Automate your parts delivery schedule:
One of our customers wanted more control over installations. The availability of parts was a major headache. He ordered most of his parts specifically for the job. Time after time the technician would get to the site, and be unable to finish, because a specific part was not available.
Receipts were scheduled in an excel spreadsheet. As parts were received, they were checked off on the sheet. When everything was checked off the installation was scheduled.
In practice this should have worked. In reality, purchase orders, receipts, and the spreadsheet were constantly getting out of sync. Information on the spreadsheet differed from the Purchase Orders in QuickBooks. Since there was no delivery date on the PO line-item in QuickBooks, it was difficult to synchronize deliveries with installations.
Automating Purchase Orders and delivery schedules fixed the problem. The sales-person was given the responsibility to start the process when the quote was accepted. He or she would create the installation work order, which included all of the information on the quotation. The installation work order would be put on hold until the parts were received. The salesperson would also create a preliminary purchase order for the part, and assign it a delivery date and method. It was easy to look at a work order and see what parts needed to be expedited.
We created a main delivery schedule which includes scheduled parts deliveries, and customer installation requirements. The owner can now review the preliminary purchase orders and deliveries, change them as needed, and combine them into purchase orders for the vendors. The critical deliveries stand out, and can be expedited when necessary. When scheduling installations, it is easy to see if all the parts have been received, and a picking list of required parts is printed out with the work-order.
Best of all, everyone has up to date information. Projected work order deliveries are immediately transferred to the main schedule. Changes to the main delivery schedule are instantly transferred to the work order. People have the information needed to respond properly to customer questions.