For businesses that manage corporate promotional product stores, year end inventory reconciliation provides the opportunity to take a final look at the history of item sales and get a fresh perspective on the product mix for the New Year.
Although the monthly sales reports will provide an ongoing analysis tool for the popularity of each item in a corporate fulfillment program, the final inventory count at the end of the year signals the perfect time for everyone to sit down and take a hard look at what products are winners, and which are ready for retirement. It’s the time when the corporate customer must decide what to do with the unsold stock and, armed with the 12 month usage reports, come to the table with an open mind on how to invigorate the progam with a refreshed merchandise mix.
It is always tempting for the client to let the slow-moving products sit on the warehouse shelf for another year, rather than use budget funds to buy out and distribute that merchandise. And, in some cases, it’s unavoidable to allow certain items to stay in the program until the stock is depleted. But, if the inventory has been managed properly throughout the year, with monthly updates and positive action steps between the vendor partner and the customer, there should be very few instances when the product buyout represents more than a small quantity percentage of each sku.
Once the final inventory count is complete, and decisions are made on the disposition of the obsolete merchandise, the fun begins! New products, new web site enhancements and most importantly, new ideas on how to engage the corporate buyers should all be ready to launch in January. Ideally, the discussions on those changes were initiated at the beginning of the last quarter of the year, and with agreement from all program stakeholders, implementation can coincide with the energy that comes with the opportunities and possibilities of the New Year.
Year end inventory counts may be a tedious task for the warehouse manager, but for the corporate customer, with the exception of the launch of a completely new on-line store, it is the best opportunity to revitalize a program that supports the corporate brand.