Donald's Column - Tips for Tracking Wire and Cable Inventory

Donald's Column - Tips for Tracking Wire and Cable Inventory

If you deal with fiber optic cable or electrical wire, you’ve probably had this experience: arriving at a job site with a spool of wire you thought was full, but when you started to unspool it, you discover you have grabbed a reel that’s half-used. And you come up short.

The problem is caused by, and can be solved by, how that wire or cable is tracked.

With traditional tracking systems, when you’ve got five reels of 1,000 feet each, it’s tracked as 5,000 feet of wire. Period.

But what happens when you use 800 feet of wire on one of those reels, and 500 feet on another? You’ve got 3,700 feet, then, right?

Correct. But which reels have 1,000 feet, and which has 200? With traditional tracking systems, you have to guess, because the reels look alike. So, you might find yourself at a job site with a 200-foot reel when you need 1,000 feet. Conversely, you might grab a full thousand-foot spool when you only need 200 feet.

The first scenario costs time, and time is money. The second is just plain wasteful.

But with the lot number tracking capability within eTurns TrackStock, neither has to happen.

Our lot number tracking details the amount contained in each spool, rather than an aggregate of your entire order. The real-time tracking is like being able to look into the spool and see exactly what’s there. Customers tell us the feature results in substantial savings – and a reduction in aggravation and lost work time.

With lot-number tracking, you never have to waste cable, or worry about running out at a jobsite, because you not only know how much you have, you know exactly where it is.

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Donald Anderson is the vice president of product management for eTurns. He’s responsible for managing eTurns’s development and support organizations, as well as its SaaS operations. This regular column will cover new eTurns TrackStock features, FAQs and tips for getting the most out of your eTurns TrackStock app. Questions? Email Donald at

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