As an alarm company owner or manager, it’s important to optimize your inventory management in order to maintain a healthy and profitable business.
As the economy appears to be headed toward slowdown, it’s even more important to keep track of inventory so you can hit that careful balance between having enough inventory to meet customer needs and having a lot of money tied up in equipment.
There are several key factors to consider when doing so, which we will discuss in this blog post.
Factors to Consider in Optimizing Your Alarm Company’s Inventory Management
- Leads: Be sure you have enough stock of alarms on hand to meet customer demand. Too little inventory will result in lost sales, while too much will tie up valuable capital that could be used elsewhere. The best way to strike the right balance is to track your leads and sales data over time to get a sense of the average demand for your products.
- Margins: Make sure you are making a healthy profit on each alarm sale. This margin should cover the cost of goods sold (COGS), overhead expenses, and leave room for some profit. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a gross margin of 30-40%. The key may be to be brand agnostic. Be willing to sell your customers the best system for the money, not necessarily just the one brand. This can get a little difficult if you’ve contracted with a single company. Also, consider putting more of your margin in the labor and installation side than in the hardware side. It might be easier to make profits off the labor side than to try to overcharge on the hardware where the price is fixed.
- Turn time: In order to keep your customers happy, it’s important to fulfill their orders promptly. Track your average turn time from when an order is placed until it is shipped out, delivered, or installed. Then, compare this metric against industry benchmarks and strive to improve your own turn time on a continual basis.
One of the places where you can be highly successful is offering very fast installs. Often, people are buying alarms out of a sudden fear, such as an incident has already happened or might be about to happen. If you can guarantee an installation in hours, not days, you will be more likely to win the contract, even if your prices are a bit higher.
One part of the business that many alarm companies fall down on is the speed that they turn out offers. If you’re the first one in with a complete offer, it can give you a hand-up toward winning the contract. Many people will go with the first reasonable offer they get simply because they want the wait to be over. Using Optsy, you can write and deliver offers in a few minutes from anywhere. https://www.optsy.com/service-level-agreement-software/
- Seasonality: Be aware of any seasonal trends in your industry that might impact demand for your products. For example, if you sell home security systems, you might see a spike in demand during the summer as people go on vacation and want to protect their homes while they’re away. Planning ahead for these seasonal trends will help you avoid stock outs and lost sales.
- Know What You Have in Stock: Optimizing your alarm company’s inventory management means knowing exactly what you have in stock at all times. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually easier said than done. You need to have a system in place that tracks your inventory levels and provides you with real-time data. This way, you’ll always know exactly what you have on hand and can avoid overstocking or running out of items.
- Streamline Your Ordering Process: Another way to optimize your alarm company’s inventory management is to streamline your ordering process. This means having a system in place that makes it easy for you to reorder items when necessary. For example, you might want to consider setting up automatic reorders for items that are running low in stock. This way, you can ensure that you never run out of the supplies you need to keep your business running smoothly.
- Keep Your Inventory Organized: It’s important to keep your inventory organized at all times. Have a system in place that allows you to easily find the items you need when you need them. It also means storing items in a safe and secure location where they won’t be damaged or ruined. By taking the time to organize your alarm company’s inventory, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle down the road. This will often mean not storing all your inventory in yourtruck, even though that seems more convenient. There’s a higher likelihood of damage or theft if all your inventory is running around with you. Security is an important aspct of inventorry management. Chron has done an excellent article for all companies that carry inventory talking about why it’s important and what to do to secure your inventory: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/inventory-security-procedures-12475.html
- Implement an Inventory Management System: If you want to really optimize your alarm company’s inventory management, then you need to implement an inventory management system. There are a number of different systems on the market today, so take some time to research your options and find the one that best fits your needs . An inventory management system will streamline every aspect of your inventory management, from ordering and stocking items to tracking sales and analyzing data. With an effective system in place, you’ll be able to take full control of your alarm company’s inventory and ensure that it is always operating at peak efficiency.
Using an app like Optsy (https://www.optsy.com/) can help you manage your inventory and see what’s in stock from anywhere. This can make writing offers much faster.
Inventory management is a critical component of running a successful alarm company. By factoring in information such as leads, margins, turn time, and seasonality, you can optimize your inventory management to maintain healthy profits and keep your customers happy.