Now that children are back in school, pools are closing, and the lines of customers are getting shorter, it’s time for pool and spa professionals to review their pool warranty claims with their manufacturer suppliers. Although warranty claim processing may be tedious, once completed, these parts and labor claims can add up to significant revenue in months when cash flow has begun to slow down. As the cooler weather spreads across the country and the phones aren’t ringing off the hook, pool and spa professionals need to view that pile of warranty claims as a revenue opportunity. This is where business software comes to the rescue.
Using business software to automate the tracking of pool warranty claims can sometimes generate enough additional revenue to pay for the entire investment cost of new pool and spa software packages. Most pool and spa businesses agree that their manual or semi-manual warranty tracking systems leave money on the table when it comes to processing claims. Now is the time to switch to an automated system.
By automating pool warranty claims tracking using pool and spa software, business owners can generate an additional revenue stream in the slower winter months. The additional cash flow from warranty claims with manufacturers, both for parts and labor, is a welcome winter revenue stream.
The additional cash from these pool warranty claims can be easily missed in the heat of the season without an automated tracking system within your pool and spa software. Manually keeping track of claims results in lost warranty revenue both on parts and labor. Be sure to run a detailed report in the slower winter months, and plan to run weekly reports during the summer season. Savvy pool and spa business owners agree that running a weekly warranty report helps them find thousands of additional dollars of profit every year.
While pool warranty service work is easily tracked within pool and spa software, it is tough to track using the more typical handwritten “book for claims with manufacturers.” By automating the warranty tracking process, pool and spa software allows managers and owners to easily track all claims to see what is open and hasn’t been paid.
Automating the pool warranty claims tracking process allows users to stay on top of warranty claims and inventory by tracking:
- Special orders and backorders
- Returned goods orders
- Warehouse transfers
- Warranty claims
- Serial numbers
It’s common for many pool and spa professionals to use Excel spreadsheets and enter data manually. However, spreadsheets can be very time consuming and make things harder than they need to be. In addition, performing repetitive tasks and applying formulas make unintentional errors commonplace. Just think of how a single transposed number can wreak havoc on a spreadsheet, causing hours of extra work — hours you can’t afford during the busy summer months. The worst thing about spreadsheets is that the information is not current, making it difficult for managers to make smart business decisions like reducing inventory or locating a part on a service truck to quickly sell to a customer.
In addition to running pool warranty claims and returned goods reports, be sure your business software allows you to track backorders and inventory cost discrepancies to better manage inventory. Staying on top of inventory this summer was especially challenging when demand outpaced supply for many products. One of the emerging lessons for many businesses was the importance of having your pool and spa business software fully integrated with vendors and distributors.
Pool industry integration with suppliers and vendors eliminates duplicate purchase orders and input of inventory. In order for specialty retailers to compete against big box retailers, it has become essential to have pool and spa business software that directly integrates with vendors and distributors. This is the wave of the future. Having all vendor information in one database is extremely powerful. Pool, spa, and backyard living retailers are able to compete more effectively against big box retailers with the power of integrated software, especially when all the information is available in real time.
Say goodbye to spreadsheets and countless hours of data entry. Having pool and spa software with inventory and pricing integration features helps you streamline operations and gain a competitive advantage through real-time access to key pricing and purchase information. Being the first to get orders into vendors ensures you have the products your customers want before your competitors. Additionally, integrating with vendors allows you to automate essential tasks like:
- Search real-time item availability at the vendor
- Update cost on existing inventory items and identify discontinued items
- Import new inventory items
- Submit purchase orders and identify backordered items
- Download AP invoices and reconcile line items to invoices
If your staff needs to flip through manufacturer catalogs and price lists to get to the products they want to sell, your company won’t survive in today’s fiercely competitive market. The right integrated pool and spa business software package will be set up to specifically help you figure out what products sell and save managers time so they can focus on expanding their business and finding new business opportunities.
In today’s marketplace, pool and spa business software is central to the success of any pool and spa business. The right business software can provide the tools and information needed to remain profitable and retain market share. Ask the tough question: what is the cost of doing nothing? What is it costing your business to operate with manual or semi-manual software that is cumbersome or inefficient? The off season is the ideal time to evaluate and implement a new automated pool warranty tracking system using an integrated business software solution.
Manual or semi-manual systems also make it difficult to react quickly to market opportunities. This was especially evident when the pandemic led customers to stock up on chemicals to minimize their visits to pool and spa stores this summer. Whether these opportunities come from changes in the marketplace or from slow-moving inventory, having easily accessible, up-to-the-minute information is key to capitalizing on these opportunities.
Because you pay your employees by the hour, the real question becomes: what is the opportunity cost of having them spend time doing handwritten invoices or manual inventory tracking? Rather than having an employee spend 30 minutes of every hour with manual systems, they could spend those 30 minutes helping customers, selling more products, and building customer loyalty. Rather than paying them to do manual tasks, pay them to generate revenue. Time consuming tasks during the busy summer season lead to lost sales opportunities.
This winter, ditch the manual pool warranty log for claims with manufacturers and implement a flawless system to automatically track manufacturer warranty claims. Additionally, get an integrated pool and spa software program that allows users to easily search inventory by department, category, vendor, description, or a combination of these. Now is the time to automate your pool warranty tracking, integrate with industry vendors, and sustain this summer’s growth well into 2022.