3 Telltale Signs You Need Inventory Management Software

by James McDonald on September 20, 2018

It’s Friday night, and your son is making his big debut as the starting quarterback.

You should be in the stands, cheering him on (and reliving your own glory days.)

Instead, you’re stuck staying late at the office because someone dropped the ball and forgot to do the inventory…again.

The fact that you’re starting your weekend going through every supply closet and warehouse with a clipboard is a surefire sign of a broken inventory management process.

Here are three other signs it’s time to invest in inventory management software.

3 Signs You Need Inventory Management Software

1. You’re Always Running Out Of Supplies

As a facilities manager, you’re used to getting a lot of requests. Ideally they’re issues you can resolve within a day or two. But if you’re getting a lot of service requests related to office supplies, you’re probably not ordering frequently enough or ordering in large enough quantities.

Good supply management starts by understanding usage trends within your workplace. If you don’t know how often people are using assets like printers and copiers, you’re just guessing how much to order. And if that’s the case, you might as well have an intern do your ordering.

2. You Have High Inventory Costs

Constantly running out of supplies is a problem, but ordering more of everything is hardly the solution. It might seem harmless to round up when it comes to commonly used items, but even the little things add up. And when you don’t have a good process for tracking inventory, it’s easy to go overboard on more expensive items, too.

For instance, printer cartridges can run upwards of $60. While that might not seem like much if you have one or two printers, a typical university has hundreds, even thousands to service. Some are rarely used, while others are always running out of paper and ink. You may not need to order 100 new printer cartridges when you have dozens of barely used ones lying around on another part of the campus. Having a digital way to manage assets and track their usage can save tens of thousands of dollars in inventory costs each year.

3. You Have A Lot of Equipment Downtime

Few things are more frustrating than knowing something is broken, knowing you’re responsible for fixing it but not being able to do your job because you don’t have the right parts in stock.

It’s bad enough when it’s an HVAC system, but when it’s a critical piece of equipment, every hour of downtime is costing your company money.

Of course, this isn’t just an inventory management issue—it’s a reflection of how well you’re managing preventive maintenance. Using facility maintenance software that allows you to schedule planned maintenance and also respond to service requests as needed will greatly reduce equipment downtime.

Choosing Inventory Management Software: Key Considerations

Investing in inventory management software can pay off in a big way. However, it’s important to remember your inventory doesn’t exist in a silo. It’s closely connected with many other areas of your workplace, including your spaces, equipment assets and maintenance.

The software solution you choose should be connected with each of these areas so you’ll have visibility into all the components that keep your workplace running. Look for a solution that’s part of an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) rather than a stand-alone software.

A few other important questions to ask before investing:

  • Does it offer the ability to place online orders through a shopping cart?
  • Can you easily categorize items by location and department?
  • Does it track purchase orders?
  • Will it send you automatic notifications when supplies are low?
  • Does it give you real-time visibility into inventory trends and metrics?

iOFFICE’s inventory management software makes it easy to keep track of your office supplies and assets so you can keep your workplace well-stocked, reduce inventory costs and avoid equipment downtime. It also allows you to be more efficient so you can spend more time on the important tasks—and less time counting items.

To see our software in action, request a demo today.


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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