Inventory is the lifeblood of every FFL. You build it, buy it and sell it with the hopes of remaining compliant and earning a healthy profit. But managing an endless aisle of firearm, ammunition and accessory SKUs can be quite a challenge. However, like many aspects of FFL operations, technology has made managing firearm inventory increasingly easier in the last decade.
From the production floor to the distribution center to dealer shelves, technology can be implemented at every step of the product supply chain to enhance inventory management. At the upcoming 2022 Firearms Industry Conference (FIC), to be held virtually and in-person April 21–27, industry subject matter experts will lead educational sessions on how technology can be used to procure, manage and sell inventory more effectively.
Inventory management starts with sourcing and purchasing inventory. However, knowing how much to produce and what to stock to maximize profits can be difficult for manufacturers and retailers. Thankfully, NASGW SCOPE™ provides such business insights for the shooting sports industry.
Led by NASGW Director of Data Programs, Easton Kuboushek, and Senior Data Analyst, Tom Topper, FIC attendees will learn about the SCOPE program, the latest trends and sales data, and how FFLs can apply program data to their business operations during the morning keynote, “Distribution 2022: Leveraging a Data-driven Supply.”
Of course, most inventory is sourced from the industry’s many distributors, but brick-and-mortar retailers only have so much display and storage space for products. The solution – ecommerce. Earlier in the week, FIC On-Air will discuss distributor catalogs and how to connect them to your ecommerce website to sell beyond on-hand inventory during the virtual session, “Creating an Endless Aisle of Products with Live Distributor Inventories.” AmmoReady CEO, Paul Angell, will also be at the conference to jointly deliver a session on selecting an ecommerce platform and AmmoReady’s firearm dropshipping capabilities.
Inventory Management Technology
Modern challenges demand modern solutions. A challenge on its own, managing inventory in the firearms industry has the added difficulty of ATF compliance. To ease the burden, modern technology has been designed specifically for FFLs and the operational and regulatory challenges they face.
During the deep-dive FIC workshop, “Managing Firearm Inventory with a Modern POS, ERP & Ecommerce Platform,” attendees will learn how to manage inventory from supplier to consumer in their facility, in their POS/ERP system, and online using the latest software applications. Intended for all FFL types, the three-hour session will cover a variety of topics, including:
- Managing master data at a Part Number, SKU and UPC level
- Integrating and managing partner and supplier catalogs
- Planning and allocating inventories from production through sale
- Understanding what a live data feed is and how to gain access
- Serialization, barcoding and scanning techniques to control loss
- Connecting in-store/in-warehouse inventory to ecommerce
- How to load, update and manage inventory data during a system migration
- Reconciling on-hand inventory with consideration for both financial and ATF regulatory requirements
Throughout FIC, technology experts will also share tips for creating an inventory management plan using your point-of-sale system (“POS Inventory and Firearm Data Management for Success”) and Microsoft Excel (“Critical Excel Tips for Managing Retail FFL Inventory Data”), as well as methods for connecting and reserving inventory for ecommerce to further drive sales (“Connecting Your A&D Book to eCommerce to Grow Revenue”).
Regardless of your FFL type, product mix or business model (i.e., brick-and-mortar vs. ecommerce), technology can help your firearms business more accurately and efficiently manage inventory to drive sales, grow profits and stay compliant.
Interested in learning more? Register today for FIC On-Air™, FIC Workshops and the FIC main event. Sponsorships are also available with complimentary tickets for sponsors and industry partners. A portion of all ticket sales and sponsorships will be donated to Project ChildSafe.
To register for or sponsor FIC 2022, visit orchidadvisors.com/FIC.