ServiceTitan Inventory: Are You Ready?
ServiceTitan Inventory sounds like a dream. Keep track of my inventory…. automatically? SIGN ME UP!
If you’ve already mastered other areas of ServiceTitan (pricebook, invoicing, customers, and purchasing), then implementing ServiceTitan’s Inventory Module is your next infinity stone. It will help reduce cost, waste, errors and comes with reporting. This will enable you and your team to start making better data-driven decisions and being more profitable at the same time.
However, as you all know before the lights come on, there has to be groundwork laid and set up done. Otherwise, when you flip that switch those lights will still be off. There are some crucial factors to consider in order to experience a successful setup and a smooth transition to tracking inventory in ST.
Before we go any further, we want to share a warning…
If You Turn On Inventory, There Is No Turning Back
Many features in ServiceTitan can be tested and then turned off or ignored if they do not work for you and your team. Inventory is not one of those features.
Here at PCG, we have worked with MANY clients that have tried out inventory “just to see” or because they wanted to “dive right in to the deep end”. Only once it was enabled did they realize they weren’t ready, and as a result have a tangled mess of data on their hands. It’s not fun for anyone.
We cannot emphasize this enough. There is no “reset” or “undo” button for Inventory. If you turn on inventory and decide you don’t like it, it can take a heavy lift to get things back to pre-inventory.
When your CSM turns on the inventory module, there are several changes that take place in your account. It’s not impossible to undo it, but it’s a lot of work. Here are some examples:
- Your pricebook items duplicated and turned into new “inventory” items. If you turn off inventory then you will need to revert back to the “non-inventory” items. This will make your pricebook very out-of-date and cluttered.
- The inventory location is enabled. This allows you to see where the item came from that has been added to an invoice. These inventory locations are assigned to your techs. Once inventory is turned off, they are still assigned to techs, but now you won’t be able to see them.
- Your trucks and warehouses will now have templates assigned to them. When you disable inventory, these templates will still apply to all of your trucks and warehouses.
Now that we’ve adequately warned you, let’s move on to the good stuff.
When our clients approach us about implementing inventory, we are looking for answers to three key questions.
- Is your pricebook ready?
- Have you mastered the Purchasing module?
- Who’s going to help with the implementation and daily operation of Inventory?
Also, we strongly recommend you consult with your CSM or your PCG Consultant to evaluate your readiness for Inventory before enabling the module. It always helps to have another pair of eyes!
1. Is Your Pricebook Perfect?
Your Pricebook is fundamental to the Inventory module. It is essential that your Materials, Equipment, and links between those items and your services are in working order.
When reviewing your pricebook for inventory readiness, consider the following:
- Are your categories and subcategories well organized?
- Are your items up-to-date? (Remove items that are no longer in use)
- Are your vendors up-to-date? (Remove old vendors)
- Are your GL accounts up-to-date?
- Do you have service-material and service-equipment links configured properly?
When our consultants at PCG review a Client’s account for Inventory readiness, the Pricebook is the first place we go. In our experience, you will not be successful with inventory if your pricebook is not optimized.
Even if you’re not ready for Inventory, there are a lot of benefits to maintaining your pricebook:
- A well-defined Pricebook allow for easy searching, categorization and analysis, enabling all users to quickly locate and manage items.
- When the techs in the field are accurately finding items and adding them to invoices or purchase orders, this gives them time back in their day to maybe complete an extra job.
- It will also give your office staff some time back, because they will not be bogged down correcting errors.
2. Have you Mastered the Purchasing Module?
It is essential to have a firm foundation and mastery of the purchasing module in ServiceTitan. That’s because the inventory module is just the purchasing module taken one step further. If we are successfully procuring items, then the last piece left to learn is how to track them.
Take an honest look at how your team is using the purchasing module. Here are some things we look for:
- Technicians are accurately adding materials and equipment to invoices
- Technicians are well-versed on how to create a PO
- The office or warehouse team is receiving POs
- The PO Screen accurately reflects real-life
If you don’t find these to be true, take a step back and work to perfect this process internally. Only once you have the Purchasing process working consistently and accurately over several months should you consider adding on the extra layer of Inventory management.
3. Who is Going to Help?
You’re not going to be able to do this on your own! You need people on your team to support the implementation process, initial count, and the ongoing management & upkeep of inventory.
The clients we’ve seen with the most success have a Warehouse Manager and/or a Procurement Coordinator dedicated to managing inventory.
Another big piece of implementing inventory is accurately setting up the beginning balances. Getting your initial count correct is crucial. This is going to take time so it’s important to plan ahead. Build a schedule to count the sections of your warehouse and each truck. We need to make sure that all inventory has been counted, and that it matches your accounting software.
I cannot stress enough the importance of this step. If not done correctly, then all the time we would save with the inventory module will be spent fixing errors due to the numbers not matching.
ServiceTitan Inventory Experts at Powerhouse Consulting Group
If you want your inventory implementation to go super-smoothly, hire our team at Powerhouse Consulting Group to partner with you in the process. We can assist with the overall project management, establishing workflows, training the team on best practices, and monitoring your inventory during and after go-live. Our team is certified to coach in ServiceTitan’s Inventory module, which means you can trust that our guidance is sound. Contact us now for a free discovery call.