Ask your company employees, “What do you love most about your job?” Few—if any—will say it’s managing construction inventory. Even so, inventory management is essential to help any company, regardless of any industry, last and ultimately flourish.
Not convinced enough that your company needs to track inventory?
An article published by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) highlights that cost containment is essential to profitability. Now, what’s the key to cost containment? It is none other than inventory management.
Still, thoughts of physically counting and manually stacking items might sound tedious or time-consuming and make inventory tracking a significant turnoff. Worry not, as cloud-based inventory management software will save you time counting with its automated features designed for construction professionals. Once you’re all organized, this software can help you better assess your inventory usage and prevent under or over-stocking.
Modern cloud-based inventory management allows you to reap all the benefits of an intelligent inventory management strategy without the headache, stress, labor, and mess of conventional, physical inventorying.
So, what is cloud-based construction inventory management exactly? And how will it benefit your company? Read on to find out.
What Is Construction Cloud-Based Inventory Management?
Generally, a cloud-based inventory management system stores information about your inventory in a secure and online database. Every time an inventory item is added, updated, removed, or relocated, inventory management software will help you take note of the information and record the activity on an online server.
The data is then backed up—or saved—in cloud storage accessible for all the authorized team members to access in real-time.
Cloud inventory software is accessible on any desktop, laptop, or mobile device. You and authorized team members can see updated inventory status anytime, anywhere. Unlike a paper document or spreadsheet saved to a single computer, cloud-based inventory software allows you and your team to access the same data simultaneously and discuss the content on-demand.
Regardless of your company’s stage and how many construction projects you are currently handling, you can protect and manage its growth with an automated inventory management system. Even if a spreadsheet or pen and paper might be tolerable now, cloud-based inventory management saves you valuable resources, eliminates guesswork and human errors, and keeps your data safe and secure to give you the peace of mind you need.
Ten Ways You Can Benefit From Cloud-Based Inventory Management
Think your company is too new—or too invested in spreadsheets—for cloud-based inventory? Here are ten reasons to consider another look at this cutting-edge, forthcoming, and proven approach to inventory management.
1. Manage construction inventory from any location
Cloud-based inventory management lets you view, manage, track, and run your inventory reports wherever you are, whether that’s on a job site, in an office, at a client meeting, traveling in your truck, or working from home.
No matter what services your company offers, inventory management software gives you a real-time status of your inventory items on hand. While on a call with a customer, you can access your web-based inventory and tell them how many disposal quantities you have in stock and when they will be delivered to your warehouse. Information is at your fingertips. Let me ask you: what’s more empowering than that?
2. Know what’s available at any project location
The best cloud-based inventory software lets you track assets across multiple business locations, such as different job sites or warehouses, and enables you to categorize inventory items efficiently as needed.
With web-based inventory software, if you are a general contractor with building materials scattered in five project locations throughout the New York City area, you’ll still be able to view inventory at every location. That way, when one project job site needs a main door lockset, you can check your existing stock across the company in your online database before buying (and waiting for) new deliveries.
Efficiencies like this help construction companies save money, avoid unnecessary stress, and keep customers happy, too. An easy triple win.
3. Enhance team collaboration
Multiple-user access with an online inventory management system allows all key stakeholders to see where items are and who’s using them. Inventory apps you’re your company improve internal logistics and ensure that items are available to project teams that use the most.
If you are a plumbing subcontractor company that supplies PVC pipes across the California area, cloud inventory software can help track supplies and materials. You can quickly identify which of your shops use larger PVC pipes, see what colors are in demand by customers, and have the right amount of them stocked at the suitable locations.
4. Adapt better in inventory control
Cloud-based inventory management provides you access to the current status of materials, supplies, and assets. IT construction department, for example, must accurately track thousands of valuable company assets to prevent data loss or theft. Inventory management software powered by the cloud can ensure this information is safe, secure, and accessible if any questions or concerns arise.
5. Avoid over or under-ordering of items
Online inventory management gives you an overview of historical data to help you identify your top-selling items, peak demand seasons, and repeating trends. Reliable inventory control eliminates guesswork and avoids waste caused by over-ordering items or supplies that you don’t need and your customers don’t want.
As your painting subcontractor company moves its inventory to an online server, robust reports from web-based inventory software may reveal that the neon-colored paints you ordered are still in the warehouse, untouched. It turns out you’re better off keeping stock of what your customer wants—neutral shades of paint. (Boring, we know.)
However, under-ordering affects business profits, too. If you regularly under-order to avoid waste but frequently sold out of items, your clients will shop elsewhere, or your employees will be forced to stop working and wait for materials to arrive. Cloud-based inventory software helps you order items with precision so no inventory item or customer can slip from your fingers.
6. Set date and low supply alerts
With an online inventory management software, you can set notification alerts so you’ll know well before quantities get too low- which we know is dangerous for companies. And you can schedule a date— low-stock triggered instant notifications for important reminders, like ordering plenty of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your warehouse employees.
7. Protect company inventory data
Online inventory management secures all the data and information associated with your inventory. Updating activity of any kind is immediately stored and backed up. Cloud inventory storage preserves status and protects it from mistaken deletion and loss, theft, corruption, or cyber threats.
If you need information about your inventory immediately, you don’t have to look for one sheet of paper that’s nowhere to be found. Also, you don’t have to worry about your computer and files going haywire, frying all your saved spreadsheet in the process. And if your inventory contains confidential or sensitive information, you can rest assured that it is safe and secure in the cloud.
8. Conserve money compared with common inventory systems
A traditional inventory system, like paper-and-pen and Excel spreadsheets, can cost thousands. However, a cloud-based inventory management platform is compatible with equipment that your company already uses—desktops, laptops, mobile devices—and you can try it today.
You can choose online inventory management with different kinds of plans available.
Additionally, some online inventory software is already incorporated with other digital features that can also help your business, such as project task tracking and construction schedule. All you need to do is find the best project management software best suited for your company’s needs to help you automate tasks, which means less manual work and saved expenses.
9. Make more profitable decisions.
A practical inventory management application can provide invaluable data, allowing for more data-driven company decisions. For example, with a more informed understanding of the supply and demand of your inventory, you can go some way to forecast trends, giving you a more competitive edge over other construction companies.
With access to reporting features and inventory metrics, inventory management systems equip you with the right tools to make strategic decisions.
Additionally, with the additional ability to work out your inventory turnover rate, you will also identify possible opportunities to reduce the amount of inventory you are holding in your warehouses and project locations and lower your inventory carrying costs.
10. Train your construction team quickly and easily
Don’t have a week (or even a day) to learn how to use your new inventory management software? You’re in luck. You can learn how to use most of them in minutes, as cloud-based inventory management applications are intuitive. Your construction team can quickly take advantage of the software’s features without reading a 10-page back-to-back user manual that is too technical and hard to understand.
Managing inventory isn’t especially fun, but it’s highly essential. Manage construction projects better with the right cloud-based inventory software so you can keep your company organized, profitable, and ready for growth—all without breaking a sweat.