The Importance of Documentation in the Restoration Industry and How Software Can Help

Management software for a restoration company should be scalable, allowing contractors to address their needs now and in the future.

The restoration industry helps restore damage caused by fires, floods, hailstorms, hurricanes, mold, tornadoes, wind, and other natural (and occasionally unnatural) disasters. Many professionals working in the industry are smaller independent contractors who have invested a great deal of time and money in their capabilities to return people’s homes – and sometimes businesses – to their original state after a disaster. While this might seem to laypeople like a reasonably straightforward process, restoration companies must deal with many moving parts to ensure a project’s done right.

Some small businesses can get away with using Excel spreadsheets or other simple systems for managing inventory. However, management software for restoration contractors makes this process easier and more efficient. It’s essential for restoration businesses, which often need to upscale their operations to deal with emergencies rapidly. Inventory management software allows contractors, project managers, field teams, and other stakeholders to track the equipment and supplies they need to do their job correctly.

How Inventory Management Software Can Help Restoration Contractors

Natural disasters are highly unpredictable. A simple summer thunderstorm can bring hail, high winds, or even a tornado in an instant, while flooding and mold damage can result from a storm’s aftereffects. Many who grew up east of the Rockies can attest – especially in “Tornado Alley” – that tornados can often produce massive damage, making a structure look like a bombed-out building.

While the paths of hurricanes are more predictable, the damage they unleash can be much wider and, with their higher amounts of precipitation, can result in unforeseen flooding. This, in turn, can cause mold infestations, loss of structural integrity, and other water-related damage. These situations are often very time-sensitive. To react quickly, a restoration contractor must access plastic tarps, heaters, fans, emergency supports, dehumidifiers, and other necessary equipment and supplies.

Since these supplies will be in high demand immediately after a disaster, keeping track of a company’s assets and where they’re most needed is important. That’s where inventory management software comes in. For contractors looking for assistance with their inventory management, the software can help prevent project delays due to the lack of essential materials or equipment.

Inventory management software can help with the following: 

  • Alerting a project manager when consumables like wiring, nuts and bolts, nails, drill bits, batteries, and other supplies run low.
  • Keeping an inventory of tools that includes instructions, manufacturer details, vital spare parts, and other necessary equipment.
  • Scheduling preventive maintenance for equipment during slower periods of the year to ensure it’s in top condition when needed.
  • Tracking solutions like barcodes or radio-frequency identification (RFID) for equipment.

For project managers and stakeholders, managing inventory can often prevent delays and unnecessary cost overruns. Management software for tracking equipment and supplies helps project managers plan a job by ensuring everything a team needs is available when and where needed so that work stays on schedule.

The Role of Inventory Management Software

When implementing new inventory management software, stakeholders should understand what it’s meant to do and how it can optimize a team’s work. By helping to track important pieces of equipment and necessary supplies for a project, it can be a powerful tool that can replace less accurate and often manual systems for inventory management. Software solutions should, above everything else, help project managers and teams in the field do their job better.

Inventory management software’s role in a restoration business depends on what that business needs. Unlike a retail outlet that can get paid by customers to order out-of-stock items, a restoration company depends on its inventory to make money. If it doesn’t have the supplies and equipment available to do a job, the work must be delayed, which constrains the flow of revenue and limits the contractor’s other work. Inventory management software helps project managers ensure their field teams have everything they need to do their job by tracking where tools and supplies are while also warning when supplies are running low.

Benefits of inventory management software include:

  • Making sure all materials needed for a job are on hand.
  • Providing information like age and service status about equipment.
  • Storing detailed records on equipment maintenance, including their current state of repair and preventive maintenance schedules.
  • Tracing where and with whom specific resources are at any particular moment.
  • Tracking of materials and assets, including when they were purchased and identifying numbers.

To ensure that inventory management software is being used optimally, it’s important to train project managers on how best to use it, along with anyone else tasked with keeping track of supplies and assets. Such training should also teach employees how to utilize the platform to implement best practices in inventory management. Software solutions, above all, should improve the service provided to a contractor’s customers.

Customer-Centric Solution

Business technology shouldn’t just make the restoration company’s lives easier. It should benefit their customers as well. For example, a project manager dealing with a homeowner whose house has been flooded will look more competent when they check the inventory management software to accurately predict when the air movers and dehumidifiers will arrive onsite. Knowing where equipment is, improves a contractor’s productivity and enhances customer service.

How Albi Supports Inventory Management Software

Inventory management software for a restoration company should be scalable, allowing contractors to address their needs now and in the future. Albi provides restoration contractors with an automated system for inventory management, with software that can be built upon. Being configurable, Albi can easily accommodate new technologies and upgrades to the platform, as well as changes in regulations and the industry itself.  

Albi allows contractors to: 

  • Allocate assets to certain projects or teams.
  • Better manage costs for equipment and materials.
  • Create lists of equipment and vehicles, along with their locations.
  • In real-time, enable project managers to see where all their equipment is and who has it.
  • Streamline workflows to expedite projects, promoting cost savings and improving customer relations.

For restoration contractors looking to improve the efficiency of their operation and the productivity of their teams, our inventory management software can help. Made by people who know the restoration industry, Albi offers a solution on which you can build your company and grow your profits. To learn more about what Albi can do for you and your business, book a free demo today.