How Are You Managing Your Parts Inventory?

As technology advances, more and more options become available for parts and inventory management. One popular option is barcoding. Although this option seemed labor intensive and cost prohibitive in the past, great strides have been made to increase the ease and reduce the expense. Many systems now exist that are cloud based, and utilize the workers cell phone as the actual scanner. This eliminates time and cost of managing additional equipment for the task, and learning how to use it.

Why would a business consider barcoding its parts inventory? Here are a few of the benefits…

  1. You will know exactly what you have to work with…

Barcoding can offer real time information on exact quantities of parts and supplies. This has several benefits. And the more places you inventory parts (ie: service trucks, branches, etc.) the more important this becomes. In the service business this can help identify which truck to send, knowing who has the parts inventory best suited for the task. You will also be able to avoid duplicate purchases of large cost items to sit on the shelf. Dispersing inventory evenly, and allowing yourself to avoid high priority shipping cost makes sense.

  1. You can reduce purchasing time and research….

With the proper system, you can automate purchasing task and avoid shortages. Many packages can integrate communication with suppliers to automatically trigger purchase orders if quantities are low. Forget constantly sending employees to count parts and then add them to an Excel sheet…. Or notebook. Systems also can be set up with maximum automated purchase amounts requiring confirmation, or pricing discrepancies.

  1. You can know your worth…

An important aspect of running a business is knowing what you are worth. Real time reporting in assets is a tremendous time saver for accounting. Forget hours of calculating inventory notes or trying to import data. A good barcode system can inform you how much in dollar value you have on your trucks or in multiple locations.

  1. Growing is made easier….

Everyone wants to grow. However, it is often complicated by exercises such as inventory management. By getting a handle on tracking, purchasing, and valuation of inventory, your company has eliminated one more Growing Pain.

  1. Added professional competence….

You can level the playing field with bigger businesses when you project competency in your operating procedures. From customers to employees, solid inventory tracking can project a more professional image. And the investment in barcoding may be less than you think.

  1. Reduced loss and theft….

What is expected, must be inspected. Real time numbers mean accountability of employees to minimize loss. It also discourages theft, since tracking can show who was last responsible for the item.


Here’s the downside. The system is only as good as those responsible for making it work. The object is to make the process as simple as possible to minimize CHANGE PAIN. However, we all know slow changers may make the transition difficult. It is a must to get buy in and share benefits with employees who are required to implement the process. They need to know the goal is not to eliminate their job, but to make them more successful in doing it. The end result will be more productivity, executed by the technology at your disposal today.

4J Hose and Supply can help you identify, and locate a barcode system that can address your needs and requirements. We will also work with you in the transition to smoother inventory management.

Whatever your goal is for inventory management, let our experience work for you. Whether your considering barcoding, eProcurement, or individualized supplier web supply ordering platform, 4J Hose and Supply is here to help. Call us today at 800-579-2315 or e-mail We are ready to serve you and your business.

-written by James Anderson

Owner, 4J Hose and Supply


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