Turns, Turns, Turns
Completely review your product mix. If you are like most dealers, the amount of duplication in some of your product areas is probably significant. For example, consider in-wall speakers or $2,000 receivers. Narrow your mix of such products. If you have four in-wall vendors, narrow it to three. In the process, you become more important to your remaining vendors and your ability to negotiate better terms and discounts increases considerably.
Use the cookie cutter principle in installations. Sell the same system over and over again. This repeatability will increase the reliability of your installs while simultaneously lowering your inventory by narrowing your mix of products.
Have a plan for increasing your turnover and freeing up cash. Keep track of your inventory product levels and total inventory. The success of this plan can be measured and the results can be important factors in growing your future business.
If you take these principles and put them into practice, your business will likely become both leaner and meaner, and you'll have extra cash on hand without having to take out a loan.
Robert Ain (email@example.com) is a consultant with over 30 years of CE industry experience in almost all areas of distribution, manufacturing and marketing. During the past 15 years, he has worked closely with PARA and many retailers, conducting seminars and workshops on merchandising, buying and inventory management. A former executive with Boston Acoustics, KEF America and ADCOM, he has served on the boards of PARA, CASA and CEA's Audio Board.