Inventory Control in Marine Parts and Servicing Businesses

Pertaining to the owner of a marine servicing business, products on hand control is vital to good management but can become a real problem. I heard of one business that lost over $40, 000 worth of stock during the period of a season. The reason? One of the employees was regularly taking small items and selling them privately. The disappearance of the stock went un-noticed until the end of the season when the gross annual stock take showed the discrepancies in expected versus actual numbers. But it was inside its final stages – the employee acquired left several months before the stock-take and was nowhere to be found, leaving the business high and dry. Benny Cenac Jr

How can you prevent this type of theft in your business? Regular stock-taking can minimize the problem, but that can be quite daunting with thousands of items in stock. You need an automatic solution – an integrated data source application can make great inroads towards the goal of effective inventory management. The procedure is simple, and moves similar to this: 

The database stores customers, suppliers, stock, sales and incoming orders
The existing customer, supplier and stock data is brought in if you have it in e-mail, otherwise this data is entered physically
Separate your workshop stock storage area into called areas
Each item of stock is kept in the allocated area, which area name is trapped in the database against the item code
When new stock arrives with its packaging slip, the new stock is entered into the database
Jointly purchase, an invoice is made and automatically adjusts the stock level of the correct items
Say you have areas A through Z. Printing a stock-take report for the area or areas you would like to check. The report will give the area, requirements, descriptions and expected tally
Stock take on a regular basis, of course, if you do not want to do the whole of your products on hand at once, select an area to stock-take
Turn the areas randomly so your stock-taking is not predictable, nevertheless, you cover all areas regularly
Following such a process will let you sleep at night time. If anything is lacking, you can work out what has happened before time fudges your storage. Who was working, what jobs were being done, who arrived and bought items – these are your clues and then you’re in the best position to understand what has happened if it is recent. Additionally, if the people in your business understand that unique stock-takes are happening, the temptation to ‘borrow’ something is minimized.

Throughout the storage of customers, suppliers, stock, sales and inbound orders in you databases, you unleash some other great benefits.

Suppliers
Which usually suppliers are you offering the most business to? Report on stock bought from a supplier in any time period – or sales made by supplier. Having these results can point you to which suppliers can provide an additional discount for large volume transactions

Inventory
Easy stock-taking – record on stock in a specified location, for example location A, at any point in time for stock-taking purposes. Breaking it right down to areas simplifies the process besides making it far more manageable.
Easy re-ordering – report on stock that has decreased to pre-specified re-order levels, with supplier details for re-ordering purposes

Customers
Quick access to customer details – customer data held including name, address, email, boat model, make and year, motor unit make, model and yr, and a notes field all available on selection from a drop-down list and viewed at any time
Service Reminders – report on customers who had their boats maintained in a specified month in the past allowing a reminder to be sent
Keep your customers by looking after them – email the customer with the click of the mouse (providing the customer email is stored)
Upsell – when you have items you would like to shift, you can email your customer database to let them know of your latest offer

Invoices
Made simple – the invoice uses customer name and addresses details kept in the system, selected from a drop down list
Automated Bills as follows – no more web templates
each stock item of the bill is selected by adding the item code
once an item code is selected, the description and retail price are automatically retrieved from the system
for every line item there is the functionality to manually modify a cost without changing the regular price tag price stored in the Stock table
for each line item there is the functionality to get into a dollar discount amount to be used on each item – if two of the same goods are on the one line, the dollars discount will apply at each item