Inventory Management vs. Inventory Control: Which does your small business need?

Inventory Management vs. Inventory Control: Which does your small business need?

Inventory management and inventory control are not the same thing. Though they might sound similar, they serve distinct business objectives—and you’ll need to know the differences between them to serve your business well.

Retailers that aren’t efficiently tracking their inventory run the risk of suffering losses of up to 12 percent of their annual revenue through inefficiencies such as preventable returns, out-of-stocks, and overstocks. This is why knowing the differences in inventory software—as well as what business purposes each type serves—is crucial for small retailers.

At present, 43 percent of small businesses don’t track their inventory at all, or are using manual processes. No matter how small your store is, you won’t capture the intricacies and complexities surrounding your inventory as it moves through the supply chain without using dedicated inventory software.

If you’re here, you’re probably asking yourself, “Which one does my small business need?”

The answer is, it isn’t about which one you’ll need—you’ll almost definitely need both—but about when you’ll need which tool.

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How to improve overall productivity by optimizing your field service scheduling

How to improve overall productivity by optimizing your field service scheduling

Field service scheduling will never be a perfect art. Given the semi-unpredictable nature of equipment, machines, and even people, it’s nigh impossible to get it right every time.

However, it is possible to fix certain scheduling inefficiencies. Nobody has a crystal ball that can predict all possible eventualities, but that’s not to say that field service businesses can sit back, relax, and hope that near-perfect schedules will fall into place, even with the help of field service management software and tools.

By and large, scheduling is one of the most important facets of field service management; not only does it ensure that your technicians are in the right place at the right time and with the right tools, but it can also have ramifications for the rest of the business.

Bad scheduling decisions weaken your business goals, such as achieving growth in revenue. For example, truck rolls can cost companies $100 to $200 per visit; just a few of these a year can add up to an inordinate amount of unnecessary expenditure for small businesses per year.

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Want to prevent a field service skills gap? Use field service outsourcing

Want to prevent a field service skills gap? Use field service outsourcing

What would you do if 70 percent of your field service counterparts told you that they’re expecting to suffer from a shortage of technicians over the next five to ten years? Would you:

A. Laugh it off—you’ve got a strong workforce filled with job-loyal, highly experienced technicians. Some of them have only ever worked at your company, proving how much they value their job, so why would they leave now?

B. Think about possibly—at some point in the future—advertising for some new staff. It doesn’t matter why you could expect a shortage of technicians, right?

C. Start strategizing—you know that the majority of your technicians have been in the field for over 20 years, and you’re aware that their departure could mean a massive loss of talent that you’ll need to fill. (more…)