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supply and demand

It might not be a problem you’re expecting during the holiday rush, but decreased product demand is a fact of life for nearly any industry in America, no matter what your business does. Items can start off hot and suddenly slow down, items can never really take off, items can become less popular and stock can start to build up. This can have a pretty big impact on both your daily operations and your bottom line, and these effects can build up over time if not properly addressed. If you’ve got some products that seem to not be moving as fast as they used to, here’s a few things you can do to prevent it from impacting your business as a whole:

 

Identify Which Products Are Selling More Slowly

This might not be as obvious as it initially sounds, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re working with when you take time to figure out what products are being affected by slow demand. Review previous sales figures versus the current period to see if anything is noticeably selling more slowly than before, or if maybe your orders for a given product have been winding down over the last few periods. The first step is to figure out what’s selling slower than it used to before proceeding further.

 

Figure Out The Impact It’s Had On Your Business

Next, after finding the items that have been selling more slowly, you need to figure out what effect it’s had on your operations. This goes beyond just sales figures and inventory counts – unsold product can take up too much room on your wire shelving and industrial storage and prevent you from stocking new items, and if they linger too long they may become unsellable, particularly in the case of perishable food items. Monitor these impacts before determining your next course of action.

 

Try To Understand Why Demand Has Slowed Down

Depending on the amount of data you have, you might gain some better insight by reviewing the potential reasons behind the decrease in selling. Is the product itself obsolete (ie an accessory for a device that’s no longer being manufactured)? Have economic circumstances caused the product to be less in-demand? Are your competitors selling it for more cheaply? Or maybe the product has been placed on an inventory monitoring program that is preventing the item from being re-ordered? Take some time to look into potential causes behind the product becoming less popular before working forward.

 

Finally, Figure Out What To Do With The Products

There’s no one right answer for this, and your solutions are going to vary pretty strongly depending on the product in question and the reasons behind its slow selling. However, all the data and research in the world isn’t going to help if you can’t find actionable steps to take to get your products selling again. Are your slow-moving products perishable food goods? Try to sell them to a wholesaler, or donate them to a shelter or charity that needs food supplies. Is your product out of date or obsolete due to technological advancements? Clearance it out or find a secondary retail outlet to carry these items at a discount (which will let you at least make some money back on your investment). Save this step for the end after you’ve figured out what’s causing your inventory slowdown, and go from there.

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