Inventory Management

The next course will commence in early 2023.
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The Inventory Management Certification Course is designed to teach owners and/or store buyers how to efficiently select and order the new book inventory that will sell best for their particular store; how to maintain cash flow via returns, turns, and budgets; how to integrate marketing and merchandising into your buying process so that your carefully selected inventory actually sells; and how to analyze and improve your buying process over time.

Our 2022 Instructors

Dean Jill Hendrix, Owner, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Josh Christie, Co-owner, Print: A Bookstore, Portland, ME

Erin Caudill, Book Buyer, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Latonia, KY

Melissa DeMotte, Owner, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d’Alene, ID

Valerie Kohler, Owner, Blue Willow Bookstore, Houston, TX

Alison Reid, Co-owner, Diesel, A Bookstore, Del Mar, CA

Kate Reynolds, Book Buyer, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY


Course Objective

This course is for participants who are employed by or who own a retail bookstore (this includes a mobile or pop-up shop) that has been in existence for at least 1 year and has 25%+ new book inventory. The course is designed to teach owners and/or store buyers how to efficiently select and order the new book inventory that will sell best for their particular store; how and when to order direct from publishers for better discounts, how to maintain cash flow via returns, turns, and budgets; how to integrate marketing and merchandising into the buying process so that their carefully selected inventory actually sells; and how to analyze and improve their buying process over time.

Course Components

This course consists of live classes via Zoom, office hours, and a final project. Homework is assigned for each class. Students are expected to attend the live classes and finish and pass all homework to be certified.

Major Project Deliverables

Homework for Inventory Management is all done with created Trello boards. Assignments include: big picture strategic plan; frontlist and restocking criteria strategic plan; buying calendars and schedules; procedure documentation; at least one specced out experiment (covered in Class 16)     

Classes

Section One: Introductory Material

Class 1 -  Welcome to course, syllabus overview, how to succeed

Class 2 -  Book Buyer Overview

Section Two: Using Wholesalers

Class 3 -  Introduction to the Power of Ingram

Class 4 - Special OrderWorkflows, Website Fulfillment & Ingram Tips & Tricks

Section Three: Curating Your Store

Class 5 - Buying Criteria

Class 6 -  Frontlist Buying Through Edelweiss+

Class 7 -  Children's Buying

Class 8 - Communicating the Buy Internally & Externally

Class 9 -  Sidelines

Class 10 -  Restocking, Event Orders & Backlist Promos

Class 11 -  Returns

Section Four: Cash Flow & Profitability

Class 12 -  Buying to Constraints

Class 13 -  Basic Bookbuyer Math: COGS & Gross Profit Margin

Class 14 -  Co-Op

Class 15 -  Data, Metrics, and Efficiencies

Class 16 -  Final Project & Action Plans

Learning Outcomes

As a result of this course, students will be able to:

  • Set and/or document your store’s buying criteria
  • Create a direct publisher frontlist order using Edelweiss
  • Create and send a restocking order via Ingram
  • Use Pubeasy to check publisher stock levels and/or place orders
  • Determine the distributor for a small press
  • Establish and/or document communication procedures between the buyer and other staff/departments
  • Generate a publisher overstock return pull list
  • Communicate necessary info about your buy to frontline booksellers, marketing staff, etc.
  • Set buying performance goals and know how to track and analyze your metrics
  • Discuss the benefits of advanced tools like Pubnet and Edelweiss Analytics
  • Price sidelines to achieve a desired profit margin
  • Calculate COGS for inventory purchased at different terms
  • Create a Trello Board to centrally track vendor information (including publisher promotional offers) and your store’s buying systems and procedures



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