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1st Touch Mobile Solution for Outsourced Stores

Many UK Social Housing providers man and run their own in-house stores, but more and more are moving to working with an external supplier to provide outsourced stores for them. The benefits enjoyed by switching to outsourced stores are significant and these can be further enhanced by adopting a mobile materials ordering solution as part of the change.

Mobile materials ordering will provide a seamless interface between the mobile operative and the stores by facilitating instant ordering of van stock replenishment or specialist materials and automatically allocating these to individual jobs and tasks. This helps increase efficiency and substantially reduce costs.

outsourced stores with mobile

Challenges of in-house stores management

The challenges that managing in-house stores presents are manifold: the organisation has the task of managing the stores premises; holding the appropriate stock levels; re-ordering stock; ordering specialist stock and manning the stores. In addition to this, typically each van will have a stock of materials which need to be monitored and replenished. This situation leads to the organisation incurring costs in the following areas:

  • Overheads of the store building
  • Cash tied up in holding stock levels
  • Stock shrinkage
  • Ordering stock from different suppliers
  • Manning the store
  • Audits and stock taking (Stores and vans)
  • Transportation of materials

Benefits of outsourced stores with mobile parts ordering

Leading builders merchants in the UK offer an outsourced materials service, and this can be enhanced by deploying automated ordering and replenishment, delivered by the 1st Touch Mobile Parts Ordering Solution. This ensures that the materials are ordered for all parts used on a job directly from the outsourced stores provider, as and when required, either as van stock replenishment or special orders. This provides the following benefits:

  • No stock holding - releasing the capital tied up in the stock
  • No more stock shrinkage, because stock is better controlled, so cost of stock used is lower
  • Stock ordering is automatic via the PDA to the contracted supplier only where fixed prices are agreed, removing renegade or unbudgeted purchases
  • The staff in the in-house store can be redeployed or TUPEED across to the contracted supplier, so saving on personnel costs
  • The existing in-house store premises can be redeployed or sold, removing building overheads and capital cost but also potentially releasing funds back to the organisation
  • Increased operative efficiency as travel time is reduced and stock on the van will always be as expected

So, the savings for the organisation of implementing the combination of outsourced stores and a mobile parts ordering system can be significant, along with increased productivity and improved efficiency.

Case studies

The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust use 1st Touch Mobile Parts Ordering with outsourced stores with the following benefits:

  • The value of the stock held internally went down from £400,000 to £60,000, and this was only the imprest stock on the vans.
  • The running costs of the business were reduced by £150,000 per annum

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Morrison operate as contractors for a number of Social Housing providers and use 1st Touch Mobile Parts Ordering across multiple contracts. The benefits to Morrison are:

  • Improved SLAs - increased first time fix levels
  • Eliminated warehousing costs for their clients
  • Fuel costs cut by 25%
  • Operator productivity increased by 12 – 17%

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Regional Conference, Southampton

2nd October 2014

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