Back in 2012, the release of the new iMac® generated the usual Apple® buzz. But this time the talk wasn’t about what was included: it was about what was missing. The new iMac had no optical drive. To many, this seemed foolhardy — who wanted a computer that couldn’t play a DVD or a CD? A lot of people, as it turns out. Today, the optical drive has pretty much vanished from laptops from all manufacturers. Once again, Apple had it right.
What does this have to do with running a managed services business? At SolarWinds N-able, we believe that the inventory management built into a professional service automation (PSA) or service-management platform will soon go the way of the optical drive.
Why inventory management is on the way out
Many smaller MSPs will be happy to see inventory management fade away simply because of the considerable costs involved. These can be divided into four categories:
- Capital costs (your cash is tied up in boxes in your back room)
- Obsolescence costs (stockpiled IT equipment continually decreases in value)
- Administrative costs (tracking and accounting for all the inventory)
- Physical costs (the people, software and space required to manage the inventory)
There’s an app for that: ‘Just in time’ inventory management
Fortunately, the solution to the MSP inventory challenge is already here. More and more MSPs and other IT companies are recognizing the huge cost savings potential of ‘just in time’ delivery of the IT equipment their customers need.
How fast are we talking? The Amazon Prime® Now app offers one- or two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items. And ride-sharing company Uber® is now testing a system capable of delivering some items within ten minutes.
Near-instant technology delivery doesn’t just eliminate the costs that come with stockpiling inventory: it also makes you more agile and effective. You can afford to use the latest technology, which means your customers get better service.
Want to experience MSP Manager for yourself? Try it free for 14 days.