Consumable inventory management software is a powerful tool for businesses that helps them streamline their inventory management processes, track the movement of their stock, and improve their overall efficiency. In construction, consumables are things like caulk, tape, nails, and other items used up – “consumed” – on a jobsite. (Unlike durable items that are sent to job sites and expected to return.) This post will provide an in-depth guide to consumable inventory management software and how to find the right solution for your construction business.
What to Look for in Consumable Inventory Management Software
When searching for the best consumable inventory management software, there are several essential factors to consider. Inventory management systems can be complex – you can spend more time managing the system than the system spends helping you. The right solution will efficiently meet the needs of your business and help you streamline your inventory management processes.
Here are some key features to look for:
Tracking & Monitoring
The software should be able to track and monitor inventory levels in real time, allowing you to know the exact quantity of consumable items available.
The software should support barcode scanning to make inventory management faster and more accurate.
The software should allow you to export data to analyze or use in other systems as you wish. For example, this ensures that you retain control of your data and can run reports using third party tools to generate reports on inventory levels, consumption rates, and other metrics to help you make informed decisions.
The software should be easy to use and navigate, with an intuitive interface that allows you to quickly access and manage inventory information.
The software should be compatible with mobile devices, allowing you to manage inventory from anywhere at any time.
The software should have strong security features, such as password protection and user access controls, to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive inventory information.
Consumable Inventory Management Software in the Construction Industry
As we mentioned before, inventory management systems can be complex. If you’re spending more time managing the system than the system is giving you back, well, that’s a problem. But consumable tracking does not have to be complicated. We recognized that contractors needed an easy way to send not just tools and equipment, but also things like caulk, tape, and other consumables out to jobs. That’s why ShareMyToolbox includes user-friendly consumable inventory management.
Here’s how it works:
1. Add Items
After enabling Consumables in the ShareMyToolbox settings, you can select the Item Type as “Consumable” when adding an item to your inventory. Since a consumable is a material item that won’t be returned (i.e., saw blades, caulk, duct tape, etc.), ShareMyToolbox creates a costing transaction so you can charge the consumed items to a job.
When setting up consumable items, you can enter a barcode if you’d like to scan items during checkout. We usually recommend you use the item’s UPC code, but this is not required. However, if you use different brands of the same thing, we recommend using your own barcode since the UPCs will vary by manufacturer.
Next, you simply set up the item you want to make available and add the quantity on hand. For security, only Admins can add and adjust Consumables.
2. Loan & Borrow
The ShareMyToolbox workflow is efficient and intuitive, making the process of loaning, borrowing, and transferring items seamless – whether they’re durable tools or consumable items. The only difference with consumables is that those items don’t get returned – they get consumed on the jobsite. Using the ShareMyToolbox loaning workflow, you can easily move consumables where they need to go, and the app will adjust the quantity for you.
In the mobile app, just choose an item/material to transfer or loan out, select the recipient, enter the quantity you’re transferring, optionally add the location, and tap “Loan.” Then, like all workflows in ShareMyToolbox, the person receiving the item must Accept the Loan. The recipient can either Accept or Reject the transfer of Consumables. Either way, the app notifies the Admin.
3. Track & Monitor
To view the consumables you have on hand, you can look at the Consumables Card on the Dashboard Home. Then, click or tap on the card to display a filtered view of all Available Consumables you have on hand versus those in use on a jobsite. ShareMyToolbox includes powerful search and filter options to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
4. Adjust & Record
Occasionally, you need to record adjustments in your consumable inventory:
- returned items from jobs
- other miscellaneous adjustments, such as recording shrinkage
The “Adjust Workflow” option in the ShareMyToolbox mobile app allows you to change Consumable quantities on hand. Just open the item record, tap the Adjust +/- icon, enter the amount you’re adding or removing, select the reason (Purchase, Return, Inventory Adjustment), and save. This process creates a transaction record so you can see the history of adjustments.
Consumable inventory management software is a powerful tool that can significantly improve your business operations. Selecting the right software can streamline your inventory management processes, save time and money, and improve your overall efficiency. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, register for your free trial of ShareMyToolbox for your consumable inventory management today.