How to Master Parts Inventory Stocking

by James Stoneham

Properly managing parts inventory is an important concern for aftermarket since this critical task can often mean the difference between profit or loss. While there are some factors beyond your control there are some actions you can take to improve your inventory management. Knowing how much inventory you have on hand is a good place to start, but knowing how to properly assess, analyze, and make decisions on inventory is more important than the parts themselves.

A lot of conventional wisdom around aftermarket parts inventory provides generalizations and faulty “one size fits all solutions”. Therefore the solution to your inventory maintenance issues will likely be highly configurable.

This configuration takes many forms and allows you to have greater flexibility and expandability for your business. From closely assessing your sales histories to altering your stock ordering method, finding what works best for your unique company, team, and challenges requires a deep dive into the past, present, and future of your business.

What are the benefits of improving inventory management?

  • Maintain a high level of customer service and satisfaction

  • Prevent cash flow and interest expense issues

  • Ensure facility is only equipped with essential items

How to Improve Inventory Management

  1. Analyze sales data correctly. Having a business management solution like Charter’s ASPEN in place takes the guesswork out of answering inventory questions. Take the guesswork out of answering inventory questions by using software that can automatically change your stocking logic through customizable analysis of sales trends.

  2. Consider Non-OEM alternatives. Business systems will allow you to track equivalent parts so that you can offer your customers a less expensive option than the OEM Parts, keeping them from shopping your competitors.

  3. Streamline ordering workflow. Because ordering often involves an entire team, having a system in place ahead of time allows for fewer errors and faster completion.

  4. Consider increasing the frequency of your stock orders. Although weekly or biweekly ordering has become common place, successful dealers often have greater inventory needs than their competitors. This is a great problem to have and, with the help of the right business management software, one that can be fully efficient.


Having the right tools in place is important for your business. Request a demo of our ASPEN Business Management Solution.

Filed under: Best Practice

Written by James Stoneham