Visible value parts inventory software can bring to truck shops

It’s probably not surprising that parts costs can represent a substantial portion of a fleet’s maintenance and repair expense. However, what is often not so obvious is the cost of parts management and the means to streamline this activity to generate savings and improve the productivity and efficiency of a service operation.

“Fleet operations often spend a lot of time managing parts and other supplies, such as tires, batteries, fluids and lubricants,” said Will Wycks, senior vice president, products and marketing at Chevin Fleet Solutions . “Fleet inventory management software can be very useful as it helps fleet maintenance operations improve visibility, become more organized, and make more informed operational decisions. “

Chevin Fleet Solutions

In addition to saving time, noted Cianna Kennedy, sales manager of Pluss Software, software saves you money. “It’s hard to deal with what you can’t measure,” she said. “The value of the software ultimately lies in the visibility and tracking it offers. “

Louis Barrales, Product Marketing Manager at Fullbay, listed a number of benefits that fleet maintenance operations can achieve by using parts inventory management software. “Adding, modifying and downloading an inventory is easy with management software,” he explained. “Parts are constantly moving in and out of the store from orders and inventory usage. With software, your inventory can be managed automatically.

Full bay

“The parts are naturally going to be in different places, in bins for different trucks, in the store and in the bays,” Barrales added. “With inventory software, whoever needs to remove the part always knows exactly where to find it. “

With proper implementation and configuration, parts software capabilities will become immediately available to assist with inventory management, noted Dave Walters, sales support engineer for Trimble Transportation. This includes the ability to receive parts from a purchase order and reserve them for a particular repair order.

Trimble-TMT --- Inventory-1400

“These features also include tracking inventory usage, part cross-referencing, and the availability of pre-printed barcode labels,” Walters said. “Systems can automatically generate return labels for warranty items and give technicians the ability to order parts directly from workstation racks and invoice for parts at remote locations. “

Parts purchasing practices are refined with advanced software. For example, Dave Walters of Trimble highlighted automated parts ordering and backorder capabilities based on calculated turnover rates and recommended inventory quantities. It is also possible to apply the prices of the offers on high volume parts.

“Without inventory management software, you can’t manually track the supply of every part to make sure you have what you need,” said Louis Barrales of Fullbay. “By setting minimums, your software will automatically order parts when you go below that threshold so your inventory is always full. In addition, with the inventory running in the software, you will have a live feed of the actual inventory. This allows you to make real-time inventory adjustments.

Cianna Kennedy of Pluss Software noted that there can be a lot of time wasted looking for parts if the software does not help you. “With the right inventory management tools, you can see exactly where a part is and whether or not it’s in stock before a technician leaves a workstation,” she said. “If a part is not in stock, inventory software can manage trade-ins to help you quickly find alternative parts available to satisfy the job. “

Pluss-Inventory-System, -PTM-Vision-1400

By integrating parts management software with supplier systems, according to Chevin’s Will Wycks, fleets can ensure data accuracy and reduce administrative, financial and other service requirements, helping to reduce inventory costs and staffing needs. For example, automated replenishment of inventory based on part usage and upcoming needs, and seamless issuance of purchase orders to preferred suppliers, saves time and effort.

Fleet maintenance operations have unique parts management needs, said Cianna Kennedy of Pluss Software. “It is important to look for solutions designed to accommodate them,” she added. “These operations can save a lot of time and money with better visibility and better tracking, but it requires the right tools. “

For Will Wycks at Chevin, it’s also about long-term value. “Inventory management software can be used to help identify repetitive failures or poorly performing parts,” he said. “It can be used to perform benchmarking between manufacturers and parts and create a more in-depth picture of longevity and component costs for each vehicle in a fleet.

“As a source of failure and usage trend data, parts management software helps make more informed and efficient vehicle and parts purchasing decisions,” Wycks added, ” by reducing downtime and getting vehicles back into service more quickly. “

About Octavia A. Dorr

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