As a boatyard owner, does this scenario sound familiar? A customer or prospect pulls his or her SUV into the parking lot of your marine service shop with a fishing or bay boat in tow. Once inside the shop, the boat owner begins to run down a list of parts he or she needs replaced on the vessel as soon as possible:
- Control cable
- New life jackets
- Ventilation hose
- Fuel filter
As the customer is running down this checklist, you are jotting down notes for you technicians, knowing full and well that you have all of these items in stock and can complete the work order. But just as the owner is seemingly finished reeling off parts, he or she says, “Oh and I will also need a new battery charger.”
All of a sudden you freeze, remembering that you noticed last week you were out of battery chargers. You had meant to order more but are suddenly realizing that in the bustle of running your shop, you simply never got around to it. So you are forced to tell the customer that you can certainly replace all the parts, but that you will need to keep the boat for a few extra days while you wait for new chargers to be delivered. Not wanting to waste those few days of boating season, the customer decides to take his or her boat elsewhere.
Not only are you left feeling embarrassed, but you just watched a large work order—and thus revenue—walk right out your door. And if you keep relying on your memory or handwritten notes to remember to re-stock your inventory, chances are it will happen again.
With the right tools in place, however, this situation could have been avoided. For instance, an advanced task manager allows service shops to integrate point-of-sale and e-commerce purchases with inventory management so that you are never caught without a part a customer needs. When your stock room or warehouse runs low on an item, the task manager reminds you to place a new order.
Task management software also allows you to pass value on to your customers in other ways. For instance, these solutions empower clients to make service appointments from their mobile devices or even send photos or video of their vessels so that you can provide more accurate repair cost estimates. A task manager also enables customers to track maintenance progress online so that they don’t have to continuously call or email your shop for status updates. Robust task managers offer numerous other features as well, including:
- The ability to issue reminders for when boats are due for maintenance
- The capacity to centralize all areas of financial management in a single location
- The ability to streamline operations internally by coordinating tasks between technicians, contractors and managers
As a service professional, sometimes a customer requires a product or service that you simply do not offer. In those cases, you can live with seeing that owner take his or her business elsewhere. But in an age when digital tools can help you easily and accurately track inventory, there is no reason you should ever forfeit revenue because an item you normally carry is out of stock. Advanced task managers allow you to simply put inventory concerns out of your mind and focus on growing your business. For some examples of how a task scheduler has helped improve operations for other businesses, take a look at these testimonials.