Last week we hosted 11 bike shop employees from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Brunswick, Canada for our first ever Ascend Inventory Fantasy Camp. Why on earth would they travel from all over the country, in January, to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin for an event dubiously named “Inventory Fantasy Camp”?
Accurate inventory is important
Your inventory is your most valuable business asset. You need the quantity on hand to be accurate so you can maximize your sales by having the products in stock your customers want. You need your inventory value to be accurate so you can properly guage your business’ health.
Maintaining accurate inventory is difficult
Counting every product in your store is a daunting task. Bikes shops have thousands of products to count. If you haven’t done it before, it’s hard to know where to start.
You learn best by doing
There’s no substitute for hands on experience. Getting your hands dirty solidifies your knowledge of a process. And more often than not it takes away the mystery. What once seemed complex is now quite simple.
How it worked
There were two teams with 5 to 6 participants per group. The first team was assigned the Trek Store of Madison West on Monday and Tuesday. The second was assigned to the Madison East store on Wednesday and Thursday. The morning of day 1 for both teams was spent in the classroom reviewing the full count inventory process. In the afternoon they prepped their stores for inventory. On Day 2 each team, with Ascend instructors by their side, counted the entire inventory of their respective stores. This was not a test exercise. It was the planned annual count for both stores. All team members got a chance to perform all the different roles involved in a full store count. The end result: all participants left energized and confident, ready to put the practices they learned in place at their shops.
The future of Inventory Fantasy Camp
All the participants told us this was worth their time and we should keep doing it for more dealers. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re targeting 3 locations for next year’s inventory season; two in October and one in January. We’re looking for dealers that can host. To be considered as a host site, you must have well established and proven inventory practices. In return for being a host site you’ll get a crew of people eager to count your stuff, MC1000′s to help count, an Ascend inventory expert on location, and breakfast and lunch on us. This is a great way to help yourselves and other bike shops from around the country. Think about it and contact us if you’re interested.