Matco Tools Business Conference presents tips on managing inventory

Veteran tool distributors recognize that keeping the right inventory on the truck is an important skill in their business. During the recent Matco Tools national business conference and tool expo at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, Calif., district managers gave distributors some pointers during an education seminar titled “Stocking the Right Stuff.”

During one seminar, Matco officials noted that inventories should be highest at the beginning of their ordering cycle and lowest at the end. They also noted the importance of selling discontinued items as quickly as possible.

The following items were cited as things distributors have to pay attention to:

  • Eliminate duplicates of things that don’t sell.
  • Identify seasonal merchandise.
  • Be sure to sell off any special order item that doesn’t get purchased.
  • Don’t allow inventory supplies to fall below 10 to 16 weeks.

Strategies for funding inventory were also discussed. The easiest strategy is to fund all purchases from collections, officials noted, but noted this is not always possible.

A good option is to buy on promotion.

Speakers noted it is also important to understand the customers’ buying habits. Some are more price driven than others.

A common mistake distributors make, is to buy things they like or not buy things they don’t like.

Another mistake is to buy something just because it’s on promotion.

In addition to “Stocking the Right Stuff”, Matco distributors were given the opportunity to attend training sessions including “Selling Big Ticket Items,” “How to Sell Value Over Price” and “Driving Traffic To Your Store.” All of the seminars provided ideas to help Matco’s distributors increase their sales.