by Michael Luscher, Founder & CEO
You hear it on the court all the time. Forced pass…missed shot…not calling out a screen – it’s common courtesy amongst teammates.
But in business? Not as much. Especially from CEOs whose job it is to make decisions and often defend those decisions to customers, shareholders and employees.
Well, I’m here to say it. My bad.
As a small business, most major decisions related to POINT 3 still run across my desk – especially those involving inventory, the life blood of our business. As a best-in-class basketball outfitter, projecting inventory needs is the make-or-miss decision for POINT 3 every season. Regrettably, there is no fail-safe method for this process, which is equal parts art and science. (digital marketers/software salespeople with cost effective inventory management and sales forecasting solutions, please – send the warm leads to Michael@point3basketball.com)
Thankfully, as each season passes we get a little smarter and have a little more data (aka “science”) on previous season sales to add to our instincts (aka “art”) for what styles/sizes/colors we think will move. But when we are off, the effect is dramatic on all aspects of our business – from sales to service and operations but most importantly, on our customers. The good news is that as we grow, we can bring in more inventory, more color selections and fresh styles to meet the specialized needs of ballplayers.
Sales of our core team uniform offering grew by more than 125% during the first three months of 2018 (vs. the same period in 2017). Obviously we hoped this would happen and to a certain degree planned on it. To the order of a 40-45% inventory increase for 2018 but 120%?! We were not expecting that. So, my bad.
We launched 3 new styles and without any order history (there’s that “science” again) we under ordered those styles and sold out of a bunch of SKUs. My bad.
Our Road Trip backpack became the must have item for Spring Travel teams and we just sold out of this style…again. My bad.
Most importantly, to the coaches who have been patient with us, the parents who have agreed to move their young ballplayer from a Youth XL to Adult XS…thanks. We appreciate you. Oh, and it’s My bad. (not Vince or DQ or one of sales people’s fault).
You get the point. Problems. The “good” kind, but problems nonetheless. The upside is that we continue to bring in more inventory each season to support the acceleration of our business. And we are re-stocking our shelves almost weekly these days with replenishments of existing styles as well as new ones we introduce seasonally.
So, keep an eye out for that “Back in Stock” notification email and if you are thinking about copping something from POINT 3, better act fast – cause at this pace, I’m sure this won’t be my last “My bad.”