Modernize Your Auto Repair Parts Management Process With the Right Tools

There are a few ways to manage your inventory, ranging from pen and paper to advanced software. Find a method that sets your shop up for growth.

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Auto parts inventory management is all about setting the right pace for your team when tracking your inventory.

Your auto parts inventory management system should match the operational pace of your shop, and the system shouldn’t be so complex or time-consuming that it takes time away from hours better spent repairing cars.

Running a more efficient shop will lead to a better experience for customers, more clarity in the repair process, and ultimately more approved repairs. That means more money for your shop!

Still using pen and paper to keep track of your shop's parts inventory? Let's help you find a better way with a modern, cloud-based shop management system.

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Managing Inventory with Pen and Paper

We hear it all the time: if it ain't broke, don't fix it! And sure, that might be true for your favorite recliner, but when it comes to running your shop like a well-oiled machine, there's some big room for improvement. Especially if you're relying on pen and paper.

And we get it, pen and paper requires very little training, can be completed offline, it's pretty cheap, and most importantly it's the way it’s always been done.

In reality, pen and paper records may seem inexpensive at first, but costs quickly add up:

  • The process is generally slow and requires managers to flip through multiple pages in a notebook or keep a long log of everything. If you need to audit a purchase, you'll be digging through pages manually.
  • Paper records are easily destroyed, lost, and damaged, and creating copies is a time-consuming task in and of itself.
  • Hand-writing! We all know it takes a nurse to read a doctor's handwriting, but what about a technician's or a shop owner's? Chances are, someone else might have a hard time reading your records. It might sound silly, but it’s a simple issue that can lead to huge problems.

Your shop has a lot of moving parts -- no pun intended. Tracking repair orders, contacting customers, and completing digital vehicle inspections, everything is so much easier with the right tools for the job. Especially when we're talking about tracking your shop's parts inventory.

Instead of hoping you wrote it down right or even at all, wouldn’t it be easier to track such items with a digital database?

Going digital, but not quite modern

We sometimes hear that shops have upgraded away from the really old school pen and paper methods to shop management tools the generally rely on spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are essentially very simplistic databases, and understandably, plenty of shops have been using spreadsheets for decades. Programs like Excel are a clear upgrade from a humble, physically maintained auto parts inventory management records system.

But ultimately, spreadsheets aren’t built with auto parts inventory management in mind or with auto workers in mind. It can be difficult to set up your own spreadsheet system, and there’s always the risk of human error or simply losing spreadsheets stored on a personal computer.

That's where a modern cloud-based system comes in.

Because everything is in the cloud, you never have to worry about duplicating your files, or losing access. In fact, you can gain access literally anywhere you have internet.

Modern Parts and Inventory Management with Shop Management Software

Shop management software can be automated and comes with pre-created templates and tables ready for the user to fill in.

With auto parts inventory management software, service writers don’t have to invent their own templates as they would with a spreadsheet records system, and the software does much of the record-keeping for them. Shop management systems like Tekmetric have portals specifically dedicated to parts inventory management.

If your old parts management system has your shop stuttering like a rusted-out pickup running on empty, systems like Tekmetric may be the perfect solution to get your team on track with an intuitive auto parts inventory management system built for teams just like yours.

Tekmetric lets you put together and track your parts orders, store information about vendors, monitor parts sales performance over time, and even put together and save special parts lists for jobs your shop completes on a regular basis

Upgrade Your Shop's Inventory Management

Maybe your team conducts a yearly deep dive into its inventory but only supplements this with brief monthly bookkeeping reviews and weekly maintenance checks. Or maybe your shop moves enough stock that staying on top of auto parts inventory management requires fastidious, day-to-day monitoring  

In the former scenario, it is easy for stock problems to creep up on shop owners without anyone noticing for some time. For shops carrying more parts and conducting more frequent monitoring, the greatest challenge may be sorting a massive volume of parts.

Whether you run a shop that sells a lot of stock parts or makes more profit on labor, the one consistent way to gain control over the pace of parts inventory management is to use a program like Tekmetric.

A shop management software worth its salt centralizes information about what you have on your shelves and lets you update records fast.

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