6 Tips to Make Your Parts Inventory More Organized
Sometimes it may appear as if no one pays you much attention when managing the company’s auto parts inventory.
However, eliminating the stress of searching for parts and waiting can have a tremendous impact on your business. It will improve customer service, employee morale, and ultimately revenue.
Although some adjustments may need to be made, taking the time to create the ideal inventory system will reap rewards for all parties involved.
These six tips will give you a head start when revamping your inventory management strategies to boost profitability.
Prioritize Parts Inventory Priority:
Your inventory might not be as critical to your business as other parts, making it easier to organize them according to priority. This will also enable you to make informed decisions regarding when and how many parts to reorder.
Maintain a larger inventory of oil and filters than you use daily, since parts that are less frequently used, like brakes, oil, or bearings, tend to have smaller inventories and must be replaced before their lifespans expire. Special order parts should only be ordered when absolutely necessary as these can either be large or expensive and take up space as well as capital – including ones that fit certain vehicle models or situations. When prioritizing inventory levels or restock quantities for your business, take into account delivery times, likely backordered items, and whether the part has an increased risk of becoming obsolete soon.
Though this may seem obvious, knowing your inventory throughout the year allows for better decisions and efficient work with less.
- Sometimes it can be challenging to determine how much of a certain SKU you should purchase, even when you know which parts are most essential.
- Many factors come into play here such as seasonality and the constant introduction of new cars.
The good news? You have access to inventory data which can help you forecast. Your forecasting accuracy will be enhanced if your records are kept up-to-date, helping you avoid over ordering, decreasing the risk of obsolescence and optimizing your manufacturer return program more effectively.
While it may be simpler to let everyone take what they need, this will only lead to bigger issues in the long run. That means you’ll spend more time fixing the issue than necessary.
Parts counter employees should have exclusive access and be the only ones capable of taking apart and replacing components. Training must take place, with accountability held against those responsible. Although this may cause some friction between teams initially, once implemented everyone will find life much simpler in the long run.
Complete Parts Inventory Details
Your inventory management software likely contains numerous fields for each component. Barcode data, SKUs and cost information, supplier, cost, and reorder points can all be entered into your software system. Although filling it all out may seem redundant at first glance, doing so ultimately saves time and money in the long run.
Count, count, count
Many departments are limited to just one annual inventory count each year. Doing more can cause stress and become tedious. But it is possible to reduce inventory losses by performing additional counts and identifying problem areas.
If you don’t have the resources or time for multiple counts annually, rotate inventory counts by sections or focus on SKUs that experience frequent losses.
It’s easy to become complacent when working with the same suppliers, leading to delays and other issues becoming the norm. But it is essential that you conduct an internal audit of your suppliers in order to determine if they are consistently late or placing parts on backorder.
If you start to notice patterns disrupting your productivity or inventory management, it may be time for a different supplier.
- Written procedures can be useful in ensuring everyone follows the same process.
- Small mistakes in stock receipt, pull and returns can have a major effect on the parts department’s operation. Take the time to write down procedures and update them frequently. Furthermore, ensure everyone stays informed and follows up regularly.
- It is essential to be open-minded when suggesting improvements that could enhance your processes. Your employees do these jobs every day, so they may have some valuable insight into optimizing processes.