Let’s face it, trying to run your commercial service business is difficult enough without having to worry about when your next set of parts and materials are supposed to arrive. The hard fact is that supply chains have a bad habit of running dry—sometimes when you absolutely need them most. And when they do, you might find yourself in a tight situation with your clients. Not only can you end up in a position where a lack of parts will render you incapable of delivering on promised service, but it might also put you in breach of contract.
Being effective in parts procurement and avoiding material shortages are critical aspects of maintaining smooth operating procedures for any field service organization. Luckily though, a little bit of careful planning—and the right kind of service software—can help you prepare for and avoid any eventual service outages or parts shortages well before they ever become a problem. Let’s take a look at how.
Optimize Your Inventory Management
One of the key benefits of planned maintenance agreements is the ability to forecast and plan for maintenance activities well in advance of sending your team to the job site. By taking the time to understand each piece of equipment and job outlined in each of your service agreements, you can better understand and manage your stored inventory. And with the right field service management platform? You’ll gain real-time visibility into stock levels, reordering thresholds, and consumption patterns. And with that information right at the tips of your fingers, your team of technicians can be proactive about procuring the right parts and materials for each job—vastly mitigating the risk of running into material shortages.
Improved Relationships With Your Suppliers
Never discount the importance of having a friendly and proactive relationship with your suppliers. They’re going to be your go-to when it comes to dealing with supply chain delays. And that’s exactly why planned maintenance contracts are so powerful. They give you a golden opportunity to develop healthy, long-term relationships with trusted suppliers. Developing these relationships leads to better price negotiations—and in some cases, even preferential treatment—and they often lead to guaranteed availability for critical parts that you’ll need on the job site. These close relationships also inspire better collaboration and proactive communication between your suppliers and technicians. Add the field service management platform into the mix? And you’ve got yourself a recipe for enhanced communication, automated purchase orders, and streamlined procurement processes—which will, in turn, help you build stronger industry partnerships and reduced lead times on parts procurement.
Enhance Demand Forecasting
When it comes to project planning and demand forecasting, your chosen field service management platform is one of your closest allies. Analysis is everything, and choosing a platform with a strong analytical arm is crucial for using historical data, usage patterns, and maintenance schedules to identify and predict demand for specific parts. This newfound foresight will help you proactively procure parts, prepare you and your organization for material shortages, and even hoard excessive inventory. Your service agreements are responsible for laying a reliable foundation of information by outlining expected maintenance activities, equipment requirements, and a list of most commonly used parts across your service activities.
Streamline Procurement Processes
Managing parts procurement manually can be almost impossible. It’s a time-consuming process—and extremely prone to errors. Technology is your best friend when it comes to streamlining procurement processes for your commercial service business. Employing a field service management platform can help your organization automate the entire procurement process for the parts you need to fulfill your maintenance contracts across the board. Service techs can submit parts requests directly through your platform, triggering automated approval and purchase order generation workflows. This helps facilitate the procurement cycle and alleviates a massive burden on your administrative staff.
Preventing Service Disruptions
If we’re thinking in terms of raw benefits, there’s no benefit greater than the ability to sidestep any looming service disruptions. With the help of your active service agreements and chosen field service management platform, you can take a proactive approach to managing parts procurement—ensuring materials are readily available when technicians need to hit the job site. You’ll be able to prevent delays, reschedules, and most importantly—customer dissatisfaction.
In the fast-paced world of commercial service, keeping track of parts procurement is the bedrock of a successful business. Planned maintenance contracts and field service management software can provide you with a powerful combination of tools and resources to keep your inventory stocked and our customers happy.
Speaking of field service management platforms, if you still haven’t found the right one for your commercial service business, visit the BuildOps website and schedule your personal demo today. Or, sign up for our weekly live demo for a more casual look into what BuildOps can do for you.