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Single Use / One-Time Use - UNIQUE Inventory Module - PARTS

[This was previously a sub-feature of a topic that was recently marked as Completed]

This idea is really the “in between” of Inventory (parts you regularly keep in stock/track) and Logistics (parts that you special order on demand). It’s perfect for all the miscellaneous parts/accessories/components you have on hand (and want to sell), but never plan to keep a regular stock of. You want to have them in the RS system for sale, but you don’t want them mixed up with regular inventory you keep a steady stock of. This would work hand-in-hand with anything entered as a “Customer Purchase”, and would function more like a "pool" of unique items for sale.

To do this, you need to be able to reference what exactly is available, where you bought it from, how much you paid for each item, how much to sell that item for, where the item is located, etc. The main difference is that all items would be unique. Once you sell an item, it wouldn’t be “low/out of stock”, it would simply be removed from your list of Parts. This is most ideal for used and refurbished items with varying conditions; including computers, laptops, cell phones and tablets.

Imagine being able to part-out a laptop and keep track of the good parts you pulled from it. You could easily search (by keyword, category or location) and find exactly what you have, how much you paid for it (if anything), how much you want to sell it for (or need to make to break a profit), and where it’s located specifically. I know we have hundreds/thousands of used power chargers, LCD screens, batteries, bezels, lids, motherboards, laptop parts, and other peripherals. If you can’t easily/quickly answer these questions, you need this: “Do you have a power charger for an Asus Q302L laptop?”, “How much did you acquire it for?”, “How much should it sell for?”.

Examples of scenarios for where this module would be perfect to use:

1. You buy and sell phones. How do you keep track of how much you paid for each one, and how much to sell each one for? What about different colors, carriers, storage capacities, models, features, conditions, etc? Are you really going to make separate inventory items and sale prices for all 500+ combinations of iPhones alone?

2. You part out an ultra-high-end Alienware laptop with a dead CPU/Mobo. From it you can salvage a used 480GB SSD, 8GB DDR2-1200, a 760GTX GPU, and a rare oversized 18.5" laptop LCD that is extremely expensive and hard to source. Surely you’re not going to make inventory items for all those random things? What happens after you sell the 18.5” LCD? Does it stay showing in inventory as “low/out of stock” forever?

3. You purchase a used/working Toshiba laptop with upgrades in good condition for $150. It has a 256GB SSD, and 16GB RAM. You’re never going to buy those exact specs in that exact model laptop ever again. Do you add it to your inventory list forever? How to you differentiate it from the other 27+ different Toshiba laptops you’ve sold/stocked in the past?

4. A customer abandons their equipment past your “holding period”. The equipment now becomes store property and you can resell it to re-coop your loss of time/labor spent fixing it. You need a way to show that you are invested (parts and time) into this unique item, and have it show as available until sold in RS. Do you make an inventory item for this used repossessed item?

5. You have multiple stores and sell refurbished laptops of all makes/models/specs. At any given time, you may have 20-30 different refurbished laptops in stock and ready for sale across all of your locations. Let’s say someone wants to know what selection you have available. Can you reference all specs/prices without being physically in the store or having someone on the phone to relay details?

All of these scenarios would be best handled as one-time-use Parts that are tracked and reported just like regular items; but in a different module than Inventory. Just like regular inventory items, you could search by keyword, or sort by category, or sort by location. This would make it very easy to keep track of every random part each store has, and be extremely useful when looking for a specific part before ordering it. It would almost completely cut out any need for stores to collaborate about parts on hand.

Everything would have a category type, an extensive description, acquisition cost (sometimes nothing for abandoned/recycled), sale price, location, and unique SKU. It would also make selling the parts quicker, as the price would be defined and the specs/descriptions would already be entered into the item’s description. When someone wants to buy something from the Parts module, you add it to an invoice, and that specific item gets removed from the list of 1-time-use inventory and no longer exists in the list.

Okay, so you know how I love making mock ups…

Here’s a glimpse of the old, inferior way we were trying to do this (and failed miserably at): http://i.imgur.com/LOVmfoH.jpg

Here's my new concept of what the "One-Time Use Parts" module would look like:
http://i.imgur.com/K4lJp5T.jpg

In the new mock up, you’ll see that “Item name” is not the link where you can edit information and details. This is because it would be possible to have parts one time and then never again after the one is gone (like a Sony slim-line BD drive, or something) while other parts would be somewhat common (like an HP 65w charger). Therefore, there may be duplicate parts, but not necessarily duplicate descriptions.

Next, costs would be able to be set by any technician (security group add rights), but once added and saved, the cost would NOT be editable (unless global admin or security group edit rights). The same thing would go for price. This would be a security feature so if we buy a part for $15, it wouldn’t/couldn’t be sold for less than what we bought it for.

