Being that a lot of vacations are happening right now I thought it would be a good time to re-publish our turn and earn issue that we did back in 2005. Although it's an older News Letter it's one that shows you how good your inventory is doing from a profitability standpoint. 

 

      

This week we will focus on simple ideas to cut your inventory costs.

In most Food Distributor/Processing environments the biggest asset is Inventory. The fact is, most of us are not aware that the estimated cost of “carrying” inventory is 30 to 40 percent of the value of the inventory. It is simple math, if you have $500,000 dollars of inventory, then true cost of that inventory is $150,000 to $200,000, plus the inventory cost itself.  This is a very compelling reason to cut inventory levels while still maintaining your current sales level. 

Let’s review some basic definitions for our discussion.

1.      TURNS= ____SALES____       $4,000,000   = 8 Turns

                       AVG. INVENTORY       $500,000

2.      TURN AND EARN INDEX = GP% X Turns  

Ex. 25% GP X 4 Turns = T & E ratio of 1 (one).

*Note*-The higher the T&E the more total profit it contributes to the bottom

Approach improving inventory management this way: Increase your turns and reduce your carrying costs by lowering your average inventory. Focus on the items with the best “turn and earn index” and you should be able to get more dollars in your pocket. It is very similar to investing in stocks; we take an asset, money, and invest in a stock that gives us the best return. It is a simple principle, but one of the key differences is that the $1 you invested in inventory, costs you 30 to 40 cents to keep it there. This has a profound effect on your profitability.

Here are so simple steps to cut costs (that is increase Turns and “T&E”):

  • Know what your turns are and figure T&E on key items. Remember 80% of your sales are 20% of your items. That’s the 80/20 rule.

  • Keep an orderly warehouse with goods in the right places.

  • Don’t hold inventory with the hopes of prices increasing, the cost of carrying the inventory will erode any future profit.

  • Markdown items to move them for the reasons stated above, purge aggressively

  • Remember inventory doesn’t generate sales, selling and marketing do.

  • Reduce lead times, from your order to the customer shipping, wherever possible. That’s how Michael Dell of Dell Computers turned his company into the leading PC maker with the “Just in Time” procurement.

  • Monitor your T&E. Inventory that doesn’t sell means there is too much of that item.

  • Plan sales and inventory. 

  • Remember Buyers rule, that’s the backbone of the demand economy we operate in today. So develop tools that help you forecast what they will buy.

Commodity food products are interchangeable, you don’t control price only the loaded cost of inventory.

THE MORE YOU TURN THE MORE YOU EARN

 

 

 

 

Issue 640 - Everything Cycles.

Transformation and disruption was a topic in an article in the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer. I read about the demise of Sears & Roebuck titled The Big Stumble. They believed they had no competitors. The New York Times dubbed them "The Amazon of the gilded age." Those of us in the baby boom generation remember Sears.  As a young boy I remember thumbing through the catalog, dreaming of what I could buy if I had the money.

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