Knowing what tools and equipment to stock on your tool truck is no easy task. Between a diverse customer base, shops that specialize in different repairs, technicians who buy only their favorite brands, and new technologies hitting the market, it’s tough to appease everyone. For the newer distributors still trying to figure this out, your best course of action is likely to stock up on a bit of everything, and as you get to know your customers more or new products come out, change things up where it makes sense.
For example, in this month’s Tales From the Road article, independent mobile tool distributor, Mike Yarter, discusses the abundance of inventory on his trucks and how he picks what to stock. In order to stay on top of what his customers want, Yarter pays close attention to what his customers look at in the sales flyers and his purchase history. From there, he can gauge what tools are the most popular or the ones he’s received the best feedback on. Those tools are what he refers to as his “basics,” the tools he’ll be sure to always have on hand.
As for the distributors who’ve been at this for a while, don’t get complacent about what you’re stocking. Sure, there are certain tools and equipment you’ll always want to keep on board, but that’s no reason for letting your inventory get stale. Stay on top of industry trends and the new tools and equipment being released — especially those that are improving on past versions of a tool. Everyone is always on the lookout for ways to do things faster, easier, and more efficiently.
If you’re not sure where to start, to find these revolutionary new tools and equipment, we’ve got you covered. Try checking out this year’s Innovation Award winners. The products we’re showcasing were hand-picked by a panel of judges out of over 100 submissions as 26 of the best new products to enter the industry in the past year.
Each product was judged on the following criteria:
- Time savings
- Simplifying a task
- Unique/new approach
- Improving a current tool
- Ease of use
This should give you a good place to start looking for potential new products to stock on your truck. However, if you’re not currently looking for something new to add to your truck, here are a few tips on how you can make your current stock work for you.
- Rotate your products — By rotating your products to different shelves throughout the year, you’ll keep your customers looking, which may result in the sale of an item that’s been sitting around for a while.
- Product arrangement — Try keeping faster moving products towards the back of your truck. That way customers will have to walk past everything else to get to what they’re looking for, which may cause a few impulse buys.
- Switch up your display items — If you have a lot of inventory, it can be hard to have everything on display at once, so regularly switch out which products you have on display to give your truck a bit of a refresh.