As a lumber dealer, you understand what builders want in order to meet deadlines and prepare for their jobs. Every day you see how the demand for products can change which can affect your stock levels. Ideally, you’d like to keep enough products in stock without taking the risk of ordering too many of an item while making sure to reduce backorders to keep customers happy.
You’re also familiar with the large, often higher-ticket items that can be very profitable but that you’re not selling as often. Ideally, you wouldn’t want these larger items sitting on your showroom floor or in your yard because, after all, space equals money.
So how can you keep up with supply and demand without being stuck with excess inventory or slow-to-move products while still delivering quickly on what your customers need? How do you navigate the balance between high-demand, limited space, and profitability? One solution is to partner with a flexible supplier who is located close by and can assist you in meeting these needs.
Here are three strategies to implement as you think about optimizing your stock levels and reduce backorders as much as possible.
Consistent Turn-Around And Real-Time Inventory Tracking
As a dealer, your best partner is the supplier with a substantial inventory of whatever materials and products you need for your customers. Choose suppliers who maintain a real-time inventory tracking system and can accurately answer whether an item is in stock and when they can have it to you. Ordering from these suppliers will help you give your contractors an informed answer regarding whether the products they need are available.
Look for Consistent Turn-Around Time
Suppliers who are organized, have a knowledgeable sales staff, and can turn around an order quickly are your best bet for those larger items you’d rather not keep in inventory. Again, be strategic about the suppliers you choose. Order from a supplier who is large enough to have those products on hand and near enough that they can have it to you quickly to reduce unnecessary backorders.
Minimally Damaged And Right On Time
When builders receive damaged products or materials are delayed by days or weeks, work stops at a job site. When work stops, contractors lose money, and project timelines can be delayed significantly. Contractors aren’t happy, nor are their customers. Partner with a supplier who consistently delivers as promised and delivers items with minimal damage due to an exceptional packaging process is invaluable. Damaged products or late deliveries bring your reputation into question. Choose suppliers who can ensure they’ll deliver quality products when promised.
A frenzy of construction projects doesn’t mean that backorders are inevitable. Your key to keeping your customers happy and returning is to choose to build relationships with suppliers who can help you serve your customers’ needs. Look for suppliers who believe in teamwork and operational excellence and provide high-quality service to dealers throughout the region.