction.
Learn more about how SupplyPro GM can help you manage your Electrical operations more effectively or schedule a demo today.