Jun 06, 2024

How to Streamline Your Heavy Equipment Repair Shop

How to Streamline Your Heavy Equipment Repair Shop

Is your diesel shop’s inventory a mess? With the right inventory management software features, you can streamline your stockroom—and run a more efficient shop.

“Streamline.” It’s a beautiful word, isn’t it? One of those words that sounds exactly like the concept it’s describing—smooth and sleek and simple. Actually, let’s say it again: streamline. 


What? No, “streamline” isn’t the SEO keyword for this blog; we legitimately just like how it sounds. And we especially like how it sounds in the context of “streamlining your repair shop,” which is something all too many heavy-duty shops struggle with.

Getting your inventory under control is a great way to boost your shop’s operational efficiency, but this task is easier said than done. (If you’ve ever gone on a wild goose chase looking for that one part, you know what we’re talking about.) 

Fortunately, modern inventory management systems can help you know where your parts are, how many components you have in stock, and when you need to reorder parts. With the help of these inventory management software features, you’ll be able to run a shop that’s more (here it comes!) streamlined than ever before.

Identifying Your Needs

Before investing in an inventory management system (or any other type of heavy equipment repair software, really), make sure it will be a good fit for your shop. To determine your shop’s inventory-related needs, consider factors such as:

  • How many locations you have. The more locations you have in your chain, the more potential destinations there are for your parts. Naturally, that can complicate your inventory management process.
  • Where you store parts. Even if your shop only has one location, you might not always store parts in the same spot. If you keep components anywhere other than your stockroom, you’ll need software that can track parts across multiple locations.
  • What type of shop you run. Some heavy-duty shops face unique challenges when it comes to parts management. For example, mobile repair shops should be prepared to track parts stored in their trucks.
  • Whether or not you have a dedicated parts person. Centralized ordering—i.e., choosing a single person or department to order parts—can make inventory management much easier than it would be otherwise.
  • Your plans for future growth. If you plan on opening one or more new locations in the foreseeable future, you’ll want to find inventory management software that can scale with you.

Key Inventory Management Software Features to Look For 

Now that you know what your diesel shop needs from its web-based inventory software, it’s time to do some comparison shopping. As part of this process, be sure to prioritize these inventory management software features:

Inventory Tracking

With new parts and part cores constantly entering and exiting your shop, tracking these components may seem like an impossible task. Luckily, parts tracking is one of the biggest benefits inventory management programs bring to the table. With one of these systems, you’ll know exactly how many parts you have in stock and exactly where they are.

Purchase Order Generation

Purchase orders aren’t just a formality—these documents can help you avoid paying for the wrong parts or getting charged the wrong rate for components you do need. If you have a good inventory management system, you won’t have to spend time creating purchase orders on your own. These programs can generate comprehensive, professional-looking purchase orders for you.

Automated Reorder Notifications

When do you need to reorder parts? When you use a well-designed inventory management system, the answer is “don’t worry about it.” These programs let shops set maximum and minimum inventory thresholds, so whenever you’re at risk of running out of parts, you’ll get a notification letting you know it’s time to place another order.

Pricing Tools

Truly exceptional inventory management software won’t just help you keep track of your parts—it will make it easier to sell these components at the right price. Some programs in this category can help you create a parts matrix and calculate markup percentages.

Reporting Capabilities

The finest inventory management systems on the market give heavy-duty shops access to useful information about how they use parts. If your inventory management software comes with robust reporting features, it can help you:

  • Keep track of your inventory costs
  • Know how quickly (or slowly) your parts are selling
  • Automate the cycle counting process
  • Find and organize parts that don’t have assigned locations

Compatibility with Other Programs

These days, every diesel shop uses at least one or two programs or services in its workflow. (i.e., accounting software like Quickbooks or services like MOTOR and FleetNet America)

If everything can’t work together, your productivity suffers. Because of that, your shop’s inventory management software needs to be ready to integrate with your systems and the systems used by your suppliers.

Implementation Steps

Though inventory software can make it much easier to order, track, and price parts, getting up to speed with any new program can be a challenge. To simplify this transition, set aside some time to show your techs and other employees how your new system will simplify their job duties. (Some inventory management systems can help by providing step-by-step onboarding sessions and in-app training, among other onboarding features.)

Once your staff is ready to work with your new inventory management software, it’s time to make sure the same is true for the systems in your shop. If you followed our advice from before, this shouldn’t be an issue with inventory management systems that seamlessly integrate with other programs.

Take Control of Your Inventory 

We could wrap this article up with a whole paragraph about how you should look for “a program that delivers all these inventory management software features and more,” but that doesn’t seem very streamlined. 

You know what program we’re talking about, we know you know what program we’re talking about, so let’s just say it: Fullbay is the best choice for your shop’s inventory management needs.

But even though our software excels at inventory management, it does a lot more than that, too. You can also count on Fullbay when you need to generate invoices, communicate with customers, or collect payments. If you’re interested in what we have to offer, take the next step by scheduling a demo today!

Oh, and one more time for good measure: streamline.

Emilie Vecera