"The question was, why are we carrying so much inventory?" he said. "We were turning inventory only four times a year. With declining ASPs and margins, the math around that gets ugly."
Myer has since cut inventory by $1 million to $1.5 million, which has led to quicker turns. Instead of banking on the discounts associated with large-volume orders, MyerEmco is making more money through faster turns. "It's a total mind-shift change to a fulfillment model," he said. "We're moving anywhere we can to a just-in-time model."
Other dealers said learning how to better control inventory has become a top survival and improvement strategy. "There are two kinds of people who make it through a recession," said Stuart Schuster, president of Marvin Electronics, Fort Worth, Texas—"someone with deep pockets and someone with low inventory."