Inventory Management and Retail Store Experience

Published in Member Communities on Monday, December 24, 2018

From the Desk of Rob Baumhover, Director, Retail Services, VGM Retail

Providers looking to drive their businesses forward must form operational strategies in the following areas: Marketing, Product and Store Experience. These pieces are the core of every business. To perform at an optimum level, each play an important role towards success.

To highlight just one aspect, I would like to focus on the inventory management piece, which falls under the product core concept. In my career, I have often seen owners take a back seat with managing inventory correctly. Unfortunately, the severity of holding too much or too little inventory can have a negative impact on the bottom line of a business.

For instance, by having too much inventory on-hand, a store and stockroom can feel like it is bulging at the seams, taking a direct hit to a store’s overall experience. Due to consumer value placed on store experience, this can unfavorably affect a business and a customer’s likelihood to shop a store. In addition, too much stock can cause inefficiencies and hold up excess dollars in non-performing merchandise. Hence, giving owners a reason to lay awake at night.

The latter, holding too little inventory, can be just as harmful. Not housing enough inventory will make stores look and feel bare, maybe even feel like the store is going out of business. Again, causing the overall experience to be poor. Customers might also find themselves frustrated that the item(s) they need are consistently out-of-stock, which can cause a lost sale and further deter a customer’s future business to your store. Outside of these issues, owners might find themselves with ordering issues that cause pricey shipping costs and unnecessary expense. Consequently creating another bad situation.

So, how can Providers manage their inventory more effectively?

  1. Check and analyze sales reports weekly (at minimum), allowing employees to maintain a read on the store and customer buying trends.
  2. Use the findings from sales reports to set an ordering schedule for each product category and/or vendor partner.
  3. Properly set minimum and maximum amounts to carry for each product.
  4. Repeat and repeat. Managers cannot just do this process once, but must look at inventory management as the ongoing project that it is.

Providers follow these steps and you too can eliminate the discrepancies of the issues above!

Click here for more retail resources from VGM.


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

New Educational Courses From VGM Wound Care thumbnail New Educational Courses From VGM Wound Care Skin health affects every single customer of an HME provider. VGM Wound Care has the tools and solutions for the HME industry to thrive in the wound care market, including three new educational resources that have just been released. These “Wound Care 101” courses cover the basics of wound care pertaining to skin and the healing process, surgical dressings and debridement, and therapeutic support surfaces. In Memory of Brandon Edmondson thumbnail In Memory of Brandon Edmondson Our team is saddened to announce the passing of Brandon Edmondson. Many of you know him from his time with the Permobil Family or as a leader in the CRT industry. We know him from many industry conferences and U.S. Rehab Tech Trainings. No matter how you may have interacted with Brandon, you know that he had a kind soul and was a great source of energy. We send our deepest condolences to all who loved Brandon. U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: January 2020 thumbnail U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: January 2020 U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: January 2020 Packer Perspective: Defending the True Need of the Standing Frame Chair thumbnail Packer Perspective: Defending the True Need of the Standing Frame Chair I have written about a lot of items over the last few years, and today I want to write about one that we are seeing happen quite often with the standing frame chair. VGM's Top Moments of 2019 thumbnail VGM's Top Moments of 2019 VGM had quite a year in 2019! New U.S. Rehab Website Unveiled thumbnail New U.S. Rehab Website Unveiled U.S. Rehab is excited to unveil our newly redesigned website, https://www.vgm.com/communities/us-rehab/! While you will undoubtedly notice the fresh look, there is more! The site is designed to offer a better experience, making it easier for you to find the information you're looking for. Supplier Partner Updates: January 2020 thumbnail Supplier Partner Updates: January 2020 All VGM supplier partner updates for January 2020. From VGM Community Leaders: What to Expect in 2020 thumbnail From VGM Community Leaders: What to Expect in 2020 Now that the new year has arrived, we asked our community leaders at VGM what they are looking forward to in 2020 for respiratory/sleep, orthotics and prosthetics, women's health, wound care, and home modifications. Below are their responses: