Globally, businesses are sitting on over $8 trillion excess inventory* (manufactured products that are sitting in warehouses waiting for a buyer). To put that in perspective, that is equivalent to the gross domestic product of China.
For manufacturing businesses around the world, the majority of which are Small or Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), it is desirable and often essential to be able to turn over stock as often as possible. Unsold stock is cash drain on manufacturing businesses, pushing up the overall cost of manufacture though storage costs. In addition, excess stock contributes to reduced profit margins, since excess stock is often sold at low margins provide cash to keep production lines running.
In recent years, due to the global economic downturn, businesses have seen stock levels rise to unprecedented levels. For example, in 2009, semiconductor stock levels rose from $3.8 billion to $10.2 billion within the space of 3 months, putting a serious strain on the industry and its suppliers.
Excess inventory is usually sold, often at a significant price reduction, to online and offline discount retailers. Middlemen such as brokers and wholesale distributors provide services to place excess inventory with different customers around the world. A number of middlemen are virtual electronic marketplaces which auction overstocked goods online. However, after a period of continued economic downturn, most such marketplaces have discontinued operations due to a failure to realize their business plan.
With the introduction of new style web addresses, where the letters after the final dot can be almost anything, manufacturing businesses are beginning to use these low -cost, new extensions as a means of creating an easily found, online space where they can dispose of excess inventory directly to a consumer with no brokerage or distribution fees or costly pay-per-click advertising.
New style web addresses using exact search terms rather than company names, differentiate websites and make them easy to find online. For example www.electronic-components.bid or www.excess-welding-consumables.bid match a user’s search engine query and inform the user that they could bag a bargain at auction.
For the manufacturing business, having a direct link to the buyer is beneficial as it permits the opportunity to build a longer term relationship which will help smooth out undesirable lumpy manufacturing cycles. However, just as importantly, it allows businesses to retain control over how much inventory to release, at what time and at what price.
So, SME manufacturing businesses looking to exert more control over stock levels should consider a new-style .BID web address to let the world know that they have product to sell and are prepared to deal.
*according to a report by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals