Why More Portable Toilet Companies are Serializing Inventory



Over the past few years, serializing inventory within the portable sanitation industry has become more popular. The question that many people are left wondering is, is it worth it? ServiceCore sat down with one of the industry leaders, Tanis Jamar with J Bar, to talk all about the benefits and what to expect when it comes to serializing a portable toilet business. They made the decision to serialize their portable toilet business in 2019 and it has been a great opportunity for them to optimize, expand, and recoup revenue from damaged units. 


Should you serialize your portable toilet business?

In short, yes! As businesses begin to grow and obtain more inventory, it becomes difficult to manually track units without a system in place. While this can be a simple task for smaller businesses, manually tracking each unit becomes very time consuming and unreliable when your business reaches larger capacities. ServiceCore recommends looking into serialization and the benefits it can offer your portable toilet company to foster as much success as possible.


About The Serialization Process & Why Your Company Should Be Doing it

  • What is serializing? 
      1. This is the process of converting a physical unit into a trackable item within a database. Many companies use this for inventory purposes, damage control, and just to simply collect data on their units. Some examples of what others in the industry use to label their units are barcodes, QR codes, and RFID. Each company has a unique way of implementing this process and it all depends on the size of your company and how much you want to spend on the quality and features of the labels.
  • How long will it take to label all of your units?
      1. J Bar had 1,200 units when they decided that they wanted to serialize their inventory. This process took about one month to complete. However, the amount of time that it will take a company to label all of it’s units depends on the resources you have and the time you want to spend doing it. Waiting until the busy season is over and spending one day labeling all units in your yard is a good way to get a jump on the serialization process. After this, hiring a temporary contract employee to help with tagging units is a good way to finish serializing your units without using your full time employees and disrupting operations. 
  • What are the benefits of serializing?  
    1. One benefit of serializing your company’s units is that it allows you to track where a unit was when it was damaged. By tracking this information you can then bill the customer for the damages and avoid paying for them out of pocket. 
    2. Tracking damage and the condition that your units are returned also allows you to make more informed business decisions regarding costs of your units and required upkeep.
    3. Geolocating is also a perk of having trackable serial codes on units. Oftentimes job locations may not have an address or be easily located. Having serial codes can enable the ability to track a unit at its exact location rather than just an address or description that leaves room for error. For example, if a job location is in a newly built neighborhood and the GPS has not been updated to show that address exists, using geolocation to track the unit would be the best method for an accurate location. 
    4. Ability to track the date when units are dropped off or picked up. This is good for long term jobs where you need to replace or service your units over a period of time and to see data on how long a unit is typically deployed for. For example, J Bar Enterprises will replace units that have sat at a job site for over a certain period of time to ensure the best quality of the product. 
  • Creating and utilizing serialized inventory made easy with ServiceCore.
    1. ServiceCore made it easy to create serialized inventory.
      1. In the inventory management section you can setup and customize within seconds your inventory products, e.g. Standard Toilet, ADA Accessible Unit, 24’ Premier Trailer, Holding Tanks, etc. Underneath each product you also have the option to add serial numbers. The ServiceCore mobile app makes it easy for your yard manager or driver to associate a barcode or QR-code to the actual unit. Scanning barcodes or QR-codes will associate the inventory via GPS to a service location. If you’re already using ServiceCore and you would like more detailed information, please take a look at our ServiceCore Knowledgebase.
    2. What are the benefits our customers are reporting?
      1. Serialized inventory allows for more accurate tracking of your inventory and availability. ServiceCore inventory tracking shows you exactly how many products are rented or available, and when those units should become available in the future. 
      2. You know with every job (delivery, service, swap or pickup) where each individual unit is located. By having your drivers  either tag or scan the unit the GPS location, along with a date and timestamp, is saved.
      3. Once a unit has been scanned and an after-service picture is taken via the ServiceCore mobile app,  you can provide proof of service to your customers.
      4. Knowing where each unit has been in the past (inventory history) provides the opportunity to charge repair costs directly back to your customers
    3. Contact ServiceCore for more information on serializing inventory, selecting barcodes, or QR-codes. Let us help you through the process and show you all the benefits for your business.
  • How much will it cost to serialize all of my units? 
    1. There are many variables to consider when calculating the potential cost for this process. The information you want to track, the quality and longevity of the label, the size of your fleet and how many labels you need to buy, the number of employees you have to help with the process, etc.  The larger your fleet is, the higher the upfront cost will be, but in the long run the information that is provided by tracking your inventory is sure to increase profitability and allow your company to make more informed business decisions.