Automotive Parts Inventory Management
Every online auto parts shop can use software to manage their growing inventory. Keep sales of your online car part business humming along with Finale Inventory. Our software takes the guesswork out of inventory stock levels, allowing you to minimize inventory holding costs and prevent overselling.
Our automotive parts inventory management solution helps accurately track inventory operations and reduce the complexity of selling online on multiple marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon. Consolidate sales orders from multiple marketplaces on a single interface. Prevent stock-outs and revenue loss with real-time inventory data.
What Is an Auto Parts Inventory System?
Inventory management involves tracking inventory for your business. Any business that sells products uses an inventory management system to track items entering and leaving their warehouse. They also need to locate the merchandise they have in stock. Purchasing managers need a way to know when and how much stock to reorder. That’s where auto parts inventory management software comes in. Since an auto parts business deals with complex new and used parts, auto parts dealers often need automotive parts inventory management systems.
Auto parts dealers have thousands of parts and accessories in their inventory. They might have buyers from repair shops, dealers and people performing DIY repairs. In the parts industry, tens to hundreds of aftermarket brands may fit the same make and model of vehicle. In this business, inventory managers need to track and locate the parts that will fit a particular customer’s vehicle.
Inventory software simplifies the inventory management process. While any software may have basic inventory management features, an auto parts dealer needs specific features not always offered with generic systems. Some of the critical components for auto parts software include:
- Serial number management: One of the most crucial features for an auto parts inventory management system is serial number tracking. The automotive industry deals with expensive items with exact specifications. If your manufacturer issues a recall, you need a way to find all the parts affected by the recall. Car parts are also frequent targets for theft. If a customer returns a car part, serial number tracking lets you verify the returned part was the same one you sold. An inventory management system that can track items by serial number is critical.
- Real-time inventory tracking: Some inventory management systems update in real time. They incorporate purchase orders, sales and shipping data to create an overview of the amount of stock you have on hand or available at any given moment. A sophisticated system will even push this data to your selling channels, so you never sell inventory you don’t have accessible.
- Barcode tracking: Barcoding capabilities are extremely handy when it comes to auto parts tracking. You may track several different data points for the items you stock and need to keep track of many varieties of specific components. Barcode tracking saves you time and reduces errors. Instead of relying on your warehouse workers to record and locate items, barcode integration lets it happen with a scan of a barcode. Barcode management software can even direct pickers throughout your warehouse to streamline picking and packing.
- Make, model and year lookup: An auto parts inventory manager needs to track parts by their make, model and year. This capability is crucial when finding the exact iteration of a product or compatible parts for a specific car. Your inventory management system needs a sophisticated and adaptive solution to let you store, track and look up all the necessary data about your inventory.
Inventory management software for an online auto parts store will encompass the features you need for your specific products. It will also integrate with the accounting software for your auto parts store and many other business applications to make your operations more efficient.
Benefits of Auto Parts Inventory Management With Finale Inventory
Many auto parts dealers have tried and loved Finale Inventory’s auto parts store stock management software. Our adaptable, intuitive software makes the complicated job of auto parts management fast and simple. Our software offers many benefits auto parts operations managers will appreciate, including:
- Quick setup: Import your long, complicated list of parts with as many trackable attributes as you need with an easy setup process. Most Finale Inventory customers, including our auto parts customers, can transition to our software in just a few days. We charge no setup fees and include consulting and implementation services with your plan.
- Personalized customer service: We’ve designed Finale Inventory to be as user-friendly as possible. Still, we understand moving your operations to new software can create a lot of questions. When you sign up for Finale Inventory, you receive a personal customer relationship manager who will be responsive to any questions you have. We offer free training, consulting and a vast library of helpful videos to get you up and running. We understand every inventory management system is unique to your business, and we work hard to develop the best solution for you.
- Convenient integrations: In the auto parts industry, you might have many software applications already in place. Finale Inventory offers integrations with popular business tools. Connecting is as simple as providing your login credentials. Instantly link to your shipping management or online marketplaces. Connect to your auto parts accounting software to see how your inventory affects your finances. We can develop a custom integration with Finale Inventory if you have any industry-specific applications, such as repair management or auto parts and service software.
- Restock and inventory forecasting: Running out of a popular part at the wrong moment can cause you to miss sales opportunities. Finale inventory has a dynamic reorder point system that factors your sales velocity, vendor lead times and desired stock levels. You’ll receive an alert whenever you need to reorder, telling you exactly how many items to order, which can help minimize stock-outs for your parts inventory.
- Scalability: When you first start your business, you might handle inventory using spreadsheets. When it’s time to upgrade to inventory management software, you’re already on track for growth. Your automotive parts inventory management software should grow with you by offering the features and architecture to handle a vast, complicated inventory.
Many of our features solve the unique problems you face in the automotive parts and repair industry. Some of the capabilities most useful for the automotive parts industry include:
1. Centralized Inventory Tracking for Automotive Parts Inventory Management
Finale Inventory lets you keep track of your car parts inventory in one location. Our software is cloud-based. You won’t have to install anything to access your inventory data from any device. With ongoing stock transfers, receiving, picking and shipping operations in all your warehouses, your team members can access location information and a real-time view of stock counts via any internet-connected device. Using our platform, anyone you approve can update the stock, letting the entire company access accurate stock information, from purchasing to accounting.
Get a detailed or bird’s eye view of how much inventory you have in your warehouse, or your quantity on hand, and how much inventory you have available to promise. When you know how much you have available, you can sell stock from both your quantity on hand and your incoming purchases, letting you maximize your inventory investment.
