For most industries, controlling and managing stock is not exactly the most thrilling part of the job. It is necessary, however, especially for battery dealers, to pay close attention to what you’re stocking and how you’re storing that stock. We’ve put together some tips for maintaining a well-planned battery inventory.
Understanding Your Customer Base
The first questions that need to be answered for effective management of your battery inventory are those related to your customers. Dealers understand regional and local markets in a way that manufacturers have a difficult time achieving, and this relationship is precisely what can help you succeed. Obviously you want to stock the batteries and tools that your customers will buy. But which ones are those?
- What batteries do they use? Do you work in a community that loves boating? Do residents need cars to get around, or do you live in a city where they can rely on public transportation? Is there a strong manufacturing or construction industry presence that relies on heavy machinery? What’s the age demographic? Do people play golf? Do they go camping? The list goes on. Understanding where and how batteries are relevant to your community can help you provide them with the products they need.
- Do they need continuing service? If your customers don’t have the time, resources, or willingness to maintain their own batteries, testing and maintenance services may be something to consider. If you find that servicing batteries makes good business sense in your area, you’ll need the right equipment, such as industrial chargers and cleaners.
Battery Inventory Management
Once you’ve determined what inventory you should buy, the next step is figuring out how to manage that inventory. Here are some frequently asked questions.
- How do I store batteries before they’re sold? Batteries should always be stored upright and be easy to access. Roller racks make it easy to rotate stock and organize your stores, but shelving where the product is accessible from both sides work with just a little more effort.
- Do environmental factors matter? For optimal performance, batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place. Batteries stored in especially cold or warm environments need to be examined and maintained more frequently for water levels, sulfation, and charge.
- Why is stock rotation important? First in first out (FIFO) inventory management should be applied, as batteries have a shelf life. Quality batteries can last for years with proper maintenance, customers want to be assured that they’re getting the best product. Rotating stock allows you to keep your battery inventory as fresh as possible.
- How do I implement stock rotation practices? Keep detailed records of shipments and adhere to the FIFO rule. This will also help you know when it’s time to order more.
- Why do batteries need to be maintained on-shelf? All lead batteries slowly self-discharge, even when they’re not in use. Maintaining stored batteries by charging and cleaning them periodically keeps them performing at their best and lasting longer.
With some planning and maintenance, you can be confident that you’re always stocking the best for your customers. Want to learn more choosing the right batteries? Download our eBook below.