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Van Inventory


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22 replies to this topic

#1 jkirksey1889

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

I just bought my 1st service van.  I have been working out of a small pickup for 1.5 years now, the length of time I have had my company. 

 

Here's the deal:

 

My pickup stayed in a mess.  I had parts in a big black weatherproof box in the back, parts in the passenger seat, parts in the truck toolbox, and often accumulated a part or two in my toolbag. 

 

I could almost never find what I was looking for.  I have a van now, more parts, and probably more mess.  I'm hoping to deal with the problem a little better now that I have more room.  No more excuses.

 

Instead of running to the supply house when I need a part I might have on the van, I want to know what exactly IS on the van

 

I was wondering if there was a device that was just for inventory.  What I would like to do (there are only so many bins on the van) is keep track of what I have with this "device".  I'm gonna organize my parts the best I can, but before I spend 5 or 10 mins looking for a part I'd like to open the device, punch in the part number, and see if it's on the van or not.

 

Is there any such device?  I know a laptop would work but it's a pain to drag out of the case, keep the battery charged, etc.  I'm looking for a lazy way out.

 

Pen and paper is a better possibility that a laptop IMO. 

 

Any ideas or do any such devices exist?

 

Thanks.

 

Oh, and I also had parts in a spare bedroom, in the garage, in the shop, and under the couch.  Confusion abound!


Edited by jkirksey1889, 22 December 2012 - 02:27 PM.


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#2 J5

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

you could use a tablet of some description or of course the old pen and paper

 

create a spreadsheet at home and print it out occasionally

 

when i did other service years ago and had a zillion parts in the van i kept a printed spreadsheet

in the van which also had locations of there the parts where so you could know that 1 if you had the part

and 2 if you did you knew where to find it

 

for example i had a stack of drawers that had compartments with small individual parts in them

so a reference to the drawer number made it easy to find

 

when i had my spreadsheet i had 2 copies on hand

 

1 printed by part number and

1 printed by description

 

as when i rang someone and got a part number i could check the part number list

or i could look on the description list and easily know if its on van or not


Edited by J5, 22 December 2012 - 06:16 PM.


#3 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:10 PM

Back in the days when I ran service out of a van (I run a Prius, now), I had Weatherguard shelving and labelled all the cubbys' drawers, and pull out boxes with a label maker.  Had things generally grouped by appliance type: laundry, cooking, refrigeration, dishwashers, etc.  Pretty shit-hot and anal-retentive.  I've relaxed a lot now and don't mind using Roughneck totes and cardboard boxes in the back of the Prius-- it's plenty organized and too damn small for stuff to get lost in.  



#4 Cactus Bob

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

Talk to your parts supply house . the one i use that's based in phoenix keeps our trucks in the latest most sold parts

old stock that stops selling is replaced with faster moving stock

 

the salesman comes around once a month , the trucks are checked , refilled and we have a price sheet and # on hand in each truck

 

this is all done at no extra charge to us

 

I really like it , one less thing to think about


SORRY ABOUT THE SPELLING , I FIX GREAT , I DON'T SPELL WELL

#5 jkirksey1889

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

Thanks for all of the advice. 

 

Bob, I haven't thought about the local supply house lending a hand.  I'll have to check that out.



#6 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:08 AM

Talk to your parts supply house . the one i use that's based in phoenix keeps our trucks in the latest most sold parts

old stock that stops selling is replaced with faster moving stock

 

the salesman comes around once a month , the trucks are checked , refilled and we have a price sheet and # on hand in each truck

 

this is all done at no extra charge to us

 

I really like it , one less thing to think about

 

 

This is a fantastic service, Bob!  Wish we had something like that around here.  But they probably wouldn't do it for a one-vehicle operation.  Sounds like you're with a larger, multi-truck operation.  



#7 certified tech group 51

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:57 AM

jkirksey1889, I think it would have been easier to just ask what the lotto numbers are.............I do not have a parts store within 150 miles, I  figured out what is more used in the area , Gas  or electric......Electric in my case..and the most popular brands that you be seeing, W/P, then Maytag...........I have the standard 4 totes,   washer, range, dryer and refer.           In the totes the standard staff.........Washer= lid switches, drive couplers,  a few timer knobs, and stuff.........Dryer= door switches, main rear bearing kits, maintenance kits and stuff..........Range= surface switches, current and voltage types, recepticals,  knobs,  generic surface switches, and stuff.......Refers= a few door switches, a universal cold control,  a various  lot of defrost terminators, a few defrost timers and most used start kits and  ( a few 3-N-1 hard start )  and stuff............On the racks are dryer elements, condenser motors, a few popular evap motors, the most used washer drain pumps, G.E. defrost heaters...........The list goes on....In my case , I gotta be ready for the dreaded  question  " While you are here, can you look at my XXXXX"............ Some times the drive is 25 miles of pavement and the last 5 on a one lane dirt road...I have tried to whittle it down "stuff" wise, but............................AND, with the stuff going more electronic, you probably will be carrying less, cuz the costs of carrying around a few $ 300 boards.. :dry: ....



