Monday, 07 November 2016 14:57

5 Tips to Help Promote Slow Moving Inventory

As we approach the end of the calendar year many people are preparing for their year-end inventory practices. It is also the time that many companies identify they have a buildup in some slow moving items or dead inventory they would really like to turn into cash. At least, that is what we find in the hardwood lumber industry.

So what do you do to move something that hasn’t moved all year long? Here are a few practices we have found to be helpful in the past.

  • Create a bundled package. The practice on product bundling can often times be very effective. Identify a complimentary product which you have an abundance of and pair it with a product that is in high demand and sell them as a package deal. For us it might be a certain baillie bundles smyrnacombination of 4/4 1 Common White Oak and 8/4 Red Oak Prime. By moving a high demand item with a slower moving that is a needed inventory item for most people you can create a win-win for you and your customer.
  • Increase internal awareness & communication. Sometimes items stack up in inventory because they are hard to identify or find. Perhaps they are specialty products that are ordered in smaller quantities, or they are small lots or odd sizes that are just not the normal reorder package. Many times, if you can have an inventory manager identify the items that need to move and communicate them in a simple way that is ready for sales to offer to customers you will find that more direct offers are made and success is the result.
  • Develop targeted promotions. Take a close look at the items you need to move from your inventory, which target market is most likely to see value in them, the type of customers who purchased the items in the past and develop a very specific targeted promotion just to them. This might seem like “marketing 101” but many times a little bit of intentional focus can really prove to be helpful. Consider a targeted direct mail campaign, a small email blast, a social media awareness program and maybe even a limited time pricing promotion to create a sense of urgency and evoke a quick call to action from your customers.
  • Repackage and transform. Sometimes looking at your inventory in the form of a raw material can help. In some instances, inventory bundles can be unpackaged, slightly altered and then remarketed as a different product or variant in the same product set which could be more appealing to customers. In our industry on example would be looking at some slow moving random width and length lumber and transform it into specific width sorts, length sorts or even convert it into a SLR2e product that has a higher demand with certain customer segments.
  • Incentivize your sale teams. A tried and true practice that should always be considered is some type of sales force incentive to move the inventory. Slow moving items are more difficult to sell and sometimes put aside by even the best sales teams as they deal with the more pressing customer issues. A quick, simple, impactful incentive to help re-prioritize the importance of moving the inventory can certainly help.

What other practices and methods have you found to be helpful? Contact your Baillie representative and discuss it with us!

Tony Cimorelli
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