Construction companies and service providers— whether they are general contractors, subcontractors of trades, plumbers, roofers, electricians, or even exterminators— offer skilled and on-demand assistance to their clients. Regardless of the type of work these companies provide, they certainly have one thing in common: they need valuable materials, tools and equipment to get their respective projects done.
If you own a construction company or an employee in one, there’s a high chance that you’re frustrated with the conventional way of tracking all your materials or supplies. Some tools are stored right on your truck; other inventories are in the warehouse. More materials are kept in stock on the job site, but even more stuff might be stored in the second project location. That brings us to this general question: How do you know where all your construction inventory is?
Maybe you’re just used to committing it to memory. Or you use general business management software that’s confusing, expensive, and full of useless features that do not apply to construction at all. Or maybe you’ve made a conventional Excel spreadsheet that’s been emailed around your team, but only a few stakeholders how to use and read the contents, with no certainty who owns the file with the most up-to-date version.
In this blog, we will expound on the signs that you and your company might need construction inventory software—this might be the sign that you need.
What Is Inventory Management?
Before we move on to the signs of why an inventory management software is essential to a company, let’s first have a quick refresher of what it is in the first place in the simplest definition possible.
Construction inventory management is the process of tracking, ordering, sorting, organizing, and using your company’s inventory. Whether you stock raw building materials, light or heavy-duty tools, or even the most essential item in your inventory list, adopting an optimized inventory management platform made for construction professionals is key to keeping your company running successfully and profitably.
While inventory management may look overwhelming at first glance, selecting a consistent system to track all your company’s stuff can save you a considerable amount of money, time, and even unnecessary stress. Keep in mind that there are already various modern construction tools and technology that can cut the house off your daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual conventional inventory processes.
1. You Are Having A Hard Time Keeping Track of Your Ever-Changing Inventory
Every waking day, trucks loaded fill of building materials zip across town to deliver shipments on-site or to service customers. For many, it is nearly impossible to plan and predict the materials they will need on any given day. Due to this, many electrical and plumbing subcontractors often bring a little bit of everything with them each morning when they head off to work.
If an electrician runs out to his car to check for a specific item only to realize that he’s out of stock, then he will most likely disappoint his client and waste his and his company’s resources. And if a plumber uses the last of her pipes on a busy day, she might forget to re-order more one when she’s already having dinner at home. These scenarios not only show unprofessionalism it also reflects the image of the company they work with.
Cloud-based inventory management software makes it easier to know what items are lacking with just a click of a button, where you are in the office, on the jobsite, or on the road. You can also effortlessly update the inventory count anytime and anywhere and set automatic notification reminders to re-order a given item when the stock is running low.
2. You Don’t Know What You Have In Your Inventory and Where It Is
Is the box of nails in the company’s warehouse, your truck, or some other employee’s van? Without a solid and reliable construction inventory system, it cannot be easy to guess what specific items are located.
Know the what and the where of your inventory and how much you have with a user-friendly inventory platform that saves you precious time instead of wasting it. A mobile inventory management application allows you to instantly find your items in one place, monitor who has what and track current stock levels of all your inventory items at hand.
3. You Spend A Huge Amount of Time Searching, Counting, and Tracking Items
As a construction professional, your day is already long enough with doing your responsibilities on a daily. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with not knowing what’s inventory item is on hand and not. Then it might be more efficient to look into a sound inventory management system that can turn this dilemma into something automated for you and the rest of your team.
This is mainly for project managers and site supervisors who need to spend little to no time counting inventory items available in the warehouse. Why burn hours of your day searching, counting, and tracking items when you can update your online inventory software where ever and whenever you please?
Once you’ve already set up your new inventory management tool, you will never have to invent your time wondering where and how many your inventory stock is. You will just be needing to make slight adjustments straight from your mobile device as supplies arrive and shipments depart.
4. You Throw Away Money Buying Items You Forgot You Already Own
Most construction companies don’t like to spend a single dollar more than necessary, and why should they?
When you know where your inventory is and its current quantity count, you won’t nervously re-order construction items “just in case” you run out. You will be able to confidently place orders for only the things your company needs, which means money to advertise your business, improve your operational processes, or hire new and good employees. Your mobile inventory application will even notify you when the stocks are low.
5. You Can’t Afford to Designate and Employee to Handle Inventory Management
Some construction companies are only starting or regarded as small businesses, making it impossible for their management to hire an employee to keep track of all your company’s stuff. Surprisingly, construction inventory software can manage all your supplies at a fraction of the cost of hiring a new employee. Moreover, this new construction tool requires no special training to master— any employee can learn how to use the software right away.
6. You Tried a Manual Inventory System, But It Was Expensive, and The Features Are Useless
If you’re running an electrical company, why does your inventory system feel and looks like it was designed for another industry altogether? The truth is, many inventory management platforms, even if they do manage to keep you organized, are often unnecessarily expensive, complex, and not cut for construction professionals at all.
In light of this, you might consider switching to a mobile inventory system that is cloud-based, easy to sync, collaborative, accessible, and most importantly, free from all the complex features that make inventory overwhelming and unbearable for your and the rest of your team.
7. You Tried to keep Track of Your Inventory Using The Infamous Excel Spreadsheet, But It’s Not Working
Whether you’re an Excel wizard or just a beginner who is just trying to come up with basic charts. It’s probably evident to you that coming up with an “inventory spreadsheet” to keep track of all your supplies is not the solution you need to keep your company stays organized. It can be considered a band-aid solution to get all your inventory together quickly, but it’s not reliable in the long run.
There is a long list of drawbacks of using a conventional and old-fashioned spreadsheet, with the following as the common reasons:
- Not intuitive.
- Difficult to open, read, and update on mobile phones.
- Impossible to sync when on the road.
- Hard for multiple people to collaborate on a specific file at once.
- Doesn’t display necessary information on the get-go.
Save you and your company money, time, and stress by upgrading to a cloud-based construction inventory management system and avoid all the unnecessary complications of the traditional inventory methods. Soon, you will be able to open a mobile application straight on your mobile phone for a quick snapshot of all the items you have on hand and where it is at any given moment whenever, where ever.
Start Managing Your Construction Inventory Today
Ready to take control of your inventory once and for all? You can get started with Pro Crew Schedule today! Our top-rated construction management application that features an inventory management page— which works on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers—is designed to get you organized in minutes.
Sign up now and get a 30 days free trial of the all-in-one construction scheduling software.