Learning Zone

Streamline your parts management and reduce inventory costs with software

By Sarah Wilkinson
26 January 2021

If your company wants to reduce inventory costs, streamlined parts inventory management can have a very positive impact.

Here’s how software can help improve your parts management processes…

It’s well-known that parts costs account for a substantial portion of fleets’ maintenance and repair expenses, the desire to reduce inventory costs is a common occurrence, with operations often spending large amounts of time managing parts and other items (such as tires, batteries, lubricants and fluids).

“The transportation industry most likely has much higher repair costs because it operates a greater percentage of heavy trucks and specialized heavy equipment, which is much more costly to repair, in terms of parts and labor, than conventional vehicles,” according to Automotive Fleet.

But a streamlined inventory management practice can help improve your parts expenditure – providing a measurable, positive impact on your fleet’s bottom line.

That’s where fleet inventory management software comes in.

When it comes to improving your parts management processes, a fleet management software system can be of great benefit, helping you:

  • Improve visibility
  • Become more organized
  • Make more informed operational decisions
  • and much more

quote in front of a large workshop -

Here are some top outcomes it could help you achieve:

Lower parts costs:

Fleet management software can be used to optimize your inventory management through effective stocking and purchasing practices – to help actively reduce your costs.

Using fleet management software, inventory levels can be monitored and adjusted based on parts use and upcoming needs. Parts can be seamlessly integrated from repair orders, and purchase orders can be automatically issued to preferred vendors when parts levels drop to a pre-determined quantity. This can help drive automated inventory replenishment and minimize manual administration.

parts inventory management cycle

More recovered costs:

It’s easy to know when an item on a new vehicle is covered by warranty… but tracking aftermarket parts coverage is a challenge for many fleets in a variety of industry segments.

And not claiming warranty on replacement parts is like leaving money on the table.

Fleet management software can often begin tracking warranty once a replacement part is installed in your vehicle – and can create alerts if a covered item is noted to have failed within the warranty period. These systems can also initiate automated claims processes with manufacturers, and alert technicians of deadlines required to return any failed covered item.

Reduced fleet financial (and other business) costs:

Manual, paper-based parts inventory systems are unproductive and ineffective. Instead, fleets can improve visibility over their purchases by integrating fleet management software with financial and other applications, including external parts suppliers’ systems.

A system that is integrated in this way help ensure data accuracy. By automating parts ordering processes, such a system can also reduce demands on administrative, financial and other personnel – helping cut costs and staffing requirements.

animated man controlling parts management software

Streamlined maintenance, technician productivity and repair activities: 

Labor costs for technicians add up quickly when a part is out of stock or not easily-located. If you don’t stock the right inventory for a fleet’s vehicles based on upcoming scheduled maintenance, seasonal or other planned campaigns, you may experience decreased productivity and increased downtime.

But software-based inventory control and management programs can provide you with more efficient purchasing practices that maintain correct stocking levels, eliminate obsolete and uncommon parts and high-cost emergency parts orders, and prevent overstock situations.

When parts inventory management software is in place, the absence of poor inventory management practices will reflect in a rise of your fleet’s shop and technician productivity, boosting asset utilization by returning vehicles to service faster.

man teaching how to reduce inventory costs

Better visibility, understanding and utilization:

It’s beneficial to understand which parts work best in an operation, for more informed future choices, extended effective service life and reduced downtime. (After all, focusing only on the price of a part does not account for its full impact on bottom line costs.)

Asset and fleet management systems can be used to help identify repetitive part failures or low-performing parts. It can be used to perform comparative analyses between manufacturers and parts and build a more in-depth picture of component longevity data and cost histories on parts for each vehicle in a fleet.

That information can help you develop budgets for parts expenditures and make more informed and effective purchasing decisions to ultimately reduce inventory costs and better manage your fleet.

Adding it all up

Cost savings can be realized when a parts management system is an integral part of your fleet maintenance management solution.

In short, systems for efficiently managing parts inventory are an important element of asset utilization. They are incredibly useful in helping enable more effective strategies for reducing both vehicle downtime and unnecessary expenditure.

For more information on how your company can reduce inventory costs, please contact us or book a demo.

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