Getting Started with Digital Inventories -
The Ultimate Guide

What are Digital/Electronic Inventories?

While the moving and relocation industry has been doing business for decades with mostly handwritten household goods inventory forms, there has been rising demand from customers and even client accounts to require inventories that are not handwritten, having greater legibility and ability to understand the condition and location codes, etc. that can look to be hieroglyphs to a non-mover.

Additionally, movers and their teams need the ability to quickly and easily reference the information contained within a HHG inventory (including photos, notes, and comments) for communicating with customers and clients, as well as in completing riders and reviewing claims – not to mention overcoming the challenges of obtaining a paper inventory that is still with a driver as s/he transports the HHG to their destination.

These and other benefits are driving the heightened attention on Digital Inventories, as is the upcoming USTRANSCOM mandate that will require digital (aka “electronic”) inventories for all applicable DoD HHG shipments.

The USTRANSCOM Mandate on Digital Inventories

The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is the largest single customer of moving services in the world.

As confirmed in the 2022 Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) HHG Tender of Service (TOS), USTRANSCOM is mandating the use of electronic inventories for DoD personal property shipments effective May 15, 2023. Even now, these electronic, descriptive inventories are “strongly encouraged” by USTRANSCOM. You can review the DP3 HHG TOS here: Defense Personal Property Tender of Service.

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Inventories: Everything you need to get started in 6 easy steps

We’ve prepared an easy-to-follow guide with everything you need to get started using Digital Inventories or to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the benefits in using Digital Inventories, while staying compliant with the USTRANSCOM mandate.

  1. DIGITAL INVENTORY APP: What to look for in your Digital Inventory mobile software

    1. Is the app easy to use and intuitive for users of all types and tech expertise?
      Not everyone lives and breathes tech, and a great Digital Inventory app knows this and makes it easy for non-techie users to begin and complete the Digital Inventory, guiding the user to each next step and alerting when something is needed.
    2. Can the app be used with mobile devices, whether phone or tablet, Apple/iOS or Android?
      Users have different preference for mobile devices, so your digital inventory app needs to be able to accommodate a variety of devices and operating systems so that no matter the crew member or Inventory Specialist, the work can be completed.
    3. Can your users complete a Digital Inventory with the app, even if not connected to the Internet?
      When on the job and depending upon the mobile device, there is not always available Internet connectivity, so if an app requires constant connection, you won’t be able to complete the inventory.
    4. Does the app connect and integrate with Shipment Management and Claims systems?
      When your Digital Inventory app receives shipment and shipper information directly from the DoD shipment record, this results in quicker, error-free scheduling and integrated receipt of the completed inventory for review. In the event of a claim, an integrated Digital Inventory is instantly available to compare items, condition notes, and supporting photos that can reduce claims payouts.
    5. Can shippers/service members add comments and electronically sign the inventory without needing to print it?
      For true digital capability, and in order to comply with the USTRANSCOM requirements, the answer needs to be “yes.”
    6. Does the Digital Inventory app integrate with TSPs, agents, crews/drivers, and DoD systems for quick and accurate delivery?
      Once complete, the finalized Digital Inventory needs to be delivered to the service member, the TSP (if you are working on their behalf), etc., so be sure that your software seamlessly integrates to do this work for you.
    7. Can the Digital Inventory app accommodate multiple Inventory specialists inputting inventoried items into the same inventory?
      Whether on the same day or across multiple days, you may have more than one person contributing to the inventory.
    GREAT NEWS! When you’re working with EDC®’s Digital Inventory apps, EDC-AgentLink® Inventory & EDC-MoveStar® Mobile, the answer to every question above is YES! If you’re not sure or need to learn more, please Contact Us or email inventory@edcus.com.
  2. DIGITAL DEVICES: Now that you know you have the right Digital Inventory software, you’ll need to ensure that you have the right equipment/devices in place.

    1. Depending upon your business model and local regulations, you may have all company-owned devices, or may utilize a combination of company-owned and crew/driver-owned devices. With EDC-AgentLink® Inventory & EDC-MoveStar® Mobile, your team can use different devices to access the same inventory (if they’re approved to do so), so it doesn’t require that the same device be on hand for different users.
    2. EDC-AgentLink® Inventory & EDC-MoveStar® Mobile work with both Apple/iOS and Android devices.
    3. Our Digital Inventory apps allow you to complete digital inventories on a variety of mobile device types – phone or tablet, though easy-to-handle tablets have larger displays and yet are still convenient to carry.
    4. You’ll want mobile devices that are able to capture photos, so that photos of damaged items can be added directly to the Digital Inventory to support condition notes.
    5. It’s not necessary to have devices that have mobile data plans, as long as the devices can connect to WiFi to sync the digital inventory with the shipment record, etc. As a reminder, connected WiFi and/or data connectivity are NOT required at the time of inventory completion.
    6. EDC-AgentLink® Inventory & EDC-MoveStar® Mobile allow for multiple people (across multiple days, if needed) to contribute to the Digital Inventory, without needing to share the same mobile device.
    7. Our EDC® team can assist you with questions on devices, training, and more! Email inventory@edcus.com or Contact Us to learn more.
  3. DOWNLOAD & INSTALL the EDC-AgentLink® Inventory or EDC-MoveStar® Mobile onto your devices

    • Not sure which app is right for you? Email inventory@edcus.com or Contact Us to learn more.
  4. AUTHORIZE the mobile users under your EDC® Digital Inventory account so that you can assign Digital Inventories to them. The process differs for independent drivers and agents, so please Contact Us or email inventory@edcus.com for more info.

    • With EDC® – you have free and flexible training and support, both live and on-demand.
  5. TRAINING: We’re here to help you equip, train, and increase adoption of your Digital Inventory program, and we know that not all users learn the same way nor on the same schedule.

    1. EDC® customers receive FREE training and support, as well as on-demand quick-reference resources for you and everyone on the crew
    2. There is no limit to the amount of training for EDC® customers. We’re here to help!
  6. CONGRATULATIONS! You are ready to begin using Digital Inventories and reaping the benefits for you and your customers.

    1. Be sure to check our Digital Inventory Resource Hub regularly for additional information, as well as for DoD mandate updates.
    2. If you have any questions, please Contact Us or email inventory@edcus.com

Whether referred to as “Digital Inventories,” “Electronic Inventories,” or “Paperless Inventories,” there’s no question about the need to understand and include this in-demand service to your team’s tool kit in order to win and keep important channels of revenue.

The great news is that there are helpful resources and significant benefits to utilizing Digital Inventories – and you can learn more about them from our EDC® team (Contact Us or email inventory@edcus.com) and within this EDC® Digital Inventory Resource Hub.

Check back regularly for updated information and announcements to help you equip, train, and adopt.

Do you have questions? Do you want more information?

Contact Us