Ask Annissa: What’s the Best Way to Organize and Document Inventory During a Packout?
When dealing with a contents job you need to organize everything that you do by the room.
It helps if you and the adjuster call the same areas of the house by the same room name. If possible, you should ask the adjuster to sketch out the house and send you a copy. If you are the one to sketch out the house, then send it to the adjuster.
That means all of your documentation (ie: logged destroyed, cleaned and packed inventory, special handle items, etc.) needs to be organized and tracked by those rooms that you and the adjuster have set in place.
So when you are packing out a room, pack like items together in the same box. That way when you get back to your cleaning facility you can be much more efficient and productive with your cleaning. By doing this, you will also cut down on breakage and transportation caused damages.
Every single item needs to be logged before it leaves each room so nothing gets lost or put back in the wrong room. To keep track of your inventory you need a system. There are many different systems to use – I’ll cover a couple of them.
You can put a bar code system in place to track inventory. They work great, however if you are just starting out or are a small operation they can be very expensive to setup and may be cost prohibitive.
There is also the simple, and yet very effective system, called Excel and Microsoft Word. This is not only a simple way to track your inventory, but also inexpensive as most companies already have the programs on their computers. You can use them to create simple documents on each job and track all inventory on any job you have. It is easy to e-mail and print up copies as needed for your homeowner and adjuster as well.
(Editor’s Note: Another option is investing in a packout software solution, which can help streamline the process.)