How to Manage Your Inventory of Replacement Parts

July 10, 2015

Starting your own phone and tablet repair shop entails a lot of inventory work. Unfortunately, the topic of inventory management does not seem very attractive to repair technicians nor shop managers. But think about the repair services you offer – screen replacement, battery replacement, charging port repair, etc. – and all the various types of phone and tablet models in the market today. With inventory management, you’ll avoid the guessing game of what to order and how many ahead of time.

Practicing the best ways to keep track of your replacement parts goes a long way. As a repair shop, you value timeliness in delivering your services. If you can’t fix it within the same day because you ran out of parts, you’re bound to lose a customer.

“Besides losing a sale, your staff would also have to deal with the customer’s frustration, which can consequently lower the employee’s morale,” said iCare Repair district manager, Brandon.

So how does a repair shop make inventory management as painless as possible? Here are three ways.

Project how many parts you’ll need based on history.

Having too much inventory is not ideal because if you can’t move the items, they’ll be taking up space in your storage room. Moreover, inventory that’s sitting on a shelf for too long can cause damage and depreciation to the parts. That’s money you just threw away.

Start decent projections of how much to order based on how much you’ve sold in the past 12 months. Seasonality is also a factor – broken phones are at a peak in the summer when people get more active, for example.

Prioritize your bestsellers.

Focus your efforts on your highest-selling items. If you are often doing iPhone repairs, between the 5S and 6 Plus series, spend more effort on stocking up on your “A” list. The next high-selling items will be the “B” list, and so on. Mark them with colored stickers to immediately identify how much stock you have left, especially for your in-demand items.

Use inventory-tracking software.

Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Lotus 123 may be working for you, but what if the data gets lost by accident? And if you have more than one store location, it will be difficult for multiple people to synchronize the spreadsheets. Try QuickBooks or Peachtree, which are not just accounting software, but they also include inventory features and a central database. And always remember to back up your inventory data by saving it in an external hard drive or in the cloud.

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