James Powell argues that there is far more to wholesale floorplan stocking than “just funding”

Powell james

An effective wholesale stocking plan is good not only to enhance dealer loyalty and sales volumes for retail finance, it can also help to generate a deeper and more valuable relationship by using the data available.

A few short years ago in the aftermath of the credit crunch, just having access to stocking funds was considered a ‘win’ by dealers. Things have moved on at a pace and now dealers have access to multiple funding options.

Increased supply may invariably impact a funder’s return on investment, but by using the available management information available, a funder’s dealer offer can help to create a far richer and more mutually beneficial relationship.

Sword Apak’s stock funding technology is used globally by manufacturers, finance companies, dealers and specialist stock funders. Their needs are diverse, often, but not exclusively, linked to creating retail support.

However, the opportunity to provide vital stocking insight should not be missed.

Simply viewing stock funding as a necessary part of the retail model is a narrow view of the opportunity that can be afforded by the technology that supports stock funding management.

Finance providers need to know what stock is held on a plan, its time on stock and location. This same information can be shared with dealers to help them in areas such as adjusting the stocking mix in light of market trends and helping to identify blockages in the time it takes to get stock onto the forecourt, whether it is in transit or in preparation.

The management of stock and stocking days and the associated financial implication can all benefit from the management information that a funder can provide using technology. By way of an example, consumer buying trends can be identified from fast and slow moving stock, which can help dealers to buy more effectively.

The quality of data that can be mined by funders should move the dialogue away from the hygiene factors that are a core part of stock funding, towards a deeper conversation about the stocking mix and how it and stocking days can be improved. Money saved in stocking costs helps dealers to be both competitive and profitable and given the values involved it is a discussion that raises the game for dealer facing account managers.

James Powell is Executive Vice President at Sword Apak.