Bold Idea No. 10 – More, not less inventory


Location: Brookfield, Wis.

New Units Sold in 2009: 520

Brands sold: Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Polaris, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Can-Am

Staff size: 3 sales, 7 service, 6 PG&A, 1 F&I, 5 office/other

In contrast to most dealers cutting back on the number of products they’re stocking, Don & Roy’s Motorsports has actually increased its lineup of offerings. That’s possible because at the same time the dealership is reducing the duplicate sizes in stock. Parts Manager Adam Roth says his new motto is “wide and shallow instead of narrow and deep.”

“We decided to increase the number of products stocked by reducing duplicate stock,” Roth said. “For example, instead of having small-2X in clothing with duplicates in medium, large and extra large, we took the money from the duplicate medium, large and extra large and stocked another color option.”

Roth says they have more different items in inventory this year than last year, and they had more last year than the year before. The idea isn’t to spend more, just to offer more.

That’s because the team at Don & Roy’s sat down and decided customers were still present and if there was product available, they might still impulse buy. In contrast, without inventory available to stimulate the impulse, they felt the sale might not get started or could be lost to the Internet or mail order. In addition, they see it as a competitive advantage over other local dealers.

“The plan is that customers will be dissatisfied with all the cuts the other local dealers are making and expand their search to include us,” Roth said. “When they call, we want to be the dealer that has the inventory and earns their current and future business. To follow through we are still placing daily orders with our manufacturers — paying freight if need be — to maintain the level of service we were able to provide when the sales were booming, and get parts fast rather than holding orders and people’s money to wait for free freight requirements.”

Roth said the dealership also has gone outside its own walls to test its theories about offering more product. This year, they participated in the IMS circuit as well as trackside vending at road racing events in their area. He says the company did well by having plenty to offer.

“We brought two full trailer loads of product to a show outside Detroit, the worst city in terms of the recession, and we had a great show.”


He said the dealers in Detroit have cut back what they’re offering, leaving customers hungry for more product.

“Everybody’s backpedaling, cutting back,” Roth said. “We’re not. And we don’t think it’s a crazy idea.”

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