Upfront: Successful spring starts with inventory management

By Steve Noe

With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training Feb. 14 and the remaining Major League Baseball players not too far behind them, we are reminded that spring — your busiest time of the year — is right around the corner. In an effort to help you gear up for the spring and maximize your profits in 2008, we have done our best to enhance your inventory management in this issue of Outdoor Power Equipment.

“When it comes to running a profitable outdoor power equipment dealership, few things have more impact on the amount of money you actually take home than the levels of inventory you carry through your season,” Bob Clements, president of Bob Clements International, stated in the opening of his cover story on “Squeezing the profits out of your inventories,” pages 14-15.

Without stealing too much of Clements’ thunder, he goes on to write about much more than inventory of wholegoods, and provides several excellent inventory management tips.

If one expert’s opinion on inventory management isn’t good enough for you, you can read the opinions of 20 dealers in our question-of-the-month feature called “Dealers’ Domain,” starting on page 16. This month’s question: “How do you determine what your average inventory levels should be for the season on both wholegoods and parts?” I would like to thank all of those dealers who took time out of their busy schedules to provide such fantastic feedback. (By the way, if you would like to recommend a question to ask of your fellow dealers for “Dealers’ Domain,” please e-mail it to me at snoe@m2media360.com.)

In order to make the most of this inventory management advice, you need to invest in the proper computer software. Therefore, we feature the industry’s latest business management systems in the “Parts and Service” section on pages 38 and 46.

If you are one of the select few dealers who doesn’t need any help when it comes to inventory management, we have plenty more to offer you in this issue, including the last of our two-part series on the “Industry Forecasts” for 2008; the most recent industry happenings; and the lowdown on the latest string trimmers and residential walk-behind mowers.

Hope you enjoy this issue and that it helps you start strong this spring. Best of luck in 2008!


OPE Editor Steve Noe


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