An area of activity that is sometimes handled outside the software system is parts sourcing and procurement. The reasons for handling things this way vary but if parts processing can be performed through the shop management system the benefits are significant. Efficiency and accuracy are improved and time saved during the process can be spent on more value add activities. Following are points on part sourcing and procurement through the shop management system:
- Sourcing – Determining the best part to use for a repair can be done in a number of ways. Calling a supplier on the phone and asking them to lookup the part is one way. Another way is to search on one or more supplier websites. Each of these methods is performed outside the shop management software. Although it’s necessary to source parts outside the system at times – using an integrated supplier interface within the shop management system is much more efficient and accurate. Parts information can be imported directly into the shop management system eliminating the need for transferring the information.
- Ordering – Similar to sourcing – parts can be ordered outside the shop management system by phone or through a website and sometimes it’s necessary. Ordering parts from an integrated supplier through the shop management system has several advantages over other methods. If the part was sourced through an integrated supplier it’s already in the system and can be ordered electronically through the integrated interface saving time and ensuring accuracy. Also, when parts are ordered using an integrated interface the information in the shop management system can be set up to support easy receipt.
- Receipt – When parts are sourced and ordered outside the shop management system they’ll most likely be received in like fashion. The most prevalent occurrence of this method is to receive the parts with their invoice from the supplier and then key the parts from the vendor invoice into the repair order. Although it is sometimes necessary to handle things in this fashion the standard procedure should be to process the receipt through the shop management system using the parts information that was built during the sourcing and ordering process thus improving efficiency and accuracy.