Monday, August 13, 2007

PGA Championship & Inventory Control

PGA Championship

On a personal note, my wife (Kathy) and I made the trip down to Tulsa so that we could watch the last two days of the PGA championship. I was most impressed with Woody Austin, who lives in Derby, KS, just a few miles from here. It was blazing hot. Tiger Woods won, but Woody was close behind.


Inventory Management is an absolute requirement in small business. One of the things that I learned through the bankruptcy of Newer Technology many years ago is that management must cast a careful and prudent eye on inventory. We do that a lot here at WiebeTech - we've developed several different ways to examine our inventory so that it well balanced, well stocked, and not obsolete. I hate obsolete inventory! I also hate not having inventory in stock, ready to ship to customers!

We've developed a system which allows us to examine our inventory by line item, complete with detailed usage and aging information. As a result, we are able to easily calculate obsolescence on our total inventory and scrap our junk. We have many different ways we can 'look' at our inventory using this system - we can change aging periods; we can set different cutoff levels for what constitutes an inventory obsolescence issue per line item.

Inventory in a technology company is kind of like inventory in the produce section of a grocery store. Lettuce looks great when it's fresh, but no one will buy it when it is stale and old. That is why our selection of hard drives is higher in capacity than many of our competitors - we tend to stock capacities that are new, in demand, and are likely to remain in demand for some time. We don't like to stock older drives with small capacities. They are poor values for the consumer, and they are poor inventory risks for us.

Our inventory control system is really composed of three major components: a) our enterprise financial system, b) which works in conjunction with FishBowl inventory control software, c) for which we have developed many custom reports. (I can't recommend FishBowl - it is cumbersome and buggy - we've had to work around some of its issues.) Email me if you'd like to hear more about FishBowl.

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