Hero Image - Inventory

3 Inventory Management Tips for Plumbing & HVAC Contractors

Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog

Inventory management can be a challenge for many plumbing and HVAC businesses. This is especially true for service companies that use inventory frequently during service calls. Effectively managing your inventory will save you time and money. By keeping a handle on your inventory, you’ll be able to plan inventory more cost-effectively and reduce the time your technicians spend looking for parts. You’ll also avoid over-spending on inventory you don’t need or causing delays by not having parts available – leading to unhappy clients.

Here are some tips for managing inventory for your plumbing and HVAC business:

1. Create an inventory system – and stick to itBarcode Labels and Scanning

Whether you stock inventory in one or several work vans, or at a shop or warehouse, craft a system that works for you. Creating and sticking to an inventory system will help you track and organize your current inventory to save you time and money. Take the placement and storage of frequently used items into consideration. It’s a good idea to keep parts your team uses most often in easily accessible locations.

Another helpful way to keep your inventory system organized? Label your storage containers and shelves with Wolseley Express Barcode Solutions. You can generate and print barcode labels and stick them directly on your bins. This not only helps you organize and identify tools and supplies but makes it easy to order items when you see them getting low. Simply scan with your mobile device and order online to be delivered or picked up at your local branch.

New call-to-action

Once you have your system down pat, keep it consistent. If you have multiple work vans, for example, organize them the exact same way. This will help you cut down the time technicians spend looking for parts or tracking inventory, no matter which van they’re using, because they’ll know exactly where everything is.

Get more tips for organizing your work van here

2. Review your inventory often

Whether you use a simple log or more robust electronic inventory tracking system, it’s a good idea to review your stock on a regular business. Keep track of what items and quantities you’re holding on to, and for how long. You’ll want to ensure you’re always stocked up on items you use every day. For items you use sporadically, it might be better to purchase them on a need-basis. It doesn’t always make sense to hold on to inventory if you don’t use it.

You can also keep track of all your orders with Wolseley by going to the Orders section on My Wolseley. You can easily see all your past orders and evaluate how best to manage inventory. This will help you avoid wasting money on unused parts and keep your stock healthy with frequently used items.

3. Restock on the goLists

Once you lay out your frequently used items, you’ll want to make it as fast and easy to purchase and restock them. Wolseley Express lists are great for this. You can build a list by searching for items or by uploading a spreadsheet. You can also download a spreadsheet of your previously ordered products by clicking Download My Ordered Products, reorganize with the products you purchase regularly, and then upload to a list or directly to the shopping cart. Once you have a list created you can quickly add items from your lists to the shopping cart and submit an order when you need to. The great thing about this feature is that you can use it on any device, at any time. Order on the go or even after hours once your day is done.

Efficiently managing your inventory can make a big impact on your bottom line. By organizing stock and sticking to a consistent system, and using technology to boost efficiency in purchasing, you’ll not only save on time but cut down on cost. Parts are money, and so is time!

Learn more tips for saving time and money here

Become a Wolseley PRO to get more helpful tips, product news and promotions straight to your inbox. Sign up here.