If you’re in the business of making money (and who isn’t?), wouldn’t you be interested in identifying a cash drain in your business? You work tirelessly to cut costs here and maximize profits there, but you may be overlooking a money pit that many medium to large sized organizations miss: volume purchasing.
Volume Ordering May Not Be Saving You As Much As You Think
When purchasing marketing materials and company uniforms, most companies opt for volume orders. Why? Some do it for volume discount, some to get ordering out of the way and some, just because.
When you consider the types of materials your company orders, you could be looking at quite a large up-front investment. Consider uniforms and corporate apparel alone. The number of styles, colors and sizes that you would need to reasonably outfit a sales force of 500 could be quite substantial.
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Not only is volume ordering a strain on cash flow, but if some sizes and colors aren’t used, this unwanted inventory becomes waste. Consider how many dollars go down the drain in size XXL t-shirts and that yellow that no one ever wants.
Storing Bulk Product Could be Costly
Now consider where you store this volume inventory. Is there an office piled high with unopened boxes? A section of the warehouse reserved for marketing materials? A closet full of company apparel, but no one can seem to find the sizes they need? Chances are, wherever that volume inventory is stored, it is taking up valuable space.
Now consider if the office were free of boxes. Would you have the space to hire that analyst you’ve been considering? Would that extra warehouse unit allow you to add a new product line and expand the business? Take some time to calculate the so-called savings of your last volume order and compare that with the value of the space it is occupying.
Calculate the Loss Associated with Storing Inventory
- Brainstorm what that space might be better used for. A new employee? A machine for automating a process? Storage of product you actually sell?
- Calculate the potential revenue associated with using the space to its full potential.
- Subtract that number from the “discount” offered for volume purchasing.
In choosing an on-demand inventory solution, you could free up office space allowing you to grow your company, increase revenue and spend less time (and money) digging through mountains of inventory.
The On-Demand Online Company Store Solution
With the growth of technology, good online company store providers have begun to offer on-demand solutions for ordering. An on-demand solution allows you to purchase just the inventory you need, when you need it, to avoid the hefty costs and waste associated with volume purchasing.
Before adopting these new technologies, companies were forced to buy a huge amount of inventory in order to get a better price on corporate apparel and marketing materials. This was rationalized in the urgency of delivering materials to employees and events, which could not be accomplished through individual orders.
Over the past few years we’ve seen incredible advancements in the production process of such materials, which has allowed many of the programs we see today to move to on-demand ordering.
Adopting an online company store solution in your organization now would mean that until an order is placed, there’s been absolutely no up-front product investment. That inventory is just the single sample printed for your approval and an image of the product available for order on your company store website.
When you need to place an order for new aprons or marketing brochures, simply select the pre-approved item on your online company store and click “order”. Once the order is complete, the materials will be made-to-order in just the quantity you select and delivered in a timely manner for distribution to your employees and partners. This means there is no strain on cash flow for producing up-front inventory.
How to Save Money With an Online Company Store Program
An online company store program helps improve cash flow by removing the need for up-front volume purchasing and freeing up valuable workspace for more profitable uses. It also alleviates the headache and costs associated with constantly sourcing new vendors and managing approvals for new orders. Moreover, products are made-to-order to help you avoid potentially wasted inventory.
Any way you spin it, this pay-as-you-go inventory-ordering model makes a huge impact on your bottom line.