All posts by Daniel Krentz

A warehouse manager tracks internal orders on a tablet

What is an Internal Order?

An internal order is a tool within cost accounting used to monitor costs and, in some cases, revenues associated with specific tasks, projects, or activities within an organization. It provides a means for detailed tracking of financial transactions, enabling businesses to plan, monitor, and allocate costs effectively. These types of orders, generated via internal ordering systems, are versatile and can be used for various purposes, including tracking overhead costs, investment costs, accrual calculations, and even costs and revenues for specific activities that do not directly impact the core business operations. Investing in the right custom order management software is vital to ensuring seamless administration and optimization of these orders within organizations.

Why an Internal Order is Required

These orders are crucial for maintaining and enhancing financial transparency and control within an organization. Here’s why they are required:

  • Facilitate Detailed Cost Tracking: They allow for the detailed tracking of costs tied to specific activities, aiding in improved budget management and financial planning.
  • Segregate Costs: By segregating costs on a per-project or per-activity basis, internal orders help organizations identify where funds are being spent and uncover areas of inefficiency.
  • Implement Cost-Saving Measures: The insights gained from these orders enable organizations to identify and implement cost-saving measures effectively.
  • Support Accurate Cost Allocation: They ensure that expenses are accurately allocated to the correct department, project, or activity, facilitating a fair and precise financial evaluation.
  • Aid in Profitability and Performance Evaluation: The precise allocation of costs helps in evaluating the profitability and financial performance of various organizational segments.
  • Comply with Reporting and Auditing Requirements: Internal orders generated through internal ordering systems are instrumental in fulfilling financial reporting and auditing standards by providing a clear audit trail of transactions.
  • Empower Strategic Decision Making: With enhanced financial transparency, organizations can make informed strategic decisions, optimizing resource allocation and overall financial management.

An executive figures out the costs of operation using paper and a calculator

Different Types of Internal Orders

These types of orders can be classified into several types, each serving specific monitoring and control purposes within an organization’s financial management framework.

  • Overhead Cost Orders: These are used to monitor and control overhead costs within an organization. With the right custom order management software, businesses can track expenses such as marketing campaigns, administrative activities, or non-direct costs by assigning specific overhead costs to these orders. This detailed tracking aids in budgeting and identifying opportunities for cost reduction.
  • Investment Orders: Investment orders monitor the costs associated with capital investments, such as the acquisition of fixed assets. They help track capital expenditures throughout their lifecycle, from initial planning to completion, ensuring that the investment is accounted for and capitalized correctly in the company’s financial statements.
  • Accrual Orders: These types of internal orders are designed to facilitate the accurate recording of accrued expenses and revenues. They bridge the gap between financial accounting and controlling by ensuring that period-related accruals are recorded systematically, enhancing the accuracy of financial reports.
  • Orders with Revenues: These orders track both costs and revenues for specific activities. They’re particularly useful in scenarios where the company has not implemented a comprehensive sales and distribution component as part of its internal ordering system, allowing for the detailed monitoring of profitability for individual projects or services.
  • Statistical Orders: Unlike other orders, statistical orders do not directly affect the financial accounting records. Instead, they’re used for internal reporting and analysis purposes. Costs are recorded against these orders for monitoring, but the designated cost centers bear the actual financial impact, providing a clear picture of internal expenditures without affecting the overall financial statements.

Each type of internal order plays a crucial role in the intricate process of financial management within an organization. It offers the flexibility and granularity needed to track and control costs effectively across various operations and projects.

Internal Orders vs. Customer Orders

When we typically think of orders for equipment or materials, we think about an external entity (the customer) ordering from a website or through a CSR and receiving the items directly. This is especially true with the growing volume of eCommerce sales. However, for many businesses—especially service businesses—internal orders come from employees for a job/customer. These orders, generated via custom order management software, have many of the same processes as an external order, but the reasoning behind them is different, and the KPIs are different.


Orders for a Customer in a Service Business

This applies to a wide range of services, but a few good examples are cable and telecommunications, plumbing, and home security. In these cases, a customer account will be paying for the materials, but the order is coming through a service technician.

