Protecting Profitability through Inventory Management during COVID-19

Valerie Howard interviews Josh Bardell, Lead Strategic Consultant at PROS, on how businesses can effectively manage their inventory through reactive approaches, proactive strategies, and customer focus. Josh suggests that responsible inventory management can help businesses to maintain resiliency and potentially come out of the current downturn stronger than before. Highlights [00:44]: Josh tells us about his background in pricing. [01:25]: Valerie asks Josh about the conversations he’s having with businesses facing supply chain issues. [03:06]: Josh shares a high-level perspective on inventory management strategy. [04:04]: Discussions turn to how to stop an overflow of unneeded inventory. [05:29]: Josh provides key perspective on how you should be tagging inventory to stay ahead of changing demand. [08:37] Valerie asks Josh about the proactive measures companies should be taking for inventory management. [10:07]: Valerie and Josh discuss why it’s so necessary to work with customers and deliver pricing that maintains their trust. [11:54]: Josh shares details on the “third slice of the pie” – paying attention to customers’ needs. Bill shares his final words of advice and reminds us that social distancing doesn’t require social isolation. [14:03] Josh details how organizational departments can come together to build loyalty with their customers. [15:12] Valerie asks Josh for his final thoughts on managing pricing and inventory through turbulent times. Transcript: Valerie Howard (00:00): Thanks everyone for joining us. If you've been following along, we've been talking to experts within the pricing field on managing their price strategy through the COVID-19 crisis. You may have seen some earlier conversations we had with Craig Zawada surrounding maintaining your price discipline, responding agilely to customers' changing demands in these crises. Then you may have seen us talk to Bill Dudziak about what pricing actions you need to take in the immediate term. Valerie Howard (00:28): I'm here with my colleague and friend Josh Bardell, Lead Strategic Consultant at PROS. He's been working in the pricing field for quite some time and really excited to have him here today with us. Josh, can you share with us a little bit of your background in pricing? Josh Bardell (00:44): Yeah, good afternoon. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be on with you today. I really started my career in the airline industry where I was in revenue management pricing for one of the major airlines in the United States. From there, my career kind of led me down several different avenues of pricing, both on the retail sector, working at Fortune 50 companies, Sears holdings, Staples Corporation. But more recently I've really focused my career in the distribution world where I worked in from the manufacturing distribution to just true second and third party distribution channels, hospitality aspects like that from inventory management, pricing and standing up pricing teams. Valerie Howard (01:25): I'm really interested in hearing about your perspective on supply chains that have been really stretched during this period of time. Right? Where we're seeing some industries really not being able to supply at the demands of their customers, trying to move product quickly to where it's needed and others facing challenging declines in demand. So can you share with us what you're seeing with the companies that you work with? Josh Bardell (01:50): Yeah, Valerie, you're right. It's really on both ends of the spectrum right now. There are some companies that are getting very taxed because of high demand. Companies when you think about that are serving the home, for example I know Amazon, they do a lot of shipping that competes against the UPS and the FedExes of the world. They've actually scaled that back to focus in on their core distribution, which is serving the customers, the homes. Because ordering has gone up significantly with the stay at home orders and the social distancing throughout the country. Now there are other channels of course, one of them hospitality distribution where I used to work is under a tremendous pressure right now because they've got a lot of inventory on hand, but people aren't staying in hotels. Hotel capacity right now is at one of the lowest rates in recent history and so as a result people aren't replenishing into the hospitality world, so both ends of the spectrum that we're seeing across the various channels. PROS Pricing Solutions: https://bit.ly/39mHgSU Request a Free Consultation Call: https://pros.com/price-strategy-consultation/

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