Qualities to Look for in a Utility Inventory Storage Solution
Updated: Feb 9
Utility field service is labor-intensive work. It requires extensive planning and detailed logistics. The materials used are extremely large and hard to store.
Sometimes a utility project is not as cut and dry. Managing inventory is more than checking that a shipment matches a purchase order. Project managers should not overlook inventory tracking.
What if they order a power pole or other critical component well ahead of when it is needed? What if they order several? Where can they store the equipment? How can they be sure the equipment will be available when it’s time to get to work?
Managers need a place to store their utility inventory. They also need a tracking system to facilitate inventory visibility. If they forego either thing, then they could see their project fall apart. Projects do not complete themselves. They require workers and materials. A utility inventory storage solution that combines storage with monitoring can all but guarantee success.
What should you look for in a utility inventory storage solution?
Inventory Management Capabilities
The first thing to note is that many utility pole-hauling companies do not offer inventory management. The same goes for transloading yards.
Finding a solution that includes inventory management is the first step. Inquire about the company’s full suite of services to ensure that they have the utility inventory solution you need. The company should explain what its services include, as well as if any inventory management software is involved.
Make sure to ask how you can check your inventory and how often you receive updates as well.
Everyone embarking on a career path has to start somewhere. They have to fill their skill set with knowledge. Some begin by attending classes. Others, if not most, learn as they go. This is fine in many circumstances. However, if you are a project manager, will you trust a utility inventory storage solution that does not have a proven track record?
A solution that has experience dealing with utility inventory knows what managers expect of them and how to meet those expectations best. Would you trust inventory software that just hit the market or a system that has been used for years? Experience matters. A tried-and-true solution could offer a high level of support whereas a newer company could struggle with the most basic of functions.
Inventory management capabilities and experience can co-exist to demonstrate reliability. The right people, software, and dedication can ensure that utility project managers will receive effective and efficient inventory tracking services. Working with a trusted resource can remove doubts, worries, and headaches.
A project manager juggling multiple jobs at one time can turn to a dependable inventory solution and rest better knowing their materials are secure and accounted for. Teaming with a solution that does not have favorable credentials can prove problematic. Inventory might go missing. Projects could quickly derail if managers trust the wrong people. Opting to use a dependable company can be the best choice project managers make.
Accessing an inventory management system from any computer is fine, but the ultimate convenience is being able to track utility inventory from any device. For instance, using a mobile device to manage inventory items allows for greater flexibility. Field workers can see what is available ahead of time so they do not have to deal with missing materials when they need them. Project managers can check in whenever they want to make sure the necessary materials are available. If something is not available, then managers can order them before work is to commence, eliminating delays.
Imagine arriving to pick up the items listed on a work order, assuming that everything is available, and discovering that one thing is missing. Work can not begin without this item. The project might not be completed on time, ruining the reputation of the utility provider and the people they charge with the job. A convenient way to check inventory can mitigate situations like this, empowering projects to move forward as scheduled.
Blackwood Solutions’ Utility Inventory Storage
Inventory management capabilities, experience, dependability, and convenience are four essential qualities to look for in a utility inventory storage solution. As a trusted friend within the utility industry, Blackwood Solutions can solve your inventory issues.
We have helped utility providers across the United States since 2017. We recently built transload facilities to give our customers more valuable services to make their jobs and lives easier. We have learned the best strategies for holding and managing inventory, strategies that we can share with you. Add our pole-hauling services to the mix for a winning combination.
For a complete utility storage, inventory management, and hauling solution, turn to Blackwood.
Contact us today to let us know what we can do for you.