With a plethora of supply chain issues set to outlast the worst of the pandemic, installers are bearing the brunt of the consequences. A robust installer management system has never been more critical, says Rhonda Ridge of AdminBase.
As things gradually return to some semblance of normality, the economy is opening up and we are left trying to figure out exactly what our ‘new normal’ looks like.
The entire industry is grappling with ongoing labour shortages, product availability, and price increases, while trying to balance an ever- growing order book. A quick pivot from the depths of the pandemic last year to the growth we’re witnessing today is fantastic news, but it does come with its challenges. While these difficulties are likely to be transitory, in the window, door and conservatory industries, they won’t be disappearing any time soon.
While many of the complications are directly affecting manufacturers in the middle of the supply chain, installers are struggling too. Any good installation business is built on its reputation and recommendations from customers. With material shortages and price increases literally affecting the supply chain day by day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for installation companies to plan a week’s work, let alone a month or more.
Information is power
The best installers can hope for in the current climate is honesty and openness from suppliers. The more information they can have and the quicker they can have it, the more chance they have of being able to plan around the disruptions. Projects may still need to be delayed and timescales moved around, but if installers know what’s coming, they can in turn be truthful with their homeowner customers and pre-warn them
of any changes to the schedule.
The robust installer management system, AdminBase, is giving installers a huge advantage for precisely this reason as Rhonda Ridge explains: “The AdminBase system holds records for each job an installation company has on their books and these records contain the detail of any materials ordered for that job, including supplier references. Having all this information in one place makes it much easier to chase orders with those suppliers. The records also contain order confirmations so installers can quickly see what should be on a supplier’s delivery before it arrives. Proactive installation companies can even produce summary reports that show what deliveries are expected so they can check in with suppliers on orders ahead of the delivery date. This same reporting facility can also be used to highlight items not received on any given order.
“The AdminBase stock module meanwhile gives an overview of the consumables held in stock (trims, sealants, fixings etc) so installers can ensure they always have what they need. This module can also create a report to highlight which items need to be reordered when stocks are running low.
Calm in the chaos
“As well as keeping track of orders from suppliers, AdminBase is an essential tool for installation planning,” continues Rhonda. “The system can for example show in one view, all jobs that have every ordered item in stock and so are ready for installation. A second view can show all installations booked in for the following week, that don’t yet have all the necessary materials.
Taking this one step further, all this information is fed into the appointments in the Installation Diary on the same system, so that an alert will pop up if a project is booked in and not all the materials have been received. The system in its entirety removes hassle from installers, allowing them more time to do what they do best and install home improvements.
“In the current climate, installers are having to make the best of a bad situation,” concludes Rhonda. “To ensure they maintain their hard- earned reputations, they need to be able to plan and communicate easily with suppliers and homeowners alike. Installer management systems are no longer a nice to have, they are a necessity. The AdminBase system specifically, gives installation companies all the information they need at their fingertips to make the most of the opportunities, without being held back by supply chain challenges.”