5 Tips to Help Promote Slow Moving Inventory

From time to time companies have to deal with a buildup in some slow moving items or stagnant inventory. The goal is to find ways to turn that inventory into cash in one way or another. For us in the hardwood lumber industry we are no different.

Baillie Hardwood Lumber BundlesWhen we encounter those situations we find a few proven best practices such as these to be helpful.

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 combination 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 representative from the Baillie Group and discuss it with us!

Tony C.
The Baillie Group
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