Shops have experienced wild and unexpected change in car counts. Days open and days closed are different than in the normal course of business. Shop owners are having to take into consideration surrounding inventory functions and adapt to the rapidly changing environment. Here are a few steps we think helpful as you evaluate and use your inventory tools to adjust to the current needs of society.
First, take a full inventory in your shop. Do this especially if you have been closed for any period of time. Even if you have remained open, getting an accurate inventory count will give you a precise understanding of the inventory on hand. Then, print an inventory valuation report. You will now have an updated count and cost for your inventory.
This is also a good time to review your inventory setups. Printing a full Inventory by Category report will allow you to review your agreed cost, retail price, and make sure all items are reporting to the correct category. For example, make sure you don’t have a Cabin Air Filter in your regular Air Filter category. This type of review ensures your reporting is accurate.
Once you have taken inventory, make sure you are using the correct tools to track your inventory. As you look at the inventory there are two particular items that would be helpful.
- Print reports from the time “Shelter in Place” occurred to the current date.
- Go back to your calendars and make sure that the days the shop was closed are marked as “closed” so your reports reflect that information. This will give you the best data to evaluate.
While you prepare for your next inventory order, utilize the following reports in ISI Central Reporting to give you the most accurate picture:
- Stock Status Report
- Inactive Inventory Report
- Inventory History by Item
Once you have evaluated the inventory, using the ISI Central Reporting tools will be valuable in your ordering decisions. In this current environment, ordering takes more time and thought. As you review the available data, keep an eye on your current car count trends.
The Stock Status Report is important for reviewing slow moving and rarely used inventory and helps in preventing over ordering. Inventory History shows when something was last received and sold. Use this data to inform ordering decisions.
Using reports such as a Usage Based Reorder report allows you to review the suggested order based on history. In these times of varying car counts, you may run this type of report for both the most recent time period, as well as prior to the shelter in place orders to find a balance for what you should order.
For ISI customers, using these reports along with the LubeSoft® Purchase Order Module can help fine tune your final order. Please visit ISI Central Documentation to view the PO module training video.
We hope you will find these ideas helpful as you consider how best to navigate toward your “new normal” and accurately understand your inventory needs.