For even veteran integrators, inventory management is an area of the business that is difficult to master. Sometimes equipment arrives at the office and gets lost. Other times, integrators realize too late at the conclusion of a project that they installed a slew of parts and components but never billed the client for them.
Meanwhile, accounting software solutions like Intuit Quickbooks have an inventory element, but it is not well suited for this industry. Likewise, proposal software like D-Tools is aimed at helping dealers churn out estimates and order equipment, but not designed to track a part once it arrives at the office or is shipped to the jobsite.
As a result, inventory management is still done by pencil and paper by many integrators that do not have end-to-end software solutions… a process rife with errors.
That was exactly the situation at CE Pro 100 integration company Residential Systems Inc. (RSI) in Littleton, Colo. Even after proposals and estimates were entered into D-Tools and then linked to Quickbooks, inventory management was still very much a manual process.
“Field staff were writing things on clipboards and dealing with paper records when checking out equipment for a projector or a service call,” says Travis Leo, CEO.
The process meant some things were forgotten about before they were written down, and poor handwriting meant some information was lost in translation. The company found itself awash in Post-It Notes, emails and clipboards.
“We were leaking real dollars to the tune of $1,000 per month,” says Leo.
Tracknicity Software Features
So, after investigating a variety of solutions that did not suit its needs, RSI got to work and developed its own inventory management solution, dubbed Tracknicity.
Tracknicity is an easy-to-use, mobile inventory and project tracking app. Users can check out stock items to jobs, request parts, check project status and receive delivery notifications instantly using a built-in UPC scanner that eliminates the need to purchase proprietary hardware.
Tracknicity also enables project team members to check the actual hours used vs. budgeted hours on each project. With the addition of real-time interactive reports, the software helps businesses reduce manual inventory tracking and increase profitability.
Key features of the software include:
- Quickbooks integration (both QuickBooks Online and Quickbooks Desktop (Pro, Premier and Enterprise).
- D-Tools integration
- Multi-location bar code scanning
- The ability to check in and out parts from any iOS device (Android is on the roadmap)
- The ability to handle custom requests
- User-configurable notifications
- Reporting and history by employee and by job
The results have been superb for RSI, a member of the Azione Unlimited buying group. The software saves the company 6 hours per week in unproductive (and unbilled) manpower, reduced errors by 20%, and “found” that $1,000 per month in lost revenue that was not being billed.
“This is the ‘Quickbooks inventory plug-in’ that has been missing for so long,” says Leo.
With so much success, RSI launched Tracknicity as an available $200 per month software solution for the entire industry. Leo says the software does not require a steep learning curve, noting that a company can be up and running in 2 hours.
D-Tools Integration 'Bridge'
Meanwhile, D-Tools has announced a seamless integration between its D-Tools System Integrator (SI) software and Tracknicity, calling the software a “bridge” to inventory management for D-Tools.
D-Tools’ software focuses primarily on project estimation, system design, and project management, and transfers appropriate product and labor information to QuickBooks for financial accounting.
“Inventory management is the single most requested feature from D-Tools customers,” says Randy Stearns, CEO of D-Tools.
“While D-Tools has been hesitant to add inventory management to its platforms because it infringes upon financial accounting, which is a line we deliberately choose not to cross, we are pleased to partner with Tracknicity to finally bridge that inventory management gap.
Tim Bigoness, chief marketing officer at D-Tools, says flatly, “We have always stayed away from inventory.”
As part of the integration, D-Tools is making Tracknicity available for its dealers to purchase via its website.