The internal order process is detailed below:

A technician will initially visit the site/home to determine what is needed. They will begin the order creation process to provide a quote to the customer. Ideally, the order can be submitted into an internal ordering system, such as our SCORE® Order Management Portal, pending approval so that it only has to be completed once. If the quote is accepted, the order is accepted, and the job is scheduled.

If the technician has everything they need on their service truck, the inventory can be deducted from the truck inventory, and the job can be completed. It’s important to think of the service truck as a mobile warehouse because, in this case, the truck’s inventory will need to be replenished. Otherwise, the order will be sent to the warehouse for them to pick and prepare.

Materials are stacked neatly in a warehouse for an upcoming construction jobInternal Orders for Internal Infrastructure or Large Construction Jobs

This often applies to utility companies and cable and telecommunications companies. Infrastructure and construction are longer processes, so job cost is a key metric that needs to be tracked. In these cases, orders come in from construction teams and are linked to a job. These orders can even come directly from a company’s architectural planning software.

With new construction and infrastructure, the timeline is much longer, and the orders are much larger. Ordering and scheduling are keys to success.

Ordering for Internal Use

Not as prominent, but just as important for monitoring costs and order management, ordering for internal use can apply to virtually any business. The internal order centers around internal purchases when one business unit or department orders supplies or new equipment. In these cases, the custom order management software is used for efficiently placing, preparing, and reconciling the items necessary for the order.

Key Considerations for Order Management Software

Order Templates

Many of the orders in a service business can be placed using an order form template to make the process quicker. For cable, this could be a new cable installation order consisting of a modem, set-top box, and cord kit. For electricians, this could be everything typically used in installing a breaker box.

A multi-unit building in the process of construction with a large crane in front of the structureThe internal order templates can be expanded to larger processes. If the company is involved in hotel or apartment construction, each room type can utilize its own order form template.


Ideally, the internal ordering system is integrated with the WMS and ERP. This gives all systems access to real-time data, projections, lead times, etc.

Additional integrations could include your:

  • architectural planning application
  • CRM for customer communication
  • billing system (cable)

Approvals and Validations

One key benefit of internal orders is that you control both sides (ordering and fulfillment). This means you can validate orders to make the ordering process more efficient.

A man’s index finger touches a point that triggers a green check mark made of connected lines that indicate digital connection

One example of this is what we call equipment family codes. When customers order something from an eCommerce site, they expect to receive that exact item. However, when technicians order something for a customer, they typically need something that works, but it does not need to be exact.

In the cable industry, this can be different modems. For most homes, many modems will work, so if the ordered modem is out of stock, it can be replaced with a different modem. This means a customer is not waiting for a specific product when another product works just as well.

Other internal order examples could be manager approvals of orders over a specific value or outside contractor approvals.

Have any questions about custom order management software? Need a customized internal ordering system? Call WDS today at 561-488-5540 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.

What is a Cable Industry Self-Install Kit?

A Self-Install Kit is a great option for individuals that prefer to handle the installation themselves. The house must qualify for a kit by having the proper infrastructure to turn on service without a service technician. If a home qualifies, the self-installation kit is sent to the customer, and they can usually get their cable service started the same day. Online resources, including cable installation help videos and Cable FAQs are available for assistance.

Self-Install Kit Benefits

No Technician Needed

Typically, cable company employees won’t be needed for installation. This is beneficial for the cable company because:

  • Technicians can work on more complex tasks.
  • Truck rolls cost $90-$200 for the company.
  • Scheduling is no longer an issue.
  • The customer can usually get their service started the same day without waiting for a technician.

Less Exposure

During the COVID-19 pandemic, this had a different meaning, but it still holds true today. At the time, nobody wanted strangers in their homes, so self-install kits were vital to making cable installations possible. There is still risk today, fewer home visits mean less risk for the technicians, cable subscribers, and property.