Condition and area would be able to update by anyone, why not, right? Location would be set to the location where the person adding the part is currently checked in. Then, you could use logistics to transfer the part from one store to another. You can see in the search box that these would be the results displayed if you searched for “HP laptop DV6”.

And instead of “View Disabled”, you would have the option to view the history of parts that were available, but since became sold or deleted. Also, the option to “Disable” is replaced by “Delete”, because these parts are one-time use, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Therefore, if a part because damaged or lost, you’d simply delete the part from the list.

Lastly, I feel like this would be its own module – just like Inventory. I think “Parts” is very fitting for the module name, because parts are really just miscellaneous items; whereas “Inventory” is more appropriate for stocked items. The only issue is that “Parts” is already what RS uses in place of “Logistics” for non-big chains. In my opinion, Logistics is the same for small shops as it is for big; it’s for transfers and special ordered parts. Whereas “Parts” are on-hand items that you do not plan to re-stock; kind of a mix of Inventory and Special Orders.

This is actually an idea I had a long time ago, but never was able to successfully implement before we had RS. We tried to make it happen with a shared Google spreadsheet, but things constantly weren't deleted or updated, and it became futile to try. This would make a huge difference in keeping track of miscellaneous parts.

I really think this is a majorly hopeful idea that would be reasonably easy to implement; as it is based on existing inventory system. Another RS user (Chuck) and I have had conference calls discussing the thousands of dollars of miscellaneous parts we both have at our stores, and how we have NO IDEA exactly WHAT we have (but we do know that it's worth SOMETHING when we finally get around to classifying and reselling it).

THIS IS ONE OF MY BEST IDEAS AND ANYONE WHO DISAGREES IS WRONG - BECAUSE REASONS! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

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Ryan (CTO, Pinellas Computers) shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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  • Ryan (CTO, Pinellas Computers) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Troy: Am I correct in understanding the new one-time inventory will still require "adding in" the same way as current inventory (by PO or product-create rights), without a way to quickly "add item" with just a name/cost/price? And will be "mixed in" with all other inventory, rather than having its own separate module/section?

    I got super excited when I read the header title, but then sad after not seeing many of the details I was counting on. Is this nothing more than an additional check box to "disable when out of stock"?

  • tbgsav commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We do alot of laptop component replacements, such as replacing unique one time use parts for laptops (batteries, hinges, power buttons, keyboards, screens, etc).

    When we do a 3rd party part order to track the order, it will only let me "Add Items from Inventory" and not add a manual line item part (with cost/retail price like an invoice allows).

    Your suggestion would free up my time from making an inventory part for every button, chip, or one time, non-serialized part ordered.
    Also, we cannibalize laptops that are left for recycling or repo'd or not worth fixing. This would also us and techs to quickly search for the part instead of searching our laptop graveyard :)

    Hope this gets implemented somehow. Thanks!

  • Ryan (CTO, Pinellas Computers) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Troy - I see the refurbs module went live recently. This is nice (especially tracking additional costs and total invested cost), and will definitely ENHANCE the module I'm referencing in this post, but please confirm the refurbs module is not the final result.

    We still need a place to view ALL non-regular/unique/random items we have for sale. Refurbs would absolutely be one example of things that fit that description, but no the only thing. We still have no way to see "the 500+ random parts/peripherals/equipment we have in the back room that we need to sell". :)

  • Curtis N Christine Quinn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Curtis: I keep telling Robert in Troy that in a joking manner, but thank you for agreeing. My real job as owner of a big chain company is to make our process simple and efficient. All of the ideas and suggestions I make are geared towards making that happen.

    Was just looking through some of the popular ideas and it occurred to me how odd and out of place this comment from Ryan seems now that my original comments and profile have been banned.

  • Ryan (CTO, Pinellas Computers) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Curtis: I keep telling Robert in Troy that in a joking manner, but thank you for agreeing. My real job as owner of a big chain company is to make our process simple and efficient. All of the ideas and suggestions I make are geared towards making that happen.

  • AdminTroy (Founder, RepairShopr) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Ryan, this has been planned forever - although we don't describe it this way. It's part of serialized inventory, and it's almost done. We will have the condition and price moved to the "instance" of inventory items. You'll be able to have an item called "Dell Laptop" and each "serial" can have the condition, price, a link to the customer purchase, etc etc. Once sold, it will move to the sold pile and always be available for reference and not show "in stock".

    Probably usable like this in the next month or two..

  • terry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The options to list and sell serialized devices needs work. We purchase hundred of devices from customers every week and to add a new inventory item for each one that never disappears is time consuming. Also, you can't manipulate the inventory tab to show only certain categories and to a store level. Having a place for devices that are in inventory or sold would be very handy.

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