The Backorder: May 22, 2024

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In this week’s edition of The Backorder:

  • Australian government to invest $22.7 billion in clean energy
  • 7 simple tricks for turning slow-moving stock into cash
  • Industry insights from the owner of a contract manufacturing firm
  • Job opportunities from Shopify, Giorgio Armani, and more

In supply chain headlines

  • Tech budgets increase to improve supply chain resilience. Almost a third of supply chain management leaders plan to adopt new software in 2024, according to a new survey from Software Advice (a subsidiary of Gartner).
  • UK government publishes first-ever food security index. The PM unveiled the official data at the second annual Farm to Fork summit. Its purpose is to paint a picture of Britain’s ability to produce enough food for the population, explains The Guardian.
  • Australia seeks to become renewable energy superpower. The Albanese government has announced a $22.7 billion package intended to spur domestic manufacturing in what it’s calling “the biggest transformation since the industrial revolution”. Read the PM’s press release here.

7 tactics to turn unmoving stock into cash

  • Run a clearance sale. Let’s start with the obvious. Clearance sales can attract a high volume of customers while helping you clear old stock from the shelves. If you have operate a retail store, strategically position the clearance goods to be attractive and obvious.
  • Create product bundlesRepurpose unmoving stock by bundling it with other products to make it more desirable. It’s a bit like hiding your dog’s medicine inside his dinner. This tactic works best when you pair slow-sellers with your most popular goods.
  • Use online marketplaces. Websites like eBay, Craigslist, Trade Me, and Gumtree are great for clearing out unsold items. Millions of online shoppers use these platforms everyday to source good deals – so go give them what they’re looking for.
  • Repurpose or upcycle it. In some cases you may be able to break an unsold item down for spare parts. Alternatively, it could function as a component for an entirely new product – an unsold wooden chair could be upholstered to increase its value, for example. 
  • Launch a giveaway promotion. Giveaways might not directly result in revenue, but they’re one of the most effective tactics for building brand awareness (and clearing out old stock). Decide on an objective – such as increasing your social media following – and use it to determine the terms of entry for your giveaway competition.
  • Mystery boxes. A popular sales tactic for online retailers, mystery boxes are an easy way to get rid of slow-moving inventory while building a bit of intrigue around your brand. You can even use them as an incentive to increase order value – for example, you could offer a free mystery gift for any order over $300.
  • Donate it to charity. If you can’t sell it, give it away! As well as doing a bit of good for a great cause, donating dead stock to charity can also qualify for a tax deduction – just remember to document the transaction and keep your receipts.

Contract manufacturing for the future – Meet Albert Brenner

We recently spoke with Albert Brenner, Co-owner and Operator of Altraco – a contract manufacturing firm based in Southern California – to pull the curtain back on the global manufacturing supply chain. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about Altraco … what does your company do?

“Altraco specialises in contract manufacturing, focusing on design, manufacturing, and importing for industries like home improvement, automotive, and outdoor products. Our strength lies in our extensive industry experience and our ability to adapt to client needs – from startups to Fortune 500 companies.”

Is there any business advice you’d tell your younger self?

“Invest in relationships with clients and suppliers. Be prepared to adapt to external economic and political changes. [And] prioritise clear communication to minimise operational misunderstandings.”

What led you to establish Altraco? How has it gone so far?

“The inspiration for Altraco came from identifying a market need for a dependable manufacturing outsourcing partner. My background in supply chain management helped position Altraco as a key player for companies seeking scalable production without the complexities of international logistics. Our biggest challenges are navigating global tariffs and market demands; we’ve addressed these by staying updated on trade policies and enhancing our supply chain resilience.”

Are there any books or podcasts you recommend for our readers?

The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford offers valuable insights into project management that are applicable to supply chain challenges.”

Before we let you go, what’s the #1 secret to manufacturing success in the modern era?

“Continuously seek knowledge and innovation. These [goals] are essential for thriving in the competitive field of global manufacturing and trade.”

The forbidden secret of free shipping

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Oliver Munro - Unleashed Software
Oliver Munro

Article by Oliver Munro in collaboration with our team of specialists. Oliver's background is in inventory management and content marketing. He's visited over 50 countries, lived aboard a circus ship, and once completed a Sudoku in under 3 minutes (allegedly).

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