Cost Savings

Self-Install Kits keep customer-employee interaction minimal if the processes are correctly integrated.   Cable companies can expect to see increased efficiency with:

  • Warehouse Picking
  • Packing
  • Shipping and System Updates
  • Installation Procedures

Learn more about how WDS solves other logistics challenges.

Key Components to Efficient Self-Install Kit Deployment


Self-Install Kits require clear messaging from the moment a kit is purchased. The cable customer needs to know they are responsible for installation. The benefits to the customer should be clear and upfront in the purchase process. Self-Install Kit delivery updates should be automated and sent to the cable subscriber, so they know when a kit will arrive. Installation instructions should be simple and easy to follow, with easy access to self-help options. The activation process must be quick and easy. Reducing customer interaction with a straightforward and concise self-install kit program will save you and the customer time and money.

Order Fulfillment

Make sure you have a plan for packaging and inserts. Orders typically need to have more information included with them than a typical tech installation. A cable installation technician can read and relay MAC addresses, serial numbers, etc., but a subscriber should have this inventory information included when they receive their self-installation kit.

Packing kits can be different than standard order picking. Be prepared to have a good team handling self-install orders so all outgoing self-install kits are of the highest quality. Mistakes during order fulfillment will negatively impact the cable subscriber’s experience.

Consider a 3PL that has experience with complex packing processes and order fulfillment.

Integration, Integration, Integration

One primary key to success is ensuring all your order fulfillment systems integrate. In an ideal world, your order system will communicate with your billing system to see if the subscriber is eligible for self-install kits. Then it will communicate with your WMS to validate what is in stock. The order will be submitted to the WMS, which should communicate to the billing system what serial numbers and MACs are associated with an order, so the status of that customer can be updated.

It should also integrate with a shipper (UPS, FedEx, etc.) to automate shipping and convey the tracking information to your CRM. Finally, your billing system should be updated once the kit is delivered to start the billing process.

How do we (WDS) fit into this?

We have experience implementing various integrations between the systems to help automate the SIK process. We also sell our own warehouse management software (WMS) which is specific to the cable/telecom industry that integrates with the SIK APIs. Self-Install Kits are a fantastic option for deploying customer premise equipment, but they come with a lot of complexities.

Contact us to find out more!

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What are the major logistical problems in the Cable, Installation and Service Industries?

What are the major logistical problems in the Cable, Installation and Service Industries?

The logistics of moving equipment can be complicated when working with multiple people in different locations.

There are many unique logistical situations for service businesses, particularly those in the cable, trade, and installation industries. These businesses often rely on a combination of equipment and people to complete their work. This means that they must be able to transport their equipment—whether it’s a specialized drill or electrical box—and get it where it needs to go.

Mobile Warehouses

Service trucks are mobile warehouses and should be treated as an extension of your inventory. Employees must manage them, but the inventory should be visible in your warehouse inventory management system.

If the inventory isn’t managed and tracked, you will face inventory management problems including:

  • Extra inventory from a job lost
  • Inventory shortages and overages
  • Additional time and money spent doing physical counts of inventory
  • The Blame Game happens when someone is looking for an item and can’t find it resulting in lost productivity.

Multiple Inventory Models

These industries often have multiple inventory models in one operation.

  • Service Model – The technician specs and orders the equipment from the warehouse for a specific customer job. Example: The electrician orders all the materials needed to replace a breaker box at a customer’s
  • New Construction Model – Large jobs are specified and bid on well in advance. Inventory is typically ordered and released in a phased approach (e.g., pre-construction infrastructure, rough-in, finishing, etc.). Materials can be ordered in advance and require less urgency.
  • Tool Room – Technicians require additional or more expensive tools to complete a job. They make a request from the tool room, use it, then return it. These tools are independent of their standard inventory. It is also cyclical and requires preventative maintenance and quality assurance.
  • Direct to Consumer – In some cases, especially in the telecommunications industry, the telecommunications technician is being bypassed so the customer can receive their cable self-install kit and do some of the work themselves.

