Inventory Management Tools Your Contracting Business Can’t Do Without

When you run a business in the construction industry, you may have to manage a lot of available materials. If you spend a lot of your work time at jobsites or on the road, you might not be able to quickly check your warehouse. Inventory management is the key to keeping your business running smoothly. Here are a few tips to make it easier to choose the right kind of management tools for your business.

Real-Time Access and Updates
Some contractors have an office that they can visit each day to update inventory. Others spend virtually all of their time at the jobsite. These days, construction professionals need a system they can use from anywhere. Even if you’re not quite ready to go fully in the cloud, there’s still good reason to look for cloud-based systems that can update in real-time. That way, you don’t have to worry about counting your stock of materials before you give an estimate to each client. You can just bring up the information remotely and update it as needed. Then, you can head to your next consultation with the right data at your fingertips.

Allocation, Not Just Counting
If your contracting business is like a lot of companies, you have more than one project in the hopper at the same time. You have to balance all their needs together, and a good software system will make it easy. Resource allocation is so important to achieving this goal. Think about it this way: If you devoted the same money to various bills you need to pay, you’d end up going broke or running late on payments. You can’t thrive if you have to make assumptions based on the availability of resources and materials when you don’t really know for sure. The best tools will help you allocate your assets to various projects. That way, you can determine what’s available, what’s in use for a designated time, and when you need to make a new order.

Making Purchase Orders Anywhere, Anytime
Buying new equipment or materials for your contracting business isn’t always as quick as making a purchase on Amazon, but it can come pretty close. When you spend most of your time at client sites and may not even have an office to go to, being able to quickly generate a purchase order is paramount. Every administrative task you can do accurately and at a moment’s notice will tighten your workflow, which saves money. Many software tools allow you to start and complete a purchase order for your business remotely, with access to your financial information so you can be sure it works with your cash flow.

Automation for Small Things
Tracking inventory for a business that works in bits and nails can be a nightmare, or it could be a lot easier. When you know what you have and what you’ll need for a particular project, you can customize your inventory management to adjust the counts accordingly. No one wants to manually decrease the numbers on 25 different items for one task. Look for a tool that makes it easy for you to track your stock, with technology like barcode scanners that simplify the counting process. Keep these records in a tool that will adjust inventory based on the project, not just the item. You’ll save a lot more time and increase your accuracy, as well.

The cost of materials could be as much as half or more of your construction projects. This means that keeping track of what you’ve got and where it’s going is so important to your business success. The right tools and training make all the difference. To start your career as a contractor, visit CSLS today!