Inventory Management Serial Number Tracking Tools Aid Utility Equipment Manufacturers

July 22, 2013 at 3:32 PMHeidi Bragg

The term “infrastructure” encompasses everything from power grids and water lines to streets and highways. Since communities and businesses are dependent their underlying infrastructure, utility management entities work to make sure these systems operate as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. One way both public and private utilities are addressing these needs is through the use of pro-active asset management Asset Manager Asset management is the key to getting the best use out of existing systems and equipment.

In order to properly manage and maintain their equipment, or assets, utility companies require specialized instruments. Vivex-Metrotech Vivax Metrotech, a mid-sized business based in California, manufactures test and measurement tools designed specifically to meet these needs. The company makes water leak detectors, buried pipe/cable locators, and cameras used by waste water utilities. These instruments help utility workers locate equipment and identify components that need repair or replacement.  As a result, utilities can properly maintain and operate crucial assets, prolonging the usability of each component and reducing life-cycle costs.

Vivax-Metrotech uses serial numbers to track its products through each stage of the production process. However, this was not an easy task in the early days of the company’s development. Rich Jordan, product manager and IT department staff at Vivax-Metrotech, says, “When I came on board at Vivax, we were a small company. We had two employees using QuickBooks and sharing a single laptop.” Jordan knew they needed to transition to a multi-user, client server environment. He continues, “We also recognized that we needed enhanced functionility as far as kitting, bills of materials (BOM), purchase order (PO) expediting and serial number tracking were concerned.”

After evaluating various inventory control and order management software programs, Jordan chose All Orders by NumberCruncher to better meet the company’s needs.   In early 2002, NumberCruncher was the first company to offer a solution for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that was specifically designed for QuickBooks. Since then, over 1500 companies have used NumberCruncher’s products and services to better manage their businesses. All Orders’ latest upgrade includes both return material authorizations(RMA) and repair tracking modules.

Vivax merged with Metrotech in 2009 and since then, the company has grown significantly. They now have a 30-seat license, with about 15 users on the system at any given time, and can track each product to ensure it meets the needs of their customers.

Quality control is an important element in gaining a competitive advantage, especially for SMBs. Tracking problems in finished products and their component parts is a crucial part of keeping expenses low and customer satisfaction high. These days, computerization allows manufacturing and quality control procedures to be implemented and tracked more easily than ever before. “From purchasing all the way through to financial reporting, computerization exists to give to business owners, managers, and accountants the tools to be successful faster, easier, and more efficiently,” says Ian Benoliel, CEO of NumberCruncher

The benefits computerization offers are clear at Vivax-Metrotech. Jordan says, “With All Orders, serial number tracking is per item. In other words, you decide if an item should be serialized and turn on that function. This is especially useful with export items.”

He describes their process as follows: "When a unit comes in for repair, we input that unit’s serial number at the time we enter the repair order. The program will then shows us a history of that item, including the date, invoice number and airway bill that the unit was received under, when it was sold and to whom, and if it has any history of being repaired by us or by any of the 12 authorized repair centers we have in the USA and overseas. That’s important because Vivax-Metrotech and its repair centers should guarantee any repair for a period of 90 days. We’ll also check to see if the unit was returned to us from the same customer who bought it, which helps track down stolen equipment.”

Jordan continues, "If the item has been previously repaired at an off-site service center and then comes to us, we can see what's wrong, what the off-site provider fixed, and make sure that the workmanship of our service providers is up to our standards. If there's shoddy workmanship involved, we can address it.”

Vivax-Metrotechrecently installed All Orders’ RMA/repair module upgrade and appreciates the functionality these new modules offer. They provide yet another tool to help the company “ … meet and exceed (their) customers' needs … providing top quality, well engineered, innovative products at competitive prices.”

Download your trial version of All Orders today and find out how Repair Order and RMA functionality can help your business.

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