Wireless Data Systems will help you find an inventory management solution to transform your operations. We understand that each logistics and inventory management challenge requires a unique approach; contact us today at (561) 488-5540 for a free consultation or click here to request a demo.

Advanced RFID Technology to Improve Post-Election Results

The complexities in the execution of a successful election cycle are significant. With hundreds or thousands of assets being deployed to hundreds of polling site locations and precincts, the stakes are extremely high. High stakes mean relying on election systems and software that are accurate and secure.  RFID Technology Can be a difference-maker for a successful election outcome.

Election assets need to be accounted for during the deployment, and most importantly, during the post-election recovery. Critical assets like voted ballots and thumb drives or media drives that contain votes need to be tracked with a complete chain of custody at every handoff during election night returns. As such, it is imperative that an election system provides accuracy, a chain of custody, and accountability in the deployment and recovery of these assets.

The challenge lies in finding a method in which a large-scale election operation can handle critical and non-critical assets, and Wireless Data Systems, Inc. (WDS) has proven advanced RFID technology to be a sound solution.

Arming Asset Security with RFID

The sheer volume and velocity of the recovery cycle can be chaotic. Vehicles are pulling up to offload equipment that has been retrieved from the polling sites. These assets typically have barcode labels with a unique identifier (Asset ID). Election personnel and staff are responsible for scanning the barcodes on all of these assets as they are returned to the warehouse. Due to the sheer volume of some large-scale election operations, it is not uncommon for many of them to slip by the scanning team without being accounted for. This results in numbers not adding up in the system’s post-election reconciliation utility.

A well-designed system with the latest RFID technology can improve this area significantly. At WDS, we understand this accuracy issue and, as a result, we are starting to deploy RFID scanning or reading stations to capture these assets automatically. First, the assets have Passive RFID Tags assigned and related in the system’s asset profile module. Then, as they pass through our system’s RFID Antenna fields, the RFID tags are being read at a high velocity. In real-time, the system is checking the status of the Asset read and flagging it as “Returned”.

Utilizing a hybrid of RFID and Barcode technologies enables large-scale election operations to add a new level of automated data capture and detail to the assets travels from deployment to recovery.

Understanding and Respect for Limitations with RFID Technology

The RFID technology is subject to the physical environment where the RF part of the RFID equation can fail. Due to these environmental factors, there are a certain number of tags that will not activate or read as they pass through the antenna field. It is imperative to have an understanding of these limitations and work with the client environment to overcome them.

In some cases, the best design is to put multiple tags on the assets, while in other cases multiple antennas will increase the read probability. And ultimately, a final process allows staff to physically locate and scan the asset’s barcode to complete the post-election reconciliation. The bottom line is our TSX™ RFID system supports several approaches, processes, and configurations to deliver the final result of capturing 100% of the assets expected…as all properly designed and implemented systems should.

Complete Control with Customizable Election Software

While barcode scanning is sufficient in many respects, the reality is that election night chaos requires a more universal solution. The TSX™ RFID System is an efficient and effective way to provide accuracy, a chain of custody, and accountability in the deployment and recovery of these assets.

Contact Us today to learn more about our RFID Technology.

WMS for Furniture Logistics

The demand for furniture is enormous in the United States, and continually growing. But a major dichotomy exists in this more than $60 billion market – wholesale furniture distributors are still using old systems and outdated technology. While nearly every aspect of life has been ingratiated with automation, furniture companies seem to be lagging behind in their furniture logistics software.

Wireless Data Systems, Inc. (WDS) has had the pleasure of working with a number of furniture companies in our pursuit to transform the industry. Our Warehouse Management System (WMS) has become the centerpiece of that transformation, creating successful operations from the top down. A hybrid of barcode technology, RFID, and IoT automation are examples of the current technologies we are deploying to provide fast and accurate data collection on the warehouse floor and in the delivery operations. This is something that we have been preaching for over 20 years.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of potential challenges inherent in dealing with furniture, most notably damage to the products. These challenges are not only disruptive but extremely costly. The unfortunate situation usually plays out like this:

