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Megan Crabtree

Supply Chain Problems Got You Down? Follow These 4 Tips to Get On Top of Ordering

Planning ahead will help you keep your showcases full, no matter what.




MAKING SURE YOUR jewelry store meets sales goals is stressful enough without the added pressure of keeping your store stocked for shoppers. Avoiding the dreaded supply chain bottleneck takes more effort than the “order more, earlier” solution. It requires some planning, but here are a few things you can do to keep your cases full no matter what is happening with the supply chain.

Be Proactive

Maintain an accurate list of vendors and reach out to them quarterly to confirm their estimated time of delivery. Compile the estimated delivery dates, add a 3- to 7-day cushion, and distribute the information to your stores so they know what to promise consumers for special orders. Don’t worry about under-promising and over-delivering on the timeline. No customer will be upset with you for having their order ready early!


Know Your Numbers

You only get out of your POS system what you put into it. Always know your inventory numbers by setting up a few key data points. Create minimum and maximum levels for your top-selling pieces. In most POS systems, you can input these levels and have a report emailed to you on a daily basis or immediately when products are below the minimum level you created. You’ll know exactly when to place an order to avoid running out of your most important pieces.
During Christmas, set a daily deadline for reordering specials (instead of weekly or biweekly). If you know you need to get an order in by 2 p.m. to ensure next-day delivery, set your deadline for 1:30 p.m.

Utilize All Inventory

If you have multiple store locations, order variations of popular items per location. If you notice something selling well in all locations, order it for all of your stores. But also offer a few alternatives — for example, one in white gold and one in rose gold, or one with an oval center stone and one with a round center stone.
If turnover is high enough to order from a vendor more frequently than every four to six weeks, set a standard with them on key SKUs. Have your vendor bin stock those products instead. This way, you can have a backup shipped to you the next day. Ensure your teams know how to look up inventory so they can quickly determine if an item is in backstock, a store safe, moved to a different case, or if another location has it available. This will minimize the need for special orders and maximize product turnover.

Offer Creative Solutions

If, despite your efforts, you find yourself stuck waiting for an item your customer needs now, be prepared with a few creative solutions. For instance, offer a complimentary solitaire they can propose with and then swap out when their order is ready. Or place a picture of the actual piece or its custom 3D rendering in a frame that can be wrapped and presented in the meantime.




This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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