From the Desk of Tray Smith - August

This month is a bit of strange topic, but it came up in a marketing meeting this week so I thought I would address it to customers as well. I was asked why we were discontinuing a product line. The person that asked is fairly new to our company and wasn’t complaining; he was just curious why. I have been asked this by several customers as well, especially when they wanted to buy that product after the fact.

There are many factors that go into a decision on whether to discontinue or sunset, as we like to say, a product or a product line as a whole. Did we really move what we needed to keep buying from the vendor? Did the product itself sell? Was it a quality product that matched up to the bar that we as a company set for an item on quality? Was there a decent amount of profit in the product to begin with? There are many of those questions that we hope to answer even before we start carrying a product or complete line.

We recently just discontinued carrying Air Ride components. Now, the product itself was a top quality product, the profit was pretty good considering it was a high ticket item; however, because of the high ticket price, you limit who is going to be able to afford it. So after a lot of careful thought, we chose to sunset this line and move on. The cost of what it was to put in each of our 6 catalogs, over 2 pages per book, was huge. I know you think, 'well how much can really a total of 12 pages cost you to print?' It’s not the cost, it’s what you get back off of the 12 pages. Better yet, what else can you put in its place that would make just as much money, if not more

These are just some of the questions yours truly has to answer every day and be part of. So I know this month’s article may have been a little on the operational side of things, but I just wanted to give each of you a glimpse of how things run here at H&H. So that’s all of this month, see you in September.