  1. In a warehouse environment, these large, heavy objects are often dropped or bumped against edges of beams
  2. Damage occurs, but it is internal damage that is not visible from the outside
  3. The product is delivered to a person’s home and damage is discovered once the installers open the product
  4. The customer is angry and disappointed
  5. The damaged product must be returned or repaired
  6. The customer has to wait for the repairman or a replacement to be picked and shipped (assuming the product is in stock)
  7. The customer has to reschedule the delivery and plan to be home an additional day
  8. Additional scenarios that are costly and damage customer relations include items missing from the delivery and wrong items delivered

The above scenarios are commonplace, a simple mistake that ends up costing furniture companies an exorbitant amount of money. A lack of a furniture logistics system, organization and relevant technology lays the foundation for these all too common scenarios to occur.

WDS has built a WMS from the ground up that serves as a robust solution to the challenges above and beyond. Below, we outline the features of our customizable system that would benefit every furniture supply chain operation.

Intelligent, Serialized Barcode Labeling/Tracking

At the heart of any successful warehouse management system must be an advanced labeling structure. First and foremost, a labeling system establishes accountability for the workers that are handling items. The WDS WMS assigns serialized barcode labels to all of the products being received from their manufacturing plants and suppliers. As the products are being received on the dock, the system verifies them against the PO from the vendor as the labels are attached to the items. Then, the items are added to a cart or pallet, which is also serialized. Once the product is placed on the cart or pallet, the system minimizes the frequency of the product being picked up and dropped down to reduce opportunities for damage. In many cases, the next time the product is picked up or dropped down gain is when it is moved from outbound order staging to placement on the delivery truck. Plus, with serialized tracking the system will show every movement of the item, and who executed the movement.

Packaging Labelling

This level of tracking is imperative to monitor damage and a wide range of forensics relevant to minimizing loss and maximizing productivity. Consolidation and validation of like SKUs is paramount in preventing damage as well as assuring multi-box SKUs will ship with all necessary boxes (i.e. kit or assembly items). Chain of custody and history data is readily available and accessible with WDS WMS.

Split ICN & Parent-Child Relationships

Another unique feature of WDS WMS is that it allows for half quantities. For example, if two chairs are packaged inside a box it is processed as part of the same dynamic ICN. Many times, our clients are sending replacements to customers or additional items to the customers that do not meet package size configuration (i.e., two chairs in a single box). To work around this, our system allows a quantity of .5. As a result, 1 of the chairs will be removed from the box, repackaged, and relabeled.

Known as Split ICN, this process means that the original ICN is kept but the quantity is changed from 1 to .5. Then, the new label generated for the single chair going to the customer is applied to the new box and the ICN. Now, the items have a parent-child relationship to the original ICN. And of course, the quantity in the second box is .5 as well.

The system manages parent-child relationships across a single part number or SKU, and multiple boxes needed. For example, SKU number BED12345 may consist of 3 boxes. The frame, headboard, and footboard. If an order is being picked for that bed, the user cannot pick boxes 1 and 2 and forget 3. The system requires all three boxes to be picked for the single line on the order for that bed.

Directed Put Away & Mixed Item Sorting

The pickup and place down refers to the exact movements of the products, and this is where most of the damage occurs. In our model, however, the objects are placed on the cart or pallet and the cart or pallet is directed to the end of the storage aisles. Once the cart is full, our system instructs the user to the correct aisle for the product storage. So, as all of the items are placed on the cart or pallet, the system is building a “manifest” for that cart or pallet.

The user is then ready to move the cart or pallet to the end of the aisle where the storage bins are located. The user scans that license plate label or manifest label on the cart or pallet and, due to the product loaded, the system knows where to instruct the user to place it. Like items are sorted to the cart or pallet – a critical component so items like mattresses and headboards are not on the same cart or pallet.

Organization is further perfected with the introduction of mixed item sorting. If the purchase order is received from the vendor’s truck includes a mixture of items, those items are segregated and grouped on the carts or pallets. Once the cart or pallet is placed at the end of the aisle, the worker in that aisle working from a Cherry Picker forklift lifts the platform and drives up and down the aisle placing the items into storage.

