“If you don’t have an inventory management system, consider one,” says Kraig Quisenberry, a car dealer and general manager in his blog post “Inventory: Half Full or Half Empty?” “Just one mistake could cost you more than the system itself. I promise you won’t regret the investment. If you have a system, use it faithfully for 12 months, and you’ll see big results.”
I couldn’t have said it better. In fact, this blog post could end right now because Quisenberry has really just made my whole case for using an inventory management system. It saves you money, keeps you from making costly mistakes, and it takes time to see some of the biggest results.
Let’s Keep Going Anyway
Let’s back up a minute and talk about where Quisenberry is coming from. He’s a successful car dealer in Washington State, and he used to buy cars and manage his inventory based on gut feelings rather than hard data. Despite his overall success, he realized he was often losing money on vehicles he thought should have been safe investments.
Realizing something needed to change, he wisely started using an automated inventory system. “Looking back at my past purchases, before I used an inventory management system, my gut instincts alone didn’t serve me very well,” he says. “I have come to rely on data over the years like market scarcity, retail price index, strategic market view and sale-ability.”
It’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of those factors without a good inventory management system. Unfortunately, not every system is easy to use or contains the right features for a business.
You Get What You Put in
Quisenberry talked to some other car dealers who complained about their inventory systems. “We all agree that technology is a tool that is only as good as the information put into it. And with all the historical data stored over years of being in the business, my friends have valuable unused information on their hands.”
It’s so frustrating to have lots of information and tools, but be unable to use them because of either a lack of training or hard-to-use software. As I’ve discussed before, you need to be very careful when choosing inventory software for your business. Follow Quisenberry’s example and pick one, such as Fishbowl, which is user-friendly and meets your needs without costing too much or being overly complex.