Plumbing and HVAC businesses must ensure there is enough stock-on-hand to fulfill orders, without being overstocked which results in a financial loss.
While HVAC products won’t expire in the same way perishable products will, seasonal fluctuations will affect demand. In today’s blog, we will discuss ways the Plumbing & HVAC industry can streamline their inventory systems.
The importance of good inventory management
As the Plumbing & HVAC industry faces increasing competition, effective inventory management becomes imperative to business’ continued success. A promise to deliver products within a certain timeframe plays a key role in securing sales. Failure to deliver in full and on time (DIFOT) will cause customers to turn to your competitors.
However, with worldwide economic pressures, companies cannot afford to tie up capital in unnecessary stock. Having too much stock-on-hand risks the stock becoming outdated and impossible to sell, and may turn your warehouse into a deadstock graveyard. With a streamlined inventory management system in place, it’s much easier to maintain the balance of stock levels while accounting for seasonal fluctuations and growing changes in demand.
Key challenges for inventory and warehouse managers in the plumbing and HVAC industry
While good inventory management is vital to business success, managers may still face any number of challenges. For instance, customer purchasing behavior can be difficult to predict. Once you have an established relationship with a customer, you will begin to identify their typical buying patterns. Their purchasing habits may change, however, due to a fluctuation in the demands they face on their end.
To accurately plan and manage stock levels, it is important to quickly identify influences such as seasonal fluctuations, regional sales differences between branches, emerging, and also declining sales trends. For instance, there is a steadily growing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly products and solutions. New heat pump systems have been developed that will operate without the use of an auxiliary heat package, and some high efficiency gas boilers and indirect water heaters claim a 95% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
Overcoming these challenges in a time- and cost-effective manner
Using a traditional ERP system to glean insights into relevant trends can be complicated and time consuming. Consequently, seasoned inventory managers have developed their own systems based on trial-and-error and gut instinct. Still, gut instinct is subjective and if the manager is wrong, it can be costly.
By choosing a business intelligence (BI) solution like Phocas, you ensure a time and cost-effective solution for your business. BI integrates data from your various data sources such as your ERP and CRM systems and funnels it into one place. Having all of your data accessible at a glance empowers even your non-technical employees to rapidly respond to potential challenges and emerging opportunities.
Phocas lets you measure relevant metrics and identify key trends with the click of a button. In this way, inventory managers can be prepared for potential spikes in demand for various heating solutions in the winter, or plumbing products in areas with rapid population growth.
For more information on how business intelligence can assist Plumbing & HVAC businesses, download your free Plumbing & HVAC eGuide below: