Virtual Selling and Time Management

Virtual Selling and Time Management

Virtual Selling and Time Management

Don Buttrey, President of Sales Professional Training, Inc. is back with a new installment of his CRM Hell series: Virtual Selling and Time Management.

 

Virtual Selling Tips related to Vital Selling Regimens.

The virtual world is all on you. You are in control of every aspect of your world. Your life, your world, everything. It is a big change. We had become comfortable with our “old” routines. How we proceeded through the day. How we organized our calls. Now we have to “relearn” how to do everything.

Time and Appointment Management (calendar)
  • Check/improve internet speed. Upgrade if needed. This is your new main venue and you must avoid as many potential distractions as possible.
  • Set aside time each week to SCHEDULE calls/video conferences with current and prospective customers. Call and/or email to ask for best day/time then send invites. Be proactive. Take control.
  • Load up your calendar with appointments and live by that calendar.
  • Confirm next meeting and venue (call or video) at the end of every sales call.

With time management applied to our virtual world, we can stay on top of our customer service.

For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Skill Levels and Assessments

Skill Levels and Assessments

Skill Levels and Assessments

As with everything we do in the “Learning” business we are constantly adjusting our Learning Paths and Skills levels to reflect the scores we have been seeing from our Job Function Assessments. We are going to change the “Names” of each of the levels. We have used Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. Those are terms that we felt everyone would understand. We are going to change those terms now to use those most common in education. Now we are going to call the Assessments Levels Developing, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced.

Let me explain what they mean:

  • Developing
    • This is the phase of an employee’s employment where they are learning the job, they are being trained, either by mentor or their boss, in how to do the job. This is in keeping with Don Shillings approach to employee development – “Grow Your Own.” This is an apprenticeship approach. Here is when they are shown how to do the job and then helped to do the job. This is before the employee is given the full control on their job. There is direct supervision of the employee in this phase.
  • Basic
    • This is the phase that the employee is in when they know how to do the job. Now they are learning how to take advantage of that knowledge and put into action their particular skills and competencies to make their job more effective. This is when the supervision tapers off and is no longer on a tsk by task or day by day basis.
  • Intermediate
    • Is the phase where the employee knows how to do the job better than most other people. They have a level of competency that requires less direct supervision. We must always remember that every individual starts their work experience with their job as an excited person. They are starting a new job and they are excited. Then depending on how the leaders treat them they will either grow into a self-reliant achiever or disillusioned and demotivated employee. It is really more dependent on the type of leader than the type of employee.
  • Advanced
    • This is the final phase of the learning path. A self-reliant employee who is ready and able to take on additional tasks and job functions. This is the final stage of this step on the career path of the employee.

We are also changing the threshold scores for each of these levels. We started with quartiles (25% blocks). That each individual taking our assessments would be coming to us with similar skill levels based on the standard score rating of quartiles. Twenty five percent blocks. We have found, based on the result of the assessments and our discussions with the employers that this does not apply in our Industry, nor for our employees. It is rather a triangle where we have a lot at the bottom of the triangle and a much smaller group at the top. We are moving to the following skill levels.

Developing                        0% –   50%

Beginning                        50% –   75%

Intermediate                   76% –   90%

Advanced                        91% – 100%

This is a significant change, but much more accurate relative to the skills of the employees by job function. It is important that we share this with you, our audience and clients. Thanks for your interest in our programs and we will continue to strive to improve and adapt our programs as the facts dictate.

The Time is Now

Out on a Ledge

Out on a Ledge

Out on a Ledge

In this week’s guest blog, Sonya Law takes us Out on a Ledge with a look at the end of the year performance review.

How to jumpstart the EOY Performance Review to drive high performance in 2021? Out on a ledge … is how it can feel like sometimes for employees walking into their end of year review… It’s a mixed bag of dread and discomfort which only serves to weigh you down.  These negative feelings brought about by fear from past experiences where managers have got it wrong by using it as an opportunity to dredge up past mistakes for the first time.  Or worse they gloss it over and this indifference only serves to strengthen a performance culture of mediocrity and completely devalues the review.

As a Human Resources Manager, I feel like this is a missed opportunity to re-connect and re-engage the effort and performance of your employees leading into 2021.  After all, aren’t we all striving to create High Performance Cultures?

As managers we are really good at ‘what went well’ but often fail in asking employees what are our biggest challenges and what needs fixing.   Instead, we wait to ask the employee who has resigned in the exit interview, when it’s too late.    Organizations that facilitate honest, open dialogue will solve problems faster and improve overall innovation and performance against rivals.  Our ability to reflect on the year, our performance and grow together as human being’s and as an organization is a comparative advantage in Business.

So how do we conduct a good EOY review and what is it worth to the organization?

The three key success factors of a good EOY review are approachability, attention, appreciation.

Approachability: your manager is open and communicative in the review, in his or her language both verbal and non-verbal, this congruency builds integrity in the relationship and review.

Attention: the greatest gift, they give their employee their 100% attention.  That is, they don’t answer phone calls or send emails, they have committed to this time, they don’t re-schedule or put it off.  This is a big no-no rescheduling an EOY performance review! Where practical always commit to this meeting, it sends a bad message to the employee if you shift it, they feel deprioritised.

‘People want to feel heard, listened to’

Simon Sinek – virtual event – 24th November, 2020 – The Infinite Game.

When you do this well morale goes up, trust goes up they feel you have their back and it reduces fear and if you show care and exercise your empathetic listening skills your people will even be willing to suffer stress for you.

Encourage your employees to come to the meeting with what they see are the challenges and what needs fixing.  Resist the temptation as a manager to fix it for them, by giving them the responsibility it activates thinking.  Ask them what do you think? How would you solve it? Managers tell people what to do; but true leaders help people feel safe, promote thinking and drive a culture of Empowerment, where employees are empowered to make decisions impacting their work. You can take this a step further and if you here the language of blame, for example they ordered the wrong part, simply replace they with we ordered the wrong part. It’s a subtle way to encourage teamwork and accountability. To read more about this see Book titled: “Turn the Ship Around” by David Marquet, former nuclear submarine commander.

Appreciation – As the manager it is your role to show appreciation to your employee for their valuable contribution over the year.  You would be surprised how many managers fail to do this, and only tick the box – did they achieve goal – yes or no.  My top tip to get into the role of an appreciative manager, is to imagine that your star performer is walking out of their EOY review into a call with a ‘headhunter’ following your meeting!  What do you want your star performer to say when the headhunter dangles the carrot and tries to poach your star performer? You want them to walk out of the EOY review feeling inflated like a balloon filled with all the warm and fuzzy feelings that make us feel giddy when we are in love! Think about it like your most important relationship, reconnect, reengage them in the cause, vision, purpose, mission and the important role they have in that, we all want to feel connected and sense of belonging.

How do you prepare for this EOY review with your employee?

  1. Create an Appreciation folder in your Outlook for your employee.
  2. Collect things – throughout the year – note all the good things they do.
  3. Drop any emails into that folder – things you write yourself to remind you of the good things or emails you get from customers, suppliers or colleagues about how fantastic your star performer is, achievements etc.

Top 3 things to remember:

  1. All your employees are star performers
  2. You hired them or someone else in your organization did so and its up to you to make sure they fulfill their potential
  3. If they are a poor performer why did they make it to the EOY performance review – that’s a bigger organizational culture question, which would require some deep work.

So, what’s it worth to you?

If you don’t get this right – Instead of putting a STAR on top of the Christmas Tree this year you will be putting a job vacancy up online to look for a new STAR performer.

An EOY review is a great opportunity to unite your people in the cause so they are bursting with new energy heading into 2021, ready to face new challenges, refreshed and reinvigorated.

For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Call Reporting

Call Reporting

Call Reporting

Virtual Selling Tips related to Vital Selling Regimens, by Don Buttrey, President of Sales Professional Training, Inc. Today, Don shares with us the importance of Call Reporting in Customer Relationship Management.

Let me discuss some items requiring more discipline and attention in this “Virtual” world we are living in today.

Call Reporting

  • If working remotely, it is even more critical to include to define your commitment to some specific start/stop times and aggressive guidelines on how many calls you will make each day. Own it. Be accountable. Do the grunge work. It will pay off in the long run! If you coast or get distracted it will bite you. Get fired with enthusiasm! . . .or . . . be ‘fired up’ with enthusiasm!
  • Set target ‘guidelines’ to make more calls/touches in this current market! And that is now feasible due to elimination of travel time. Use that to your advantage and be tenacious with the discipline of proactive calls! The slower the market, the harder we must work as salespeople! No excuses.
  • Mix up your touch points such as phone, email, video etc. Try multiple approaches until you connect. Do not give up.
  • Monitor and document communication preferences in your CRM for each contact (such as email, text, call, video –Zoom, Meet, TEAMS, FaceTime, etc.)
For more information on our classes and assessments, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Sameness, Differentiation and Distinction

Sameness, Differentiation, and Distinction

Sameness Differentiation and Distinction

Scott McKain’s recent book “Create Distinction” got and has kept my attention. He puts forward an interesting question. “What do you do when great isn’t good enough to grow your business?

As time has passed and markets matured, supply chains have become full of people doing much the same thing. There is a “Sameness” about all of them. This caused a lot of smart people and consultants to bring forward a fresh and new offering “Differentiation” to the market. You don’t want to be the same as everyone else, do you? You are different, you are better, you deliver same day service, you have the part in stock and you offer technical advice. To some degree these differentiators have become the same as well. Everything has become a “commodity.” Oh, I can get that anywhere.

So how do YOU become the “go to source” for your products or services?

McKain suggests you need to have “Distinction.”

At Learning Without Scars you have been reading articles over the past several months from special individuals who share their expertise and thinking on many subjects. From retired executives, to educators and consultants, and thought leaders in their fields. We are trying to create a “Place” that provides and produces thought provoking and thoughtful articles. This is but one of the steps that we have taken in our quest to become your “go to source” on all operational aspects of the parts, service, product support selling and parts and service marketing in the Capital Goods Industries of Construction, Agriculture, Material Handling, On Highway Transportation, Engine and Light Industrial Equipment to name a few.

In our quest for distinction we have also created comprehensive and objective job function assessments for most of the operational jobs in the operational aspect of the distribution channels we serve. These assessments have gained significant traction, even during the difficult year we are experiencing. They are used to improve success in hiring by having prospective employees take the assessment during the interviewing process. They are becoming more common in the annual performance reviews that are becoming a staple in best practice dealerships. They are becoming a significant part of employee development by understanding and addressing the skills gaps that exist with each individual employee. The assessments, eighteen of them, are available in English, Spanish and French.

What we believe is another source of distinction for us are our “Learning Paths.” After more than thirty years in front of classrooms and on webinars with tens of thousands of students we have developed specific classes to address four basic “Skill Levels” for each job function; Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. At each level, within each job function we have identified specific classes that represent the subjects required to improve their individual employee skills. This is unique to Learning Without Scars in the Industry.

We are currently updating each of our ninety-four English classes to address the recent research that shows learning and retention provided by the traditional model of a fifty-minute class can be improved dramatically, by fifty percent, if the class is broken down into ten to twelve-minute increments, broken up with mini surveys and questions. As you can imagine with our pre-test, interactive video presentation of our classes with slides, audio tracks and film clips, this is a rather large undertaking. But we feel it is important enough to continue to keep us at the forefront of the training and learning offerings in our Industry.

Finally, we continue to seek accreditation from IACET, the International Association of Continuing Education and Training. This will allow our products to earn Continuous Education Units (CEU’s) which combined will earn credits at many Universities, Colleges, Junior Colleges, Vocational and Technical Schools worldwide.

With the knowledge we have gained over the past ten months about this virus, the testing, the therapeutics, and now the vaccines we believe that the end of this pandemic and its impact on our lives will soon be behind us. We want to be ready when everything starts to open up and your business returns to “normal.” I have always been a glass half full person and I don’t see any need for me to change from my optimistic viewpoint.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, our progress report.

The time is now.

For more information on creating distinction with us, visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Dealer Websites

Dealer Websites

This week, we have a new guest blog from Mets Kramer.

Dealer Websites

In my last article, I discussed the difference between Billboard Digital Marketing and Engagement Digital Marketing. With the world and our industry becoming more digital everyday, I wanted to expand on the topic of websites and why it’s worth building your own site to engage your customers.

Websites are the easiest way to present your dealership and explain to visitors who you are, what you do and what sets you apart from the industry. Additionally, a custom domain, with emails to match, is a simple way to gain better control over your brand and manage your team. (i.e. Company name: Strategic Evolutions, email: mets.kramer@strategicevolutions.ca).

However, for equipment dealers, it is a little harder to present your company, your team, services and products. This is because our products, or inventory, are always changing. Our products tend to be serialized construction equipment, so listing your inventory requires a more complex website and should include an easy, quick way to update your information.

While this is a challenge, it is possible! It will give you better control over your digital presence and, also, help you build your brand, developing stronger relationships with your customers.

Here are 4 reasons why you should build your own website:

  1. Present your dealership and team the way you want. Focus on the strengths and values that you feel are important. Add content that brings value to your clients, expand on the services you offer and present your inventory in the style you feel has the greatest impact. Just like you design your dealership lobby to focus on your customer’s experience, a website is a digital representation of your company’s “face” and its physical building.

When creating your website from scratch, focus on engaging the customer, drawing them in.  Then, present your value proposition or promotions.  Consider metrics like bounce rate, time on site and pages viewed as a measure of engagement.

 

  1. Add a blog, picture gallery and of course, VIDEOS. These features are great to post on social media using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. Each social media post links visitors back to your website. Increasing the links and traffic to your site helps you rise to the top of internet searches when people are looking for equipment or services. Additionally, this type of content improves your content score, also improving your search position.

To understand this better, assess your own online experience.  Do you use TikTok, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook?  What do you prefer to view?  Research shows visitors engage more often and longer with video content more than pictures.

 

  1. Present your inventory without directing customers to an external advertising site. Capturing customers and their engagement is the name of the game. Once you have people looking at your equipment, hold them there and answer their questions. Throughout this year, digital presence and selling has become that much more important. Current research suggests customers are doing 90% of their research PRIOR to contacting any dealers about a machine. Make sure your inventory is presented well and contains all the information your customers would initially ask for. You want to provide everything they need so picking up the phone is easy!

When you build your own site, present your inventory with video, images, detailed descriptions, links to specs and any support documentation you have to prove to visitors “This is the machine you want!”.

Building your own site prevents them from ending up on an advertising platform where other options are presented to them.  FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a REAL thing! It has been shown to motivate people out of fear to keep clicking, if they weren’t satisfied by what they found.

  1. Analytics Systems. Take advantage of the market’s best analytics from either the website platform, Google or others. Understand who’s visiting your site, where they came from, what they saw, and how long they stayed. Understand how to improve your Bounce Rate (Users that leave without clicking anything on the site) and Conversion Rate (Users that act by clicking a contact button). Understanding this aspect of Digital Marketing helps you change and update your site to improve your visitor engagement.

A website visitor is the equivalent to a person visiting your dealership.   During an in-person visit, it’s communication and addressing their needs that closes the sale, so use the same approach for your website. Engage!

For more information on our training programs, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

For more information about Mets Kramer, please visit his website at Strategic Evolutions.

 

 

Help! I’m in CRM Hell!

Help! I’m in CRM Hell!

Help! I'm in CRM Hell!

Don Buttrey is the president of Sales Professional Training Inc., a company that offers in-depth skill development for sales professionals and sales support. He has trained thousands of salespeople over 25 years and clearly understands the selling environment of equipment dealers and manufacturers. His curriculum is comprehensive and proven! Don is also the author of “The SELL Process”, a foundational how-to book on effective sales interactions. He is beginning a series on Customer Relationship Management with “Help, I’m in CRM Hell!”

Don can be reached at (937) 427-1717 or email donbuttrey@salesprofessionaltraining.com

Check out this website link salesprofessionaltraining.com  for more information – or to purchase online sales training.

Help! I’m in CRM Hell!

For the next few weeks, we will discuss Customer Relationship Management. This has become a real hot button particularly with the current pandemic and economic conditions.

What does it mean to be trapped in CRM Hell?

I come front and center with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) issues with every construction equipment dealer I train. I personally have not researched or compiled any conclusive data as to which products are most used or which are best suited for construction equipment dealers. I have observed however, that every dealer has their own unique goals, budget, size/scope and ‘people culture’ to consider. The product options are there, and it takes research and careful consideration to select a product or CRM service that is the right fit.

The dealers that address the core issues first (noted in this blog) – and that involve all levels and departments in the CRM vendor selection process seem to be the most successful.  Conversely, those that invest in a CRM system without a broad involvement and buy-in, and then demand conformance to its use, have the lowest adoption rate and effectiveness – from my observations.

For more information about our training programs, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

Embarrassed Not to Have Parts

Embarrassed not to have Parts (ENTH)

Goals and Targets

Clearly these are the parts you are embarrassed not to have when your customer comes calling.  They include: filters, fluids, hardware, o-rings, GET for machines you sold, hoses (a subject of its own), keys, and any part for a machine you sold that your customer can get today at Walmart, NAPA or the local farm store.  If you don’t have a part that he can get TODAY from somebody local, you have probably lost that customer for that part forever.  Think automobile dealers.

Virtually every machine we sell has lots of hydraulics and thus lots of hoses.  You can’t stock all the hoses for a machine.  They age poorly and have very erratic sales.  Most manufacturers make hoses non-returnable.  When a customer blows a hose, it is the kind of repair he can do quickly.  He is not going to wait three days for a hose.  I like hose shops in my branches.  It requires lots of management focus to pull off effectively since you will be competing with people who do this type of thing exclusively.  It is worth it if you can devote the time.  Throw away your turn criteria here for fittings.  Your perceived availability will go way up in the customers’ mind.  This is very hard to pull off without lots of top management focus.

I include new product introduction parts in the ENTH category.  Make sure that your branches, central inventory control and equipment sales are communicating.  You don’t want to have somebody who just purchased a machine from you to come in and you don’t have his GET or filter.

Almost all ENTH parts have very good turns so don’t be afraid to have a little safety stock here.  Run reports on these parts to make sure you are hitting your target.  I think anything less than 99.9% availability is unacceptable here.

Your customer doesn’t really expect you to be stocking an engine or sheet metal and certainly not at the branch level.  He fully expects you to have ENTH parts.  He will be mad and disappointed if you fail in this area.  He won’t forget.  He will tell his friends.  Your Inventory group should spend lots of time getting this right.

For more information on how we can help you excel at Inventory Management, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

The Return on Investment

The Return on Investment

This week brings our fourth blog post from Don Shilling.

Don Shilling

As we continue the discussion on “Growing Your Own” employees probably one of the most asked questions I get is if our company invests in a tuition reimbursement program for a sponsored future employee or in an Apprenticeship or Mentorship Program what is my return on investment (ROI)?

Business logic tells us that there is a defined cost in everything we do and the better we are at recovering those costs the better the chances are we can show a profit in what we do. Everyone’s formula for this calculation might be different so I would like to answer this a little more generically

ROI In this situation is hard to measure because every situation is different. But I usually answer the question with a question. What does turnover cost you? For every position that is measurable. When you lose an experienced employee, the costs associated with that ranges today from 1/2 of that position annual salary or more. Today filling a skilled position can take 3 months or more. Then after recruitment costs, placement fees and On Boarding and Training expense it can really cost you much more than that 1/2 years annual salary projection.

For our companies skilled positions we fill with either an apprenticeship or tuition reimbursed positions we see direct costs of the entry level salary, the cost of the pay back on the tuition reimbursement or the apprenticeship mentoring. These costs are significant there is no doubt, so typically we amortized these costs over a 3 to 5-year period.

Because these positions start as “entry level” we see an initial lower salary cost but it is important to continue wage reviews and increases with these individuals as their skill levels increase. Typically, by the end of the three to five year pay back on the tuition or apprenticeship periods this employee is at a salary level equal to market value for their skill level. This is important, keeping this employee is critical, also showing this employee he has value by doing wage reviews as they progression of their education adds to that since of pride or accomplishment for each individual.

On revenue side we of course cannot charge customers full charge rates on apprentice or school to work employees but we can recover some of their costs. Typically, that is 10 to 20% initially and steadily increasing as the employee’s skill levels increases. If you graph this out the lines between the salary cost and recovery probably intersect about 1.5 to 2.0 years into the process and usually by the third or fourth year the revenue and profit generated by that employee has normalized. That of course is good news.

Better news is the fact you have taken a potential employee and turned them into a skilled employee who has been integrated into your system, bought into your company culture, is a loyal employee, has spent three to five years becoming part of the “family” and understands that he or she has chosen a career that is meaningful and rewarding. Bottom line the turnover we have experienced with these “Grow Your Own” employees has been very low. Thus, we enjoy savings for many years of not have to fill and re-fill those positions. It adds stability to the employee base plus with less turnover being able to grow your business because of this stability is critical and well worth the effort.

Bottom line is the ROI is gradual but worth the time and efforts. Again, sighting our company, where we engage a lot in promoting from within, we really know these individuals we understand their strengths and their loyalty is undiminished. We are engaged in Filling Careers not just Filling Positions.

