Jason Carlin, Inventory Manager at Edge Performance Sports in Ontario, Oregon talks about the specific challenges to managing inventory in Powersports and how PSXDigital's CXMAi Inventory Management has resolved those issues.
"The biggest thing that we have available to us at PSX is the ability to look at our past sales history immediately. We could break that down to a specific machine, a specific model of machine, down to a specific color. So, it helps to make sure that we are keeping those hot items in stock. "
Jason Carlin knows a thing or two about successfully managing inventory for his store. As the #1 Polaris Dealership in the Northeast, Edge Performance Sports in Ontario, Oregon is also one PSXDigitals' more progressive dealers. In his eight years with the dealership, Jason started on the salesfloor before moving into Internet sales and then advancing into sales management, giving him great insight into how to move vehicles for profit.
IN-STORE INVENTORY CHALLENGES
One challenge in managing inventory is always having the right inventory. We sell many different models and makes and colors in a variety of equipment and machines. And customers are very passionate about the specifics of what they are looking to purchase, so you really need to have it all available and ready to go so they don't want to wait. They are excited about and want to get out and enjoy their new toy! We need to have it in stock ready to go right now.
So making sure you have the right inventory is obviously a big thing. We use PSXDigital's +Inventory Management within the CXMAi platform to help make sure we are fulfilling our customer demands. We are constantly looking at what the system shows that we sold right down to the specific model and color to make sure that we keep that stuff in stock.
The other challenge is making sure the machines customers are looking for are actually built. As they deliver in crates, we typically have machines built immediately, uploading live pictures right after they're built onto our website. The PSX phone app guides the photo capture and uploads for quick processing. Customers can then see the most updated stock in real-time when they're searching or inventory.
On the rare occasion we are unable to execute the live photo immediately, we have the option to put up a stock photo vs. having no picture at all; however, PSX has something no other system has and that's ReplicatorX. It allows me to copy the photo of the same make/model/color machine I already have loaded as a master, and duplicate it out based on details I provide the tool.
We know that you get a lot more views - we can see the stats on this in CXMAi - when a machine is built and the picture is of the actual machine built...we get more views and leads on it. So since the system already drives everything down to a specific unit, ReplicatorX will take the last photo that was taken and match it to anything without a picture. So if for some reason we didn't get it built fast enough it will still put that picture in place for that machine. You won't have just a stock photo or worse, no photo at all, or a "Waiting to be built" image, or some other generic verbiage. The system will still upload a real picture with Edge Performance Sports in the background.
INVENTORY FOR SALES TEAMS
PSX also tells the salespeople right away if the machine is built or it's not built. So if they have a customer that called about a certain machine and they know that the shopper is going to be coming to the store to take a look, we can make sure to prioritize the build right away and make sure it's available for the customer when they come in.
The most important thing is knowing what's available for the sales guys essentially. Before PSX this was all done on paper and it wasn't happening right away. So customers would go look at a machine and then the salesperson would realize it was already sold or they would look at a machine and realize that the manufacturer has a recall on it and that they couldn't sell it! All of that information now available at the touch of a finger on their pads because we have the ability to flag vehicles inside the system as being on hold and add notes to explain, or it's marked as sold or noted with a recall, or whatever. It's no longer confusing. It's pretty direct and the salesperson can be pretty certain that when they're going to go show a machine that it is, in fact, available and ready to go for that customer.
This is just one of the many seemingly small features of PSXDigital's Inventory Management suite that packs a huge punch in terms of positive benefits and ultimately for sales in our dealership.