If your company suffered severe damage today, would you have accurate records of your equipment, product inventory, and other valuable items? A business contents inventory is a list of all of the items in your business that can be a very useful tool when you are faced with the unexpected.

person taking contents inventory of business stockroomKeeping an accurate, current inventory of the contents of your locations makes the restoration, insurance claim, and re-opening processes a lot easier after an incident of loss. It may sound like a complex process, but thankfully there is technology that can make it easier. Below are tools that help with creating and maintaining a business contents inventory.

Point of Sale System (PoS)

Keeping track of inventory through spreadsheets can be effective if your business is small or service-based and you only have items like furniture and technology used by staff. For larger or product-based companies, spreadsheets lead to problems. They’re time-consuming and information can be lost due to human error.

Using a point of sale system solves these problems. A PoS can keep track of your stock and supplier information (who you bought from, when you bought from them, and how much the item cost you) in one place and in real time. This means you’ll know what your inventory looks like at any given moment.

Pro tip: You can also include items that your business does not sell in the PoS so that you can easily keep track of those as well.

Business and Product Inventory Apps

One drawback to PoS systems is that they can be quite expensive. For newer, smaller businesses they may not be a practical solution. Inventory apps, on the other hand, are relatively cheap (and sometimes even free).

Despite the lower price tag, they still offer most of the services a PoS system can. Namely, they keep track of your products, supplies, technology, and other equipment so you don’t have to do it manually.

Inventory apps typically offer four main features that will improve your inventory records. They have barcode scanners, keep track of the prices of items, track inventory across channels, and can provide insights into sales trends.

Pro tip:  Experiment with a few inventory management applications before sticking with one. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and you should see which is the best for you.

Photographs and Videos

If you’re not ready to purchase a PoS or dedicate the time to learn how to use an inventory app, consider using the old-fashioned photograph and video approach.

You can’t claim insurance money for items you don’t remember that you had. Unless you have a photographic memory, when you see things every day, it can be easy to take them for granted and even forget about something. This is particularly true when you are faced with sudden and scary water, fire, or storm damage. To prevent this, you can easily take up-to-date photographs, videos, and even easily create detailed virtual tours.

Spending a few minutes walking around your business and recording or taking pictures can only help you. You’ll remember everything you had and you’ll also be able to prove to insurance that you had these items.

Pro tip: Make sure that these photos, videos, and tours are stored in multiple places, at least one of which is cloud-based. What if the same fire that damages your business also damages the computer where the photos were saved?

Bonus Tip: Partner with a Trusted Restoration Contractor

In addition to your tech stack, you’ll want to leverage the power of relationships. A relationship with a trusted restoration contractor can go a long way in the aftermath of an emergency. We’ve talked a lot in this article about insurance. Restoration contractors have tons of experience navigating the insurance claims process and can make this a painless process for you.

Additionally, restoration professionals can limit costs because they understand when to restore an item and when to replace it. Using a restoration contractor is one of the best ways to get back to business as usual after an emergency has occurred.

Partner with Alpha Omega for Fire, Water, or Storm Damage at Your Company

Here at  Alpha Omega, we understand the stress that emergencies can put on businesses in the Billings area. We try to alleviate some of that stress by taking charge of your restoration process from beginning to end. Again, we’ll even work directly with your insurance company, keeping the process smooth and hassle-free.

We want you to get back everything that you may lose. We’re available 24/7 if you need a helping hand.

Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration today 406-628-0178 for emergency property damage cleanup and restoration services by Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration of Billings and Laurel, MontanaSo, if you’re in the process of creating an emergency response plan for your Montana business or are updating a plan you already have, we’d love to be your restoration partner. Contact us today!