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A Tradesperson’s Guide to Inventory Management

A Tradesperson’s Guide to Inventory Management

It’s every tradesperson’s worst nightmare: you arrive at the jobsite and realise you don’t have the appropriate tool to tackle the task at hand. The upshot is a lot of wasted time and effort on your part, and a customer who’s unhappy about an unnecessary delay in the project.

Of course, we all make mistakes and these situations can happen to anyone, but it pays to be organised. Whether it’s tools, vehicles or materials, having an ordered inventory will mean you’re more likely to know where everything is at any given time. That in turn will help you to avoid the nightmare scenario outlined above. But how can you make your own life easier in that regard? Here are a few tips for inventory management.

Conduct Regular Checks

It sounds simple, but it makes sense to carry out an inventory of your assets on a frequent basis. This might be at the end of every day or every week; the important thing is to be thorough so as not to miss anything. If you’re a sole trader you can conduct these checks however you see fit but if you have employees, it’s paramount that they do their inventories to your same high standards.

Invest in New Tech

Of course, manual inventories can be time-consuming and at the end of a long, hard day they might be the last thing you want to do. Thankfully, there is technology available to help you with the whole process. For example, there are anti-theft tool trackers which provide a detailed inventory of all your gear from one centralised hub, so you have a quick and easy view of the whereabouts of all your equipment. These systems can also provide performance data, so you can identify which tools are not operating as they should and which ones may soon need replacing.

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Use a Secure Storage Facility

Unfortunately, tool theft is an ever-present threat to tradespeople all over the country. Your equipment’s high value makes it a popular target for criminals, so it’s vital that you do everything you can to deter them. Try to avoid keeping any tools in your van overnight and instead store them in a secure lock-up with a highly sensitive alarm system.

Understand Your Supply Network

If you do find yourself in need of a certain tool at short notice, it pays to know exactly where you can get it from. Make a list of the suppliers in your area, the type of equipment they specialise in and how long you can typically expect to wait for delivery. Armed with this information, you’ll be better placed to make the orders you need to keep your project running smoothly and on time.

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