Excess inventory? Take stock and strategise
Thu 4 August 2016 - 9:00 amSmall Business | Strategy | Sustainability
When business inventory reaches the end of its product lifecycle or there’s no longer a demand for it, you need to find a way to get rid of it. Seems easy enough but companies that haven’t planned stocked replenishment properly are often stuck with large quantities of excess or outdated business stock.
Also known as obsolete stock, excess inventory can cost businesses a fortune. Tied up with little promise of a return on investment and no doubt taking up much-needed space within the company, outdated stock needs to be handled efficiently to avoid unnecessary expenses. Here’s a few smart tips for getting rid of (and avoiding) obsolete stock:
1. Run a sale event
This idea can go one or two ways. Depending on the industry of your business, selling outdated stock for a discounted ‘sale’ price can also have a negative effect of not impressing your customers. You need to weigh up the life of the products (obviously selling outdated food and drink products can raise health issues), the risks attached and any negative cost implications.
For many businesses and products though, running a sale event on outdated stock can be a brilliant idea. Usually ideal for retailers, running a high impact store-wide event to draw crowds to the store draws attention to the actual event – rather than the ‘discounts’. This can make it a little more enticing for people and help your customers get a great deal. Make sure you promote it on your website, in your newsletter and on social media to generate more sales.
2. Practice smart waste management solutions
For excess stock that can’t be sold or given away, you’ll need to put a waste management solution into place. Disposing of outdated items in your regular business bins has a lot of risks attached. Not only is it impractical for space considerations, but if it gets into the wrong hands or on the black market, it can leave your company liable and in a nasty situation.
Industrial waste management is a vital consideration for both sustainability and safety purposes. Excess and outdated stock that cannot be repurposed in any way needs to be destroyed – and you want to make sure its destroyed properly to eliminate any potential risks. Strategic investment in developing a product waste system, through a waste management company, will ensure any sensitive and outdated stock gets disposed of safely.
3. Donate or offer stock as freebies and incentives
If running a sale event is out of the question and the stock doesn’t need to be destroyed, why not consider them as donations, freebies or incentives? Staff or business partner incentives can be a great idea if the excess stock isn’t able to be repurposed to the general public.
Usually a better idea for low-cost items, consider running a simple competition to hand them out as prizes. Freebies can be great for valued customers and clients or as a ‘bribe’ to get people to sign up to your mailing list. If you have a trade event coming up, you can even use the outdated stock as part of giveaway showbags.
4. Do a product review or giveaway with influential bloggers
We all know how important it is to build relationships with influential bloggers and celebrities relevant to your industry. Especially if they have a massive following, utilising these key people can put your brand and product in the eyes of many new and potential clienteles. Doing a product review or giveaway with these people can be one of the best ways to get rid of extra stock – and gain great publicity for your business in the process!
5. Reduce Your Obsolete Stock Levels for the Future
Managing the inventory is a key part of every business. In order to function effectively and reduce unnecessary business expenses, companies need to be smart about manufacturing products by putting a viable plan in action to eliminate an increase in outdated stock. The cost of the waste of inventory is huge – every piece of outdated or excess stock has a physical cost attached to it. If you want to avoid losing the investment, you need to weigh up your options for future stock.
There are some cost-effective inventory management software products on the market that can be really useful to keep track. This will help in revising order cycles and quantities, improving stock forecast and reducing the variables of demand and supply. By managing stock effectively, you’ll be able to cut down waste and business costs as well as boosting the overall business performance.
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