The driver lines up the platform even with the floor of the bin and then slides the product from the platform to the bin location. As a result, the placement of the product is simply sliding it from the platform to the floor of the bin. This means no lifting and setting down by the user, which vastly reduces the likelihood of product damage.

Advanced Picking Technology

Our advanced picking technology applies many of the same principles as our directed put-away system. The user on the forklift has a computer mounted on the forklift which instructs him to pick orders for items that are in his aisle. The user logs on to the terminal. selects picking, and our system displays a list of orders that are assigned to that user.

NOTE: In the scenario below, the order picking is split between assigned aisles that workers are assigned to. The system may also be configured to direct picking of one order to one worker, and the worker is directed by the system to each aisle that has items for the order.

The WDS WMS sorts the orders so that the user knows which aisle has items required for that order and the system distributes the picklist to the user’s computer screen based on the aisle selection. The system displays the first location that contains an item to be picked and the driver positions the forklift at the mouth of that bin location and scans the serialized label that was applied during the receiving process. Then the system verifies that that serial number is assigned to an item that matches the item for the order, and the user slides the item from the bin location to the platform on the forklift. This process continues for all items in that aisle that are needed for the order.

As the platforms become full of product, the driver goes to the floor level with the forklift and then drives to the end of the aisle for cart or pallet drop off. Again, no lifting or placing of the items is involved here, greatly reducing the threat of product damage.

Furniture Logistics

Next, runners with tugs drive up and down the ends of the aisles and grab the trailer platform or pallet with the picked products and tow them to shipping lanes where orders are being staged for delivery. The product is left on a cart or pallet until the last possible minute when the items are removed from the cart or pallet and placed in the bed of the delivery truck. At that point, the driver of the truck is equipped with a manifest of all of the items needed for his route that day and the orders that are being delivered along that route.

The driver confirms and takes responsibility for the items on the truck. The WDS system assists with this confirmation as it will not allow any items on the truck that do not have an order for the item on the route that the truck has been assigned. In doing so, there is a very high level of verification as the items are picked and placed on those shipping lanes, consolidated into a complete order for the route on the truck, and loaded on the truck.

FIFO Management & Rules

First-in first-out (FIFO) is critical when it comes to furniture. Logic is placed in the system to confirm if the item is in the bin already. If so, the system directs the worker to an empty bin nearby to place the item there. The FIFO management and rules make sure that customers are not receiving items with aged/faded packaging covered in dust. The system is also structured to flag workers who perpetually pull newer items. With this structure in place, management is able to ensure that the warehouse workers are pulling correct items.

In addition, items are grouped/consolidated in order so that the truck is loaded based on the sequencing of stops along with the delivery reroute.

Hot Pick Optimization

When a customer chooses to pick up an item at the warehouse, the WDS WMS may utilize graphic displays for hot picks. With graphic displays in a grid, the workers in the warehouse can quickly retrieve the item from the aisle when the needed box flashes in red. Our system’s hot pick optimization allows for added efficiency based on data.

Geofencing & Proof of Delivery

Recently developed by our IoT Division, our GPS and geofence feature adds unmatched reliability, accuracy, and real-time tracking. When routes are established for the day based on scheduled deliveries, the WDS system uses that route and delivery schedule to create the routes for the physical trucks that the system will be loading material on. Each of the stops on the route is identified with a geofence around the location on the route. Meaning, each address for each stop has a geofence created with the perimeter around the location for all the longitude and latitude GPS coordinates.

The driver is equipped with a proof of delivery module running on a smartphone application that uses these GPS coordinates to verify the delivery. As the driver drives to the first location, the GPS validation confirms that the smartphone is within the geofence for the first stop. As the product is being scanned from the truck to the customer’s home or business, the system is validating that the longitude and latitude location of that device during the scanning is within the geofence coordinates. The WDS system alerts the user to any anomalies and the system may send email alerts to management notifying them that there was an anomaly in the delivery from that route.

