How Do You Choose a Checkout Line?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8:00:00 AM

Categories: Customer Service

By Mark Tomalonis
Principal, WarehouseTWO, LLC

customers hate long lead times, try inventory sharing of industrial products

quick deliveries of inventory in stock provides great customer service When shopping in a store that has multiple checkout lines, how do you choose which line to get into? Chances are, you try to pick the shortest/fastest line. Everyone wants the shortest/fastest line, including your customers. So, why do you let your customers wait in your company’s longest/slowest checkout line? Taking an order for an item with a long lead time is essentially like forcing your customer to wait in your company’s longest/slowest checkout line.

Your Business Customers are People. And They Think Like Consumers.

Just as consumers do not like waiting in long checkout lines, your customers do not like long lead times. If your customers have alternative sources, they may use them. And if they must buy from you, they may resent having to wait for you to fulfill their order.

Backorders are most likely an unavoidable part of business. (Who can afford to have everything in stock that customers might want?)

What are your options when dealing with a long lead time backordered item?

  • Stock more? (Take on greater financial risk?)
  • Pay expedite fees? (Spend whatever profit the order might have yielded?)
  • Spend hours managing your customer’s backorder?
  • Turn down your customer’s order?
  • Ask your supplier, “Who was the last one you sold this item to”?

What is a better solution?

A Better Solution: Formalized Inventory-Sharing w/ Peer Wholesaler-Distributors

Formalized inventory-sharing can give you access to millions of dollars of finished goods inventory for immediate shipment, owned by peer wholesaler-distributors in your industry. Your backordered item might be in another wholesaler-distributor’s stock. WarehouseTWO makes formalized inventory-sharing with peer wholesaler-distributors easier. WarehouseTWO offers two powerful tools to help you find a needed item:

SEARCH: Browse inventory data posted by peer distributors, available for immediate shipment. (Click here for more information about this feature.)

BROADCAST REQUEST: Send an inquiry email to peer distributors, including those who do not post their inventory data to WarehouseTWO. (Click here for more information about this feature.)

Formalized Inventory-Sharing via WarehouseTWO Really Works

Read how active WarehouseTWO users have avoided forcing their customers to wait in their longest/slowest checkout line:

"One day I received a very hot, very large order. I discovered that we only had about half of the items on our shelves. I used “BROADCAST REQUEST”. OH MY GOSH, I got almost instant responses and was able to fill the order in record time. Talk about a happy customer!"

Elaine Wulf-Treolo
Neff Engineering
Wisconsin, USA

"I use WarehouseTWO four-to-six times per week. I have been able to supply components to my customers in a few days and saved our customers COUNTLESS hours of downtime. It’s made us as a supplier look GREAT!"

Blair Young
Wajax Industrial Components, LP
Alberta, Canada

"I’ve been working in distribution for over twenty years. WarehouseTWO has become one of my best tools for successful customer service. It saves TIME. Making phone calls to find something is so yesterday! It grows the inventory available to all of us, making us more profitable and helping us serve our customers better."

Melissa Alexander
Andon Specialties
Texas, USA

Learn More About WarehouseTWO

Visit our website or email us to about how formalized inventory-sharing can help your company.

About the Author
After a successful career in sales and operations management in the wholesale-distribution industry, Mark Tomalonis is now principal of WarehouseTWO, LLC.  He amuses himself by writing articles, such as this one, to help wholesaler-distributors execute their operations better.  Mark’s articles and tips are published in WarehouseTWO’s monthly e-newsletters.  Click here to subscribe.

About WarehouseTWO
WarehouseTWO, LLC is an independent “inventory-sharing” service created exclusively for durable goods manufacturers and their authorized distributors, and for any group of durable goods “peer” wholesaler-distributors, such as members of a buying/marketing group or cooperative.  To learn how inventory-sharing with WarehouseTWO can help your business, visit the WarehouseTWO website, or email