It's no secret that matters affecting inventory are highly sensitive subjects these days. Just this morning, as an example, we've had three e-mails cross our screens related to inventory issues. The first was a boating business service provider who said our recently released inventory management e-white paper didn't drill down deeply enough. The second was an industry-leading dealer who suggested that the same publication was a great balance between the 50,000-foot and street-level views. And, finally, a powersports dealer who shouted: "Lord knows we can't take any more hits at this time," as he shared his trials and tribulations with an auction house that had scammed him out of some money.
Inventory issues have caused great commotion throughout the industry. Distressed inventory can be found everywhere. Dealers are dragging boats cross-country and selling them out of their territories just to get rid of them. And prices ... well, let's just say they don't leave much for margins.
There are many factors that have driven us, as an industry, this far off track, but suffice it to say that not everyone is as bad off as the next guy. There are dealers and builders who have managed their inventory properly. The word "manage," in fact, is the key word there. No business really controls its inventory. Only the end buyer controls the fate of our inventory. All we can do, as businesses, is manage it through the process.
That's why we launched our inventory management e-white paper. It's our seventh such publication, and it's geared toward helping you manage inventory from ordering through delivery. We've identified a number of steps dealers can use to implement a yearlong inventory management process, and we've done our best to share them with you in this publication. We hope you find it helpful, and please provide us your feedback.
We are supposed to learn from our mistakes and hopefully, for those who will survive this disaster they will implement proper inventory management policies and procedues in the future. To do anyhting else would tell me that some will never learn. If we do not address the necessity for manufacturers production to coincide with the consumers needs through the dealers then we would also not learn from our mistakes. I am particularly worried about this subject as we did not seem to learn much from the last several downturns. To repeat poor practices and hope that the outcome might be different is ludicrous.