As a note, the newest enhancement being added to the POD module is the ability for the installer to take a picture of the items post-delivery or installation. This also reduces the opportunity for post-delivery and installation damage claims.

Real-time validation of SKUs ensures a perfected proof of delivery process. The geofence mapping feature is critical and truly sets WDS WMS apart from any competition in the furniture industry.

The WDS WMS verifies that the items being delivered are not for another stop on the route. When the user indicates that they are done scanning all the items for that order at that location, our system verifies that nothing was left behind. The same course of action is applied in the warehouse when the truck is loaded. The system will not allow users to forget items on the dock that need to go on that truck for delivery.

Route & Reroute Utility

In addition, the system allows for non-deliverable conditions. This means that if the driver stops at the customer site and nobody is home, there is a trackable structure in place. Those items are left on the truck and returned to the warehouse to be rescheduled for the next time the customers are available.

Wave Picking

While not always applicable in the furniture space, wave picking allows for the system to look at all orders for the day and find like items in the orders. When the WDS WMS operates wave picking, a person is sent to a bin location once as opposed to multiple times to pick up additional items. This is a critical component to not only reducing deadhead travel but also minimizing the wear and tear on equipment and products.

Customizable Software

Building a furniture warehouse management system from the ground up meant diving deep into the wants and needs of large furniture companies. As a result of creating the WDS WMS, we have found that each customer has unique needs to improve their furniture logistics operation. A one-size-fits-all software solution would fail to meet these specific, dynamic needs. With this in mind, our robust software can be modified and customized to fit the exact mold of our customers’ particular requirements.

For more information on the WDS furniture WMS, contact our office at your earliest convenience to speak to a software specialist.

Construction Site Inventory Management

Construction Site Tracking Technology That Reduces Costs

Delays, downtime, and material loss are all too familiar to construction site management. Industry veterans can attest to the fact that even the slightest hiccup in the timeline can cost a project thousands upon thousands of dollars. On bigger commercial construction projects, these hiccups cost millions. Construction materials typically account for as much as 70 percent of a construction project’s total cost. As such, mismanagement of materials can be catastrophic.

Material loss creates a chain reaction of financial burden. Downtime increases and delays ensue, thus creating a scenario where the entire team is impacted and time and money is lost. A job site needs to run as close to a well-oiled machine as possible in order to maintain sizable profit margins. The last year has thrown another profit-killer into the mix: COVID-19.

The global pandemic affected virtually every industry, but the construction world got particularly hard hit. A shortage of materials has led to price increases and supply chain challenges that have stifled many construction companies’ ability to perform well. In reaction, the construction industry has been forced to get creative in finding ways to tighten budgets and reassess the process.

The solution? A job site supply chain management system that offers real-time materials tracking for job-site work. With the ability to access real-time data collection of materials being gathered or re-supplied to the job site team, efficiency skyrockets. And more importantly, timelines and budgets are met.

Impact of Missing Materials

From lost revenue to project derailment to financial penalties, the impact of missing materials on a job site is enormous. In addition, delays in a project can lead to loss of trust from the customer or general contractor and thus rushing to get the job done. The result can be disastrous, leading to accidents and even further loss of trust. If materials are delivered on time, however, much of this can be avoided.

Construction Site Downtime Costs

So, when materials are missing or delayed, the lost revenue can really paralyze a project. And the impact goes beyond just dollars and cents, even though all roads lead back to budget. When a project gets derailed and the timeline changes there are a wide range of challenges that follow. Accounting for things like interest carrying cost increases and a delay in revenue generation means that projects who fail to meet timelines will be costly beyond measure.

Missing or delayed construction materials and equipment create massive challenges that threaten to permanently damage a project. When operations are well-organized with the support of technology, headaches are circumvented and the overall flow of the project is streamlined.

The Value of the TSX Warehouse Management System

The number of people still using spreadsheets to organize and track materials is astounding. Many multiple-system operators (MSOs) are hampered with numerous spreadsheets or disconnected systems used to order customer premises equipment (CPE), installation materials, construction supplies, etc. From job site confusion to a general lack of coordination, spreadsheets are an antiquated and costly way to manage a warehouse and a job site.

