Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    5

    Question

    Anyone have any inventory tips? We have software that we enter what we receive and take out what the installers list on the material list, but we can never seem to keep things accurate.
    I don't know if they are guessing on what they use or what. This month we had negitive quantities on foil flex and duct board boots.
    Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Use a foreman or leadman to check out what materials are used and what is leftover.
    Someone responsible. Not an installer. Not unless that installer happens to take ownership of his work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    102
    one company i new,used a shop boy.He would deliver/pu parts/materials to differeant job sites.In the mornings,the installation crews would p/u material from the shop and sign for them.The shop guy would know the amount of material in the shop,and advice the office when running low.The office would also screen pre-apprentices this way to see if ther on the ball and then begin training them. He would also be used for bull work when needed.

    Speaking of ivnentory,what about the suppliers,after hours.
    ive yet to see a supplier's guy on call with a labtop computer.If you need a part,to get equipment up and running,and page/phone the guy on call,sometimes hes not sure of he has it in stock.and will waste my time,and the customers,if he arrives at his parts house and doesnt have it.We stock a few after hours parts,but cannot stock every thing. I think a laptop tied in to the parts counter computer,wuld be good.This way they can tell you whats in stock over the phone.right away.

    just curious if any one knows a supplier that does this

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Ft.Worth,Tx
    Posts
    4,581
    Originally posted by suter
    Anyone have any inventory tips? We have software that we enter what we receive and take out what the installers list on the material list, but we can never seem to keep things accurate.
    I don't know if they are guessing on what they use or what. This month we had negitive quantities on foil flex and duct board boots.
    Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.
    I would get an inventory of all installation parts and fill out material sheet with job # to insure that every item that was used on that job is billed out for that job.
    Sometimes the installation crews will run short of ductwork because they had to move a register because of plumbing or some other obstruction. They also might be taking leaving a few items on the job as they are tired and just don't pick up everything after they have finished. Then it gets dumped by the builder's clean up crew before they sheetrock. Seen it happen alot.
    "Everyday above ground, is a good day".
    "But everyday that you have made a difference in someones life, may insure you stay above ground a little longer".<aircooled>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    173
    ACC - i have heard about some large companies taking supplier loyalty to another level by buying into their computer system to have such information

    I think as time goes on, more and more distributors will feel the pressure to be open later or to have have after hours parts pickup, locally I know Grainger does and so does Carrier, so far though, we haven't called them at 3 in the morning for anything

    Liability reasons may be why contractors dont have access to parts inventory at the distributor level, it would be very easy for certain individuals to destroy this valuable information

    Frankly, I wish there was a distributor open past 5 pm on weekdays, and open all day Saturday, but so far ...

  6. #6

    Talking Welcome to my world

    <<Anyone have any inventory tips? We have software that we enter what we receive and take out what the installers list on the material list, but we can never seem to keep things accurate.
    I don't know if they are guessing on what they use or what. This month we had negitive quantities on foil flex and duct board boots.
    Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.>>
    -----------------------

    We have been working on our Inventory system for several months now, and it's been quite the experience.

    Our company does HVAC, Plumbing, Minor Electrical and Appliance repair. We have 15 trucks and each truck averages about 200 different parts. Several of our guys can do it all and they carry more like 3-400 different parts at any given time.

    Needless to say, we couldnt' do it without a fairly decent computer system. We bought a Wasp Barcode printer and a couple of handheld scanners, which is really nice. Everything that sits still for more than a few minutes gets a barcode and a part number (Technicians included)!

    Anyway...if you're just starting out, the biggest thing you want to do is to keep your parts numbering system as simple as possible. Don't get cute with your numbers, or try to reinvent the wheel...you'll definitely regret it down the road. We use the manufacturer's part number as much as possible.

    We use ESC for our inventory (and everything else), and you have the ability to enter Manufacturer's name, preferred supplier, part description, etc. That stuff really comes in handy when you're looking up a part because ESC lets you search by description, part number, manufacturer and/or category.

    Every morning I run a reorder report, which shows me what parts a tech has used, then I pull the part, put it on a purchase order and give the parts to the tech. The parts are kept locked up, and if somebody needs something extra for a big job or install, I can get them fixed up, no problem. When the tech uses a part off their truck, they peel the sticker off the part and put it on the back of their copy of the invoice. We use "piggyback" labels, which are a 2 layer label...sort of like double sided tape.

    Although most things are accounted for in our system, we don't barcode every sheetmetal screw or even pipe (yet). Shop supplies like thumb gum, tape, t-stat wire, etc. aren't tracked (waste of time). We do, however, keep track of refrigerant via barcode. When somebody needs a new jug of R-22, we give them a sheet with 40 stickers on them. Each sticker represents 1 lb. of refrigerant. You use a pound of juice, you put 1 sticker on back of your invoice, and everybody's happy. To get another jug, just bring me the sheet from your old tank, and I can tell how much refrigerant you actually billed to the customer. Techs who turn a sheet with only 15 labels used are accused of doing side jobs and shot. :-)

    Well, enough rambling...give me a whistle if I can help.

  7. #7
    How do you get the WASP barcode scanners to talk to your
    ESC software? Is it able to update inventory in ESC?
    Thanks for your help!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    146
    Originally posted by R12rules
    Use a foreman or leadman to check out what materials are used and what is leftover.
    Someone responsible. Not an installer. Not unless that installer happens to take ownership of his work.
    Old dude says use someone reposible (NOT a installer). Thats right - just treat your installers like crap, what good are they anywny.


    Lighten up Gramps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,403
    I'm just an installer, so take this as what it's worth :-p hehe

    Keeping everything accessable and somewhat visable (or at least organized) really really helps! Our warehouse gets so cluttered and piled full of junk, 9 times out of 10 you don't know whats in there, so you just go buy more.

    I like the idea of the sticky lables though. Also, don't forget to write the prices (either your cost or customer cost) on the box's. Saves time looking through catologs or invoices trying to see how much to charge.

  10. #10
    Originally posted by anonymous
    Originally posted by R12rules
    Use a foreman or leadman to check out what materials are used and what is leftover.
    Someone responsible. Not an installer. Not unless that installer happens to take ownership of his work.
    Old dude says use someone reposible (NOT a installer). Thats right - just treat your installers like crap, what good are they anywny.


    Lighten up Gramps.

    what the hell do you think an installer is? Some kind of rocket scientist or something?
    He's a race horse! He's run hard and put to bed wet! Pure and simple.

    I dont condone such treatment. But it seems to be practiced by so many.
    And the guys doing the install work respond in like manner.
    As long as firday is payday and they got parts ... they do work.
    They are not inventory clerks or guys who like to creat paper trails.


    Ya know the dif between a LVN nurse and an RN nurse?
    The RN does the majority of the paperwork while the LVN performs the majority of the treatments.

    RN= paperwork/ supervisory position, little patient care
    LVN= little paperwork, lots of patient care/ treatments

    Guess which one is most like the installer? That's right ... the LVN's.
    And your supervisors are like the RN's. They know your job, can perform your job, but they need to supervise so the work proceeds smoothly. They remove the potholes in yor path. They keep track of the paperwork, the scheduling, the tracking, the fact that you guys get your materials BEFORE they are required on each jobsite.


    If you were any time in this industry, you'd already understand such things.




    (gramps...... what a joke ......)





  11. #11
    Is your inventory issue just with install materials? Or is it also with service parts?


    Who is ordering your materials currently? What method do you use to match materials with job orders?


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event