We live in a time with access to more inventory, information and options to products than ever before. The Recycled Original Equipment space is no different. The impact has been felt across all areas of our business from the acquisition of inventory to pricing or listing to efficiently fulfilling demand. Because of this phenomenon, many of us have become trained to make our choices based on secondary factors:
The power of distinguishing your business from your competition is potent and transformative to your business.
Let’s consider our options for how we can make ourselves indispensable or at least limit the competition we face. First, let’s address access to inventory. Everyone has experienced how much control or influence you have in dealing with the larger auction companies. Scream into the void! However, many companies have found great success by finding streams of inventory outside the traditional pools.
This may take a great amount of networking, reinventing your business model or outside the box thinking to find the quantity or quality of inventory your company needs from outside the pools. That said, opportunities exist and if you are to make this a staple of your business you need to consider the options and how you can make yourself indispensable to those with access to large quantities of inventory.
What can you offer them that makes their life better? Can you reduce their stress? Can you improve service to their customers? Can you process their inventory faster? Can you lower their workload?
Listing inventory is another matter. Who is your customer? Are they wholesale or retail customers? Are they MSOs or independents? Are they walk-in or e-commerce customers?
Not only do you need to know which customer(s) you are targeting, you need to consider who your competition is for these customers.
From a technical standpoint, when this customer searches inventory how does your inventory compare to your competition?
- Your price.
- Your picture.
- The description of parts or service notes.
- Is there any part of your listing that restricts or diminishes your product?
- Are you aware of any changes to the platforms you list on or that your customer utilizes?
There is continued pressure in the marketplace to reduce steps in the order fulfillment process:
- From phones to chat.
- From listings to direct purchase.
- Easy ordering.
- Convenient returns process.
At times, these are going to be decisions that are made on an organizational level for MSOs or the Ebays of the world that will dictate what you need to do to be in the game. How well do you as a supplier understand the needs and changes that are coming for your customers or their platforms?
Does anyone wait to order anything nowadays? In some markets, you can now have access to same day delivery on Amazon. Most product-based companies are heavily invested in apps or websites to enable direct ordering. To match, the order fulfillment process has also become quite automated.
Have you ever ordered something online and there was a slight delay in your order confirmation email? How off putting is that? Now, can you imagine ordering anything over the phone, giving your credit card and getting 0 confirmation or notice? How crazy is that?
As an industry, our traditional processes have suffered by comparison for sometime. I for one, welcome the influence of eBay and ecommerce to our processes. THIS IS THE STANDARD NOW. Anyone not working to automate from ordering to fulfillment will fall behind. For now, you need to know your customer base, what their priorities are, and what dominos are likely to fall first as they transform their ordering process as well.
Relationships still matter. However, relationships are quickly evolving to be more about a brand relationship or a B2B relationship than what used to be a wholesale to salesperson relationship exclusively. By all means hold onto and work your one-to-one relationships. Someone in the organization needs to keep working B2B relationships for any and
There are many ways to compare yourself:
- How are you going to make yourself indispensable to your targeted customer base?
- What are the key value propositions that you are best poised to deliver on?
- What in your processes can you change and execute on to accommodate the needs of your customers?
- These are things that need to be considered whether you are a salesperson or business owner.
Robert Counts Chad Counts Rich Tyler Johnny Logel
Robert Counts, email@example.com; 512-693-6915
Chad Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-963-4626