We’ve all heard the statement before. You have to walk the talk. It’s not enough to say you will do something; you have to do it. It’s time for dealers to manage their inventory better. Dealers are talking about inventory management in record numbers, but are they walking that talk? Most know inventory management is the smart thing to do. Having the right inventory in stock has proven to increase gross profits and, with the increased turn of inventory, lower expenses, netting a significant improvement in the bottom line.
There are even several software products on the market to assist dealers with this process, but how many dealers are paying lip service to this aspect of their business instead of actually doing it? Well, if you are evaluating the concrete data supplied by dealers regarding their inventory, not many are making headway in inventory management.
NCM Associates recently completed a composite of Benchmarks® regarding this data for June 2006, 2007 and 2008. This composite highlighted a significant increase per dealer in new vehicle inventory values in stock for luxury ($2.3 million) and import dealers ($.2 million). Domestics actually managed to decrease their inventory by $0.2 million during the same time period. Now, some might say that the increase was due to the increase in values over that time frame, so we dug deeper to understand the data.
Proper inventory management is supposed to decrease the inventory days in stock, so did that happen over this same time frame?