#8 jkirksey1889

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:01 AM

Anyone else wanna chime in?  I would really love to know of an app or a program that would work with a tablet or laptop, that is easy to use, that would help me keep track of the inventory I have on the van.  Pencil and paper has been the best idea yet, but this is 2013.  Surely there is a better way??



#9 completeapplianceservice

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

The easiest way would be to have your van organized in a way that you could easily look for a certain part. I work out of a safari(astro) and have small draws in the back for small parts, ie: couplers, lid switches, burner blocks, which I get to from the back doors. Inside I have shelves for bigger parts. These are seperated by appliances, washers, dryers, ranges, etc. That way you can step in and know immediately if you have it or not.

#10 Gatsumi

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:12 AM

I found inventory droid. Been using it for a couple of months and works ok for $5.99. I also track repairs by model numbers and put parts replaced in the notes section. Model numbers do repeat. Gives you a history of parts used by model number.

#11 suampman

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

Samurai, How is the prius working out? I have thought about working out of a small wagon, with plastic drawers in the back. This ambiguity about fuel prices from month to month is rediculous. My truck gets 15 to 20 mpg depending on the season, and I am in the sticks so most of my calls are aways away.



#12 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

Samurai, How is the prius working out?

 

Tastes great and less filling!  

 

 

Still working out great, I plan on staying with it.  Mine has 120,000 miles on it and still running strong.  When it finally goes, I'll lease a new one-- better way to go for tax purposes because the lease it 100% deductible.  And I'll get a new Prius every two years.   :beach:



#13 completeapplianceservice

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

I've also thought of going to a smaller vehicle but I don't know how I would do with the small space. For instance in my area I run into a lot of lg/samsung dryer drums cracked. I don't think you could get one of those in a prius/compact car.



#14 J5

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:21 AM

looking back

i now run in a smaller vehicle space

 

I use different boxes per certified tech group 51

 

organised in appliance type

 

dryer

washer

pumps

oven

etc

etc

 

i know where a part should be

 

if its not there then i dont have it



#15 Ahh-Cool

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

I use a toaster for my vehicle (scion XB) I get 30 MPG empty 28MPG with about 1,000 pounds in the back and 26 pulling a trailer with 500 pounds.

Ahh-Cool A/C



#16 Scottthewolf

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:32 PM

Why not look into a Ford C Max?, it's a hybrid also, and it's a crossover between a station wagon and a SUV, so much more room for more parts and bigger parts.

Tastes great and less filling!  

 

 

Still working out great, I plan on staying with it.  Mine has 120,000 miles on it and still running strong.  When it finally goes, I'll lease a new one-- better way to go for tax purposes because the lease it 100% deductible.  And I'll get a new Prius every two years.   :beach:

 

Tastes great and less filling!  

 

 

Still working out great, I plan on staying with it.  Mine has 120,000 miles on it and still running strong.  When it finally goes, I'll lease a new one-- better way to go for tax purposes because the lease it 100% deductible.  And I'll get a new Prius every two years.   :beach:


Scott Wolf

#17 James Hager

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:01 PM

Take a look at mpengo service call 2.5 it's app for ipad cost 19.99 it has suggested parts lists report. Also you can email invoices,quotes has a lot of features for the money.

#18 wishfultech

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:14 AM

The local A&E guy uses a tablet to check inventory .Seeems like a nice thing.



#19 nickfixit

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:53 PM

The local A&E guy uses a tablet to check inventory .Seeems like a nice thing.

If he's an A&E guy he should have the same active inventory system the rest of Sears/A&E has. His computer will display the part info with bin locations for all stocked parts. And if he doesn't have it, it will show listings of other techs who do have it, along with their phone numbers, distance from your location, and the bin number of the part in their truck.

 

It actually works pretty good, much to my surprise. I figured it would be a total charley foxtrot. 


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#20 curjones

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:39 AM

I was hoping to be able to scan the barcode, of my part and that would go into my system and track the used parts, my cheap smart phone does not have an auto focus lense, so that was out for me. I saw several programs where you could do this. Getting organized, not a natural skill, staying organized priceless, and relives most of the stress associated with the small stuff you cant find when you need it. There is a wheel called the success insight wheel, that breaks down strenghts and weakness, I am a weak coordinator, when I get to Implementing, troubleshooting, and fixing, on tasks of repair. A person who is a one man show, must do every job on the wheel, include analize, organize and control inventory. I have for years pushed my self and tried to discipline myself to put it back in its place. Working in a factory for years I knew where my tools went in my box, I just had to figure out where I had left it, or dropped it. At home I had no place or idea, where it was, and if I left it on the table it was put up some place my wife had no idea where she put it.

I love boxes and lables, but some how the box gets moved, someone takes it out and doesnt put it back. I also find myself over analizing, and spending time trying to be organized when I should just be fixing or promoting my business, runing ads and handing out cards to get more business.

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