Timing is everything when purchasing products for your field services firm.
The key is making sure you have the right materials when you need them, but also are able to negotiate the best price. An article on the Lawn & Landscape website explains how the right software systems can help with managing purchasing decisions.
When preparing an estimate, your software system should automatically calculate the needed materials. Similarly, when the job is sold, the production process begins and the system creates a materials list.
For example, all materials for your company’s projects that week can be sorted by vendor, material type or job. This way, a purchase order can be created for each vendor. Then, after the delivery person brings materials back to the yard, crews can pick up what is needed as they prepare for the next job.
This Lawn & Landscape article shows how important it is to have integration between your job costing software and your financial management software, which is where most companies typically enter purchase orders for materials.
The project manager on the job knows how much material will be needed and by when, so having the project manager initiate this process with a requisition or purchase order directly makes sense. This automation will help companies manage delivery schedules and take advantage of volume discounting.
Source: Lawn & Landscape, July 2012