Inventory Control Step 7: Plan for the Future

Future Inventory PlanNow that you have your guidelines set, it’s time to keep the process moving and plan for the future. Again, one of the biggest problems Jeff Sheets sees is that dealers are reluctant to plan ahead or have goals when it comes inventory.

If you just put all this work into counting, getting rid of dead items, organizing, working with your Parts Manager, setting turn goals and min/max levels, then you must keep moving forward!

The most important thing in planning for the future is to constantly check the past. You must look and analyze your sales history and season trends and this is where having an industry-specific dealer management software in place is vital. There are numerous reports you can run that will help you with every aspect of your inventory control, so you can plan ahead. Even if you’re a 20-year veteran of a particular business and think you know the trends like the back of your hand, you’ll never be in full control without sales history reports.

You can also look to your customers to help you plan ahead. Each time they purchase something from you, they are casting a vote for the merchandise you carry. Make sure you take these votes seriously and plan ahead to stock the merchandise that’s most popular, not just based on what you like.

While you’re checking these votes, don’t overlook the importance of lost sales. This is an area where most dealerships struggle simply because the employees don’t want to take the time to record a lost sale. Make an effort to track this! You never know where you could come across a product that’s in popular demand that you don’t carry. The last thing you want to do is send your customers to the competition.

Another thing to remember is don’t plan ahead for an entire year all at once, plan ahead 90 or 60 days. This is the best way in ensuring you’re not going to get carried away with quantities. Working in a seasonal business, you know things can change from month to month. You can go from an extremely rainy period, to severe drought. Therefore, you need to break it up and look at these trends.

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How to Establish Inventory Goals that Work







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