We’re proud to be releasing a significant enhancement to TruckStock today. This piece has been on the road-map for some time, and we’re thankful for the guys over at Chud Company for their input as we brought it to life.
This post serves to provide a general overview of the Stock Room feature, the benefits it provides, and how to get started with it right away.
The Stock Room
Many mobile service companies have a stock room at their home office from which trucks are stocked with parts and supplies necessary to service their customers during routine service and maintenance tasks. Not all companies have the need of a central stock room; many are able to simply order their stock day by day from key suppliers and have it ready by the next morning. We’ve found that the system-driven companies, however, find that they gain quite a bit of control and accountability when they stock key components in-house. Late deliveries are a thing of the past, important parts can be stocked at a moment’s notice, and things simply run more smoothly and quickly.
At TruckStock, we treat the stock room much as we would a truck. It has a set of parts that it’s initially stocked with (perhaps 50 of a widget instead of just 5, for example), and it’s restocked on a regular basis (not daily, but perhaps weekly or as needed). Here are the key things that happen at TruckStock to make the Stock Room come alive:
- A new truck called “Stock Room” is created and assigned an inventory of parts, much like a service or maintenance truck.
- This “truck” is assigned to be the company stock room, which then activates all other stock room functionality.
- When normal truck stock requests are made from the field, nothing behaves any differently than it did before. Those requests are routed to the office and can then be fulfilled.
- The magic happens at fulfillment. When you go to fulfill a truck stock request from the stock room, parts are put back onto the truck’s stock and pulled from the stock room’s stock.
- There are a number of new reports that allow you to monitor the stock in the stock room so as to know when it’s time to order parts.
- When you want to restock the stock room, the same process is performed as on a truck. You’re simply restocking the stock room (from your suppliers) rather than the truck. The “review” step is skipped in this case, but other than that, everything else remains the same.
That’s really all there is to it. TruckStock can now help you manage not only the inventory on your trucks, but also the inventory in your central stock room.
Now that we’ve touched on the benefits this new feature provides and how it works, let’s talk about how to set it up. Before we begin, you obviously need to have an account on truckstock.net before any of this will work. If you sign up for our free trial account, the system will AUTOMATICALLY make you a stock room, so several of these steps (1-3) will already have been performed (how cool is that!).
Ok, let’s get down to it. Here are the steps you’ll need to go through to set your company up with a stock room. You can watch the video below to see the setup in real time or simply follow the written instructions below.
Setting up a Stock Room
- Create a new truck type with the name “Stock Room.” This is necessary because we manage what inventory belongs on a truck by its type, so you need to create this, even though there will only be one truck within this type.
- Create a new truck with the name “Stock Room.”
- Assign this new stock room truck to your company’s account to activate the stock room feature.
- Set up the initial stock room inventory. You should do this as if your stock room were fully stocked. If it is not, you’ll need to manually add the remaining parts outside of the system.
- That’s it for setup! You’re ready to go.
Fulfilling Requests from the Stock Room
From this point forward, these steps will become routine. As you fulfill truck stock requests, you’ll choose to do so from the stock room or not from the stock room (if you stock trucks directly from a supplier, as an example). To bypass the stock room, simply uncheck the “Pull fulfillments from Stock Room” before you create your fulfillment submission. Assuming you want to learn how to stock trucks FROM the stockroom, here’s what you do:
- Go to the Fulfill Truck Stock Requests page, just like you’ve always done.
- Ensure that “Truck Stock Requests” is chosen, since that’s what you’re fulfilling right now.
- Fulfill your requests as you’ve always done. There’s nothing different here, except that towards the end of the process you’ll notice a new “Pull fulfillments from Stock Room” checkbox. If you check this box, creating a truck stock fulfillment will create a stock room request, essentially transferring the inventory from the stock room to the truck, all in one nice clean step.
A couple things to note here… if haven’t set up a particular part for the stock room, or if the stock room’s inventory reports that a part is out of stock, you won’t be able to fulfill that request unless you first restock the stock room (see below) or uncheck the “Pull fulfillments from Stock Room” check box. This is a layer of accountability we’ve found useful, yet you need to be aware of how it works and that it’s there for your benefit, not just as a hoop to jump through.
Restocking the Stock Room
The final piece here is to restock your stock room. If you start off with 50 widgets, and gradually use those so that you’re down to 5 or 10, you’ll want to reorder from your supplier and “fulfill” the requests that the system has automatically made. This is a simple process, and one you’re already quite used to:
- Go to the Fulfillment page.
- Select “Stock Room Requests” instead of “Truck Stock Requests,” since we’re restocking the stock room now, not individual trucks.
- Proceed through the steps as you always have, restocking the stock room with the correct parts and quantities that you’ve received from your supplier.
- That’s it… it’s that simple!
Monitoring the Stock Room
The last piece of information we’ll share here is how to monitor your stock room. We’ve created a simple report called “Show Available Stock” that will show you (1) the initially stocked quantity, (2) the used / requested quantity, and (3) the available quantity. This report will quickly show you what’s in your stock room and how close you are to needing to reorder stock from your suppliers.
Well, that’s about it. We’re proud of the benefits that the new Stock Room feature provides and hope you’ll jump on board if it suits the way you do business. If it doesn’t, but you’d like it to, give us a call or contact us via our site and we’re glad to help you out. We have the technical expertise to get you going, and can also hook you up with expertise from the front lines about what it takes to set up a stock room for your business.
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