Finale Inventory collects data from every aspect of your operations to provide real-time stock counts. Whenever you send a purchase order to a supplier, your availability increases. When the items arrive and get shelved, your quantity on hand increases. When you make a sale, the appropriate number of items gets docked from your availability. When the product finally ships to the customer, it leaves your quantity on hand.
When you collect all your inventory data in one centralized platform, you benefit in several ways. Shipping from multiple warehouses? Finale has you covered with the capability to keep track of your inventory from an unlimited number of locations. Have various staff members ordering, receiving and picking inventory? They’ll all get access to the same information.
2. Multi-Channel Marketplace Support
Our automotive parts inventory management solution supports many third-party integrations, including many selling channels. Finale Inventory’s ShipStation integration makes both inventory management and shipping effortless. Many companies leverage ShipStation for order fulfillment while relying on less sophisticated methods to keep track of inventory stock takes. Those leveraging spreadsheets for inventory soon realize Excel is inadequate to handle the complexity as order volume continues to grow.
Finale Inventory also supports many popular shopping carts and auto parts sales software, including Volusion, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. Through ShipStation’s APIs, Finale Inventory communicates with ShipStation behind the scenes to monitor the orders and decreases inventory stock levels when orders are shipped from ShipStation. It also updates stock counts on your shopping cart platform and online marketplaces, so you’re only selling from your available inventory. If you handle more than online sales, Finale Inventory can also integrate with your auto parts retail store and point of sale software.
3. Supersession Parts Number Tracking
Part manufacturers sometimes assign new part numbers to the same item in a process called supersession. Supersession causes additional inventory complexities as part manufacturers “replace” one part number with another. As an inventory manager, you must keep track of the old number and the new number, so you know what you have in your warehouse. If you don’t track superseded numbers correctly, you might accidentally reorder a part you already have in stock.
In Finale Inventory, you can edit your products to track supersession. Superseding a number changes the part number from the old to the new and creates a supersession entry for the replacement number, which references the old number.
Finale Inventory keeps track of the old and new part numbers in a product lookup table so you can cross-reference the part numbers when a customer asks for an old part number. During times you have stock of both new and old part numbers, you can phase in new and compatible parts without disrupting your parts operations.
Besides tracking multiple parts numbers, Finale Inventory makes it possible to track a wealth of information about your automotive parts. It’s helpful to track the make, model and year of specific components, alongside the vehicles an aftermarket part is compatible with. Finale Inventory lets you create custom tracking fields to account for this. Track items by size, make, model, color, year, material or anything else you need to access. These data points become searchable, allowing you to quickly pull up information for the exact part you need, no matter how complex.
4. Kitting and Product Bundling
In Finale Inventory, you can set up kits or bundles to expand your selling options. Product kits are an e-commerce marketing technique where related items are listed, packed and sold together as a single unit. Maybe you want to sell headlights and taillights together as a bundle while still allowing shoppers to buy them separately. Or, perhaps you offer a discount when customers purchase new rims and tires at the same time. Bundling through your inventory management software lets you track these items when bought as a kit and when sold individually.
For example, let’s say you’re are selling exhaust kits, consisting of multiple pipes and fittings. When someone orders an exhaust kit, the corresponding stock is automatically subtracted from each product ID in the set. Businesses that assemble their products before shipment can now track their inventory levels for both individual parts and finished goods. You’ll have accurate inventory data for the components you need to reorder and about your assembled kits ready to ship.
5. Mapping Marketplace SKUs to a Unique Product ID
When you sell automotive parts in several marketplaces, such as eBay or Amazon, you may have different SKUs that coincide with the same part. As you introduce new marketplaces to your distribution, managing multiple SKUs becomes more complicated. Many attempt to manage SKU aliases with spreadsheets. Finale Inventory’s automotive parts inventory management solution handles this more efficiently using automated software.
Our application maps all the SKUs for a single product back into the program under a single entry. No matter where customers buy your products, you have one live count of your available inventory. You’ll no longer need to reserve separate supply for each of your selling channels, letting you cut back on unsold stock.
When you map multiple SKUs to the same product, you get complete visibility over all your sales. When you sell a spark plug on eBay, your inventory count will also update in Amazon, even though the products have separate SKUs.
6. Convenient Reordering Functionality
Knowing when to reorder stock is a complicated process. Running out of a popular item will hinder your growth. In the parts industry, your customers need products quickly. They want to repair their vehicles and get back on the road as soon as possible. If you run out of stock, they’ll turn to someone who has them ready to ship, and you lose a sales opportunity. On the other hand, reorder too soon or in too large a quantity, and you’ll face unnecessary costs.
Use Finale Inventory to replenish your stock by setting reordering thresholds for each product. Our software will calculate when you need to reorder and send you an alert when it’s time to restock. When the reorder point is crossed, Finale Inventory enables you to generate purchase orders to email to your wholesaler or vendor. We’ll populate your purchase order with your vendor information and the quantity of stock you need.
When tracking inventory across several warehouses, use separate reorder point thresholds for products at different locations.
Contact Us for a Free Trial or Real-Time Demo
If you need an inventory tracking solution for your auto parts business, Finale Inventory is the tool for you. After transitioning from Excel spreadsheets to Finale Inventory, one of our automotive parts clients handled their inventory operations four times faster, with 200% more accuracy.
We built Finale Inventory to adapt to your industry’s unique needs, with plenty of customization options to fit your company’s processes. Our features include barcode integration, serial number tracking, multi-warehouse capabilities and e-commerce tools. Our technology lets you spend less time tracking inventory by hand and more time growing your business.
If you want to try Finale Inventory for yourself, sign up for our free trial today. Or, schedule a live demo with one of our experts, who can walk you through our car parts program for inventory management and answer all your questions.