Overstocked? Don’t worry, this negative can be turned positive.
Being overstocked by nature isn’t normally a great problem to have. You basically have too much stock that you haven’t been able to shift – somewhere along the line something has gone wrong, be it a large order falling over, incorrect forecasting or stock mismanagement. However, let’s not look at this as a negative, but focus on turning this opportunity into something beneficial for your business. So, why is too much inventory a positive thing for you?
A chance to lure customers in
Any stock that is overstocked is basically whittling away your hard earned money. It has associated costs that cannot be avoided, tying up capital, and even on a simpler level it’s taking up your time and that of your employees that could be used towards other products that give a better return.
But you need to get your stock sold. So bring out every trick you have in your box. It may be as simple as putting it on sale or enticing buyers with an offer, like a two for one or something similar. You could also bundle it together in an offer with other products that are selling better, for example buy X and get Y% off the lesser selling product. Everyone loves to feel like they are getting something for nothing or at a discounted rate, so come up with any idea possible to get your customers to start thinking about the inventory again. Don’t just hide it in the corner and hope it will sell itself that’s for sure.
A chance to re-engage with previous customers
Overstocking is a great chance for you to re-engage with your customers. No doubt you have email newsletters, mailing lists, phone numbers – a ton of ways to get in touch with your customers. So what better time to do so than to tell them about your new, amazing offer and to try and sell them this overstocked inventory. Start thinking about customers that may have purchased previously that could do with changing out their current model or perhaps people that you could up-sell to this current version.
A chance to learn for the future
Having a large amount of inventory that isn’t selling is also a chance for your business to positively start looking at your processes and potentially change things to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Real-time, intelligent analytics through modern inventory management software places the power back in your hand; it is no longer a guessing game. You are able to more accurately forecast and have an in-depth understanding of demand across all product lines. Not only will this give you a better idea of when products are starting to become stale, but will also help you proactively manage the process earlier.
Overstocking can happen to anyone, and it may be somewhat beyond your control, but you want to make sure you have done everything in your power to ensure it doesn’t. And, if it does you want to make sure you have the tools to identify it early and tackle the situation head on. It will certainly help alleviate a few headaches along the way that’s for sure.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.