Part 2: Unique Inventory Management Challenges for Your Landscape Operations
In part 1 we discussed generating effective quotes with your POS system. Now, let’s explore inventory management tactics that will support your landscaping business.
Once a Quote, or Proposal, is accepted by a customer, it converts to an Order. At this point, the customer is committed to obtain the services and materials to be provided by the IGC. The transaction quickly then moves from the Order Phase to the Staging Phase. During the Staging Phase several things happen:
- Inventory is committed or procured (if necessary)
- Resources (internal or external labor and equipment) are scheduled and committed
- Delivery of items and services is scheduled
Inventory management is a key part of the Staging Phase. A good POS solution should identify and commit any needed inventory items (so that they cannot be sold to others). Further, it should inform your buyers of items that are needed to fulfill the order that are not currently available for sale.
Tools to manage the products needed for customer-specific orders should be capable of facilitating the acquisition and receiving of those items into the store inventory. Costs should be tracked so that overall transaction profitability can be determined (as part of the Reconciliation Phase).
A good inventory tool should identify needed items, allocated available items, and support your purchasing activity (whether you use a purchase order process or some other way to initiate inventory purchases. Receiving activity should allow you to flag and commit incoming items as being needed for the pending order — to avoid those items finding their way onto your retail floor/yard.
Lastly, your system should support order fulfillment workflows such as “pick”, “verify” and “pack” to track where items are as you prepare for delivery.
Click here to read Part 3: Scheduling and Managing Delivery and Landscaping Services