September 10, 2021

Digital inventory – from “nice to have” to a must

Digital inventory – from “nice to have” to a must

Digital inventory has become an industry “must have” overnight after DOD (USTRANSCOM) has demanded all its TSPs to provide electronic inventories for the military family moves starting from April 1, 2022. The Department of State has posed electronic inventory requirements to their providers as of February 1, 2021. More and more corporate buyers have made similar demands in the past and are now enforcing it.

The push for the electronic inventory makes sense at all levels – from saving the time on document processing to saving the trees.  The trend has started a while back, it was obvious to the industry insiders that the switch from handwritten inventories o the digital ones was inevitable. Producing legible inventory has always been a sore point of the industry. Handwriting aside, it was rightfully believed that drivers can’t spell the word “refrigerator” in any language.

Over the years this situation has only gotten worse – thanks to the pervasive use of auto-correction seemingly everybody has lost basic spelling skills in their native language. And yet digital inventories adoption has met a lot more resistance than seemingly more challenging switch to modern move management systems, pre-move survey apps and videos.

So what’s the holdup and, more importantly, how does one go about rolling out a digital inventory solution?

BYOD to the rescue

BYOD stands for “bring your own device” and in case of rolling out digital inventories it truly is a savior. When one ponders the question of “what’s the right device for the crew” the only real answer is “the device that they already use and can’t do without”. At this point virtually all moving crews have a smartphone they rely on for communicating with the office, navigating and taking photos. As such it tends to be kept charged up and in decent shape. There’s absolutely no need to force an extra piece of equipment on a crew – they have plenty as it is. It is more practical to give the crew a larger screen phone then a tablet – any phone will fit into a pocket or a belt holster and a decent phone case will protect it against occasional drops.

Since a lot of crews are subcontractors, using the inventory app on their phones is the only viable approach and it’s easy to handle. All they need to do is install the app, get it provisioned and then get the basic training on downloading a job, creating inventory and uploading it back to the company system. The app will force the subbies into company specific terminology to help avoid any consistency issues.

Getting started with the digital inventory

The main question at this point isn’t whether you should adopt a digital inventory system. The question is what system to use as time is short and you need it to work off the shelf.

With a robust and easy to use system like Voxme Inventory your company can roll out a digital inventory system quickly by relying on their standard configuration and training methodology.

To prepare your company for a new system rollout you should pick a super user in the office to quickly dispatch the jobs to the crew and train a couple of crew leaders or drivers on the app. Voxme has a standard implementation and training process for regular and military moves and their basic inventorying process is extremely easy – click to see for yourself.

Voxme has focused on simplicity of use and rollout to make sure that movers can ease their way into the digital world and from there the sky is the limit. Before long and without much prodding the crews will discover all the nuggets the app has to offer to help create a very detailed inventory that has all the basis covered.

The app supports form filling, residence inspection, barcode scanning for check-off and loading control and is designed to be configured for the specific company’s needs. It doesn’t mean for a second, though, that everybody should take advantage of its every single feature.

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