Vehicles are the lifeblood of your fleet business. There is no doubt that you have thought about how to keep them up and running in perfect condition at all times. A key concept in reaching that goal is inventory management.
Service, maintenance, and repair of vehicles are significant costs for any fleet. An effective components inventory management plan is essential for controlling these expenses. Such fees can consume a sizable amount of any fleet maintenance management budget, as well as have a substantial effect on overall management and organizational costs.
Restructuring parts inventory management will have a significant impact on the bottom line of your fleet. It can become a driving force in attaining overall cost objectives with a few proven and true inventory management best practices.
So, let’s begin by understanding a few basics about Fleet Inventory Management.
What is Fleet Inventory Management?
Fleet inventory management is the practice of coordinating all vehicle-related inventory and upkeep concerns in order to keep the business running smoothly. It attempts to reduce delays and boost production. Proper fleet inventory management also helps to avoid the majority of expected issues, resulting in increased operational efficiency.
Role of a Fleet Inventory Manager
A fleet inventory manager is primarily responsible for:
- Spare part and vehicle purchases
- Forecasting how many vehicles a fleet will require
- What spares should be kept on hand to ensure smooth operations
- Managing fleet vehicle lifespans
- Developing a cost-effective procurement strategy
Why is it Important to Keep Track of Your Fleet Inventory?
Physical fleet inventory management is essential to the operation of any fleet organization. Even the most meticulous record keepers can overlook a transaction. The number of items a fleet possesses on paper may vary from the number of items actually in inventory at any given time. Physical inventory verification will assist you in detecting such inaccuracies by comparing your records to your real stock.
Keeping your stock record up to date and correct is critical to your fleet’s success. Without reliable information, your company risks losing revenues because products are unavailable when your customers and clients need them. The most effective technique to maintain the accuracy of your unit system is to do a physical count of your items (including safety, repair, and maintenance supplies).
Approaches to Improvise Your Fleet Inventory
Whether you already have a framework in place or are just getting started, these 3 fleet inventory system best practices will get you started in the right direction.
#1 Stay Organized
Organizing parts in such a way that fast-moving things, such as those needed for service maintenance, may be reasonably simple. Shelves and storage rooms must be organized such that components for main system types such as engines, brakes, and electrics can be retrieved quickly, allowing personnel to fulfill repair schedules while reducing unnecessary downtime and associated expenses.
#2 Develop Knowledge of Your Products
Nothing is more aggravating than having vehicle maintenance or repair postponed because the necessary parts are unavailable. The depth and management of your inventory are essential success factors in having the proper parts available when and where they are needed.
Similarly, stockpiling a large quantity of a certain part that is hardly used is wasteful. A superfluous expense has been incurred, as well as storage space that could have been used for quicker moving parts.
Inventory control personnel must be familiar with vehicles and their parts needs. Knowing that specific vehicles have a parts replacement cycle provides for more efficient inventory planning and scheduling, as well as considerably more cost-effective purchasing. It also guarantees that sufficient supply is on hand, reducing the need for more regular and last-minute ordering.
#3 Use Your Vendors as a Resource
When your fleet inventory management integrates your vendors, it becomes much easier to satisfy your fleet’s stock demands and define reordering criteria that help maintain appropriate inventory. Their knowledge of several fleets can also assist in identifying appropriate maintenance schedules to prevent part breakdowns and comparing parts from various manufacturers.
With a broader view of the components market, your suppliers may also assess which parts give the highest overall value for your operation. That background and expertise is the source of not just finding the best prices, but also the best parts at the best rates.
Parts vendors are increasingly allowing you to integrate their inventory and purchase systems into your fleet and asset management platforms.
Benefits of Deploying a Fleet Inventory Management Software
A fleet that has modern inventory management systems and an efficient inventory procedure is better suited to handle the various moving pieces of a dealership. Deploying a Fleet Inventory Management Software is ideal for achieving the following objectives:
- Reduce the amount of money lost due to damage and waste.
- Ensure that all departments have access to resources.
- Pre-determine low product quantities
- Avoid overstocking and ordering stock twice.
- Keep manufacturing expenses within budget.
- Remove bottlenecks and downtime caused by a lack of materials.
To the untrained eye, inventory management appears to be nothing more than a method of analyzing the available products. For many businesses, like the automobile industry, the goal of inventory management is higher customer satisfaction, improved departmental collaboration, and smoother operations with reduced downtime. Finally, these elements result in a stronger bottom line.