The TSX Warehouse Management System (WMS) serves to alleviate tracking, coordination, and delivery issues by validating every aspect of the process:

  • Validated picking of materials from stock
  • Cross dock merging of special order supplemental items
  • Staging for the job site
  • Loading of the materials to the delivery or job site trucks
  • Validation on arrival at the destination
  • Off-loading of the correct items needed for that site/job
  • Automated alerts for missing or incorrect items being off-loaded
  • Communicates and integrates with the accounting system

TSX Job Site and WMS Solutions automate the warehouse processes for the manufacturing and/or purchasing and receiving of goods needed at a designated job site. Job site issues occur along nearly all phases of the process – from inventory issues to scheduling, from ordering to receiving, and from storage to delivery, the TSX Warehouse Management System is the ultimate solution.

SCORE® Order Management Portal

The SCORE® System (Supply Chain Order Requisition Express) was created to provide a standard system for ordering that is fully integrated and supports all departments and communities. Designed to replace spreadsheets with a central, common portal, SCORE® is accessible via the web with tablets and/or mobile devices, making it easy for delivery drivers and technicians to work within the system.

In addition, SCORE® was specifically designed to support user-specific templates or company-boilerplate templates. Utilizing pre-designed templates with commonly ordered goods makes the process extremely smooth. With 2-3 clicks of the mouse, the user can queue up an order with hundreds of items defined in a specific template. With 1 click of the mouse, the supervisor can review and release the order.

As an Enterprise-Class System, SCORE® offers features that revolutionize the ordering process:

  • Authorized users replenish standard stock items to their trucks with a few clicks of a mouse
  • Accessibility via field or job site devices (tablets/smartphones)
  • On-demand ordering from the site
  • GPS tracking of all trucks
  • Data points for each truck, including location speed and direction of travel

Plus, with strong encryption and the ability to support over 55,000 users, SCORE® and WMS work together seamlessly to offer complete, real-time visibility.

Technology Safeguards Proof of Delivery

Utilizing TSX Job Site and WMS Solutions with SCORE® means operating a job site with unmatched precision. Job scheduling is established and required goods are picked and staged for delivery. Items are picked from manufacturing finished goods, stock inventory, or job-specific inventory and then the systems instruct designated workers to pick/pull the items by order and stage them on the shipping docks for loading to trucks. Then, the WMS assigns a route to the trucks, with stops and order numbers assigned as well. As items are loaded onto the truck, the system validates (in real-time) that the items loaded match one of the job sites on that truck’s route.

Construction Site Costs

From geofence features to breadcrumb tracking, the TSX system completely takes overall responsibility on the job site. The WMS has the physical address for each customer associated with the orders. Management will use the WMS Geofence functionality to create a perimeter around each of the designated customer’s address locations.

Arrival at the job site is confirmed via GPS and the customizable Geofence parameters the user creates via the TSX management screens. Geofences may be as large (entire development or job site area), or as small (individual units within the job site), as the user prefers. As items are scanned from the truck to the team, the system validates the transactions within the correct Geofence perimeter and a secondary focused Geofence Unit. These transactions are executed in real-time via our TSX Smart Phone App, and real-time updates are available to management via the system’s dashboards.

Verifying and scanning materials ensures that all expected items for that site have been delivered. This type of Proof of Delivery is paramount to keep job sites functioning at peak capacity.

Revolutionizing the Construction Industry with Complete Visibility for Job Site Activities


Managing the supply chain for a job site can seem like an uphill battle, but with the TSX Warehouse Management System and SCORE® job site teams can refocus their efforts on getting the job done right. Complete visibility from TSX provides all data related to the warehouse floor processes, loading validation, delivery and vehicle travel activity, and job site activity. All in real-time, and all with 100% validation.

At Wireless Data Systems, we take pride in our role of revolutionizing the construction industry. Contact our team today to learn more!