I grew up in a construction family and worked for my Dad several summers during and after high school. Then while working on my degree at North Dakota State University I was hired by a construction equipment dealership. I started in their service department part time until I finished college. Then full-time service employment for a couple of years then transitioned into sales management. During the recession of the early 1980’s myself and three other managers started General Equipment & Supplies, Inc.

First as Sales Manager and eventually as President we grew our business from one location and 20 employees to 10 locations in four states and two Canadian Provinces and over 250 employees. Along the way we developed relationships with area Technical Colleges and created a College Tuition Reimbursement Program where today we Recruit a handful of new technicians annually into that program. Our company has also developed two Department of Labor Certified Apprenticeship Programs to fill hard to find skilled positions. I am currently semi-retired as Chairman of the Board.

For more information on how we can help with your employee development, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.

 

 

Goals and Targets

Goals and Targets

Goals and Targets

Today marks another guest post from Steve Day. Steve received a degree in Electrical Engineering and then served in the US Navy. He started with Komatsu America 1978. For the next twelve years Steve worked through various equipment sales positions before becoming the Vice President of Parts, Vice President of Service. During this period Steve sat on the board of a major distributor in the North east US as well as Hensley Industries. After twenty-five years Steve moved from the OEM side of the business to the Distribution side by joining Tractor and Equipment Company in 2003 as Vice President of Product Support. In this piece he is walking us through goals and targets.

Throughout his career Steve has learned the Industry from the ground up. This allowed him to have a very clear view of what was needed to support customers, employees and owners in their pursuit of excellence. Working at high levels in both the Manufacturing and the Distribution side of the business gave Steve some great learning opportunities and chances to develop insights.  Steve retired in January of 2020.  After spending 40 plus years in an industry we are very pleased to be able to share some of Steve’s insights with you and honored to consider Steve a friend.

Here are the areas that I think a manager should focus on and continually question his inventory management about.

“Goals and Targets”

I like to have Companywide and branch targets for the following:

  • Over the Counter fill rate for each branch and for the company for stocking parts by manufacturer.
  • You want to see your fill rate on parts you stock and your total fill.
  • You are going to want to see this monthly.
  • Turns by manufacturer. You can measure this by annual turns or weeks on hand.
  • This is how you will know how your money is working. This is a big issue with me.
  • If you have a smaller manufacturer with low turns and low parts margins then you better be making lots of money when you sell the machine. Otherwise I would rethink the relationship.  Time is money and I don’t like spending time unproductively when I can allocate time and money to more productive areas.  That sounds cold doesn’t it.
  • Monthly
  • Emergency and Critical order charges by part number.
  • Weekly (otherwise it is too hard to get your arms around). This is helpful in deciding if you need to add some parts to stock and also gives you an idea of some problems your manufacturer might be having with availability.  It lets you act early.
  • Parts being expedited.
  • You want this daily. Set a target for you inventory group to be expediting parts that you don’t have an acceptable delivery date on each day.  Split it between customer orders and service department orders.  If you get this right, it will change your company.
  • Your goal (this is a “Ron Sleeism’s”) is to have an answer on every part being expedited every day. Like many goals it is probably impossible to achieve most days but it will drive far better customer support.
  • Stock order parts being expedited.
  • If you lose track of how your stock orders, special marketing orders and other specialty categories are being fulfilled you set yourself up for some trouble down the road.
  • Don’t ever assume that suppliers are going to hit their lead times. If you don’t track stock order fulfillment you can easily run out of fast movers and kill your availability. Run this report at least weekly and you will save lots of heartburn.
  • Reports on specific manufacturer marketing programs.
  • There are real opportunities to make money if you manage your inventory and utilize manufacturers marketing programs. Take advantage of discounts.  You won’t know what you are missing unless you track it.
  • Additionally, manufacturers look at how well you utilize programs.
  • If the program doesn’t work for you, talk to them about it. Often, they will modify it to fit your needs.  If you ignore them, they will think you don’t care.
  • Non-stocking parts by part number.
  • I will talk about this in detail later but you should have a list of every non-stocking part in your inventory and another report showing every non-stocking part that has been on a non-invoiced customer ticket for more than a week and on a work order for more than two weeks. This is a critical report.  You want to constantly question these parts.  Call the branch service manager or parts manager and ask them why the part has not been invoiced.  Keep the pressure on with these parts.