About Moss: Backorders- Yes or No?

From Moss Motoring 1983

Let’s face it, nobody likes backorders! We at Moss certainly don’t, for a variety of reasons. They are time-consuming to keep track of, expensive to administer, costly to ship and annoying to some customers. So why do we keep the backorder system? Interestingly enough, because many of our customers see it as a real benefit! Let’s review the pros and cons and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about back-orders…

The “Pros” – You know the price of the part won’t go up. (Especially important for Sale items!) You don’t have to keep hunting for the part. You don’t have to keep calling to check on availability; we ship backorders as soon as the parts arrive. If we receive only a few of a hard-to-find item, they go to customers with backorders first.

The “Cons” – You don’t receive the part as quickly as you would like. You have to pay for the part when you order it to put it on backorder.

The Q’s & A’s:

“How soon will the parts be in?” In the majority of cases, we cannot tell you because our suppliers do not guarantee us a delivery date. It is important to remember, however, that our computerized purchasing system usually enables us to schedule the arrival of new supplies before our stock is depleted. If sales increase so that we sell out sooner than expected, the delay is seldom more than a few weeks. (Those items sourced to domestic manufacturers are often replenished in less than two weeks.) Upholstery items should always be ordered on a “backorder yes” basis as these are mostly made in our upholstery shop, which gives priority to making kits which are sold out.

“Why not keep larger stocks so you don’t run out?” The cost of maintaining an inventory of over 11,000 different parts is extremely high, in terms of both money invested and warehouse space. To increase our stocks sufficiently that we never had to backorder would require a major price increase to cover the additional costs. We prefer to use the skill of our Purchasing Dept. to try to maintain stock levels at a minimum, bearing in mind re-order time, availability, sales levels, etc. Sometimes we are caught out by a spurt in sales or by a supplier who is late in delivering what was ordered on a timely basis, and that is when backorders occur.

“Why do backorders sometimes take months?” Every so often, a technical problem will result in our having to pull an item from stock, or a new shipment will arrive and be found to be below our quality requirements. Our vendors may also encounter unexpected major problems which can take a long time to resolve. In either instance, arranging for replacement stock to be manufactured can often take months resulting in delivery delays to customers. Usually, if we know how long resolution of the problem will take, we’ll pass that info onto our customers. Occasionally, however, we are expecting the parts to come yet never know when they might actually show up. This situation seldom covers more than a half dozen of our total products, so the odds are pretty good you won’t be affected.

To summarize, we would ask you, our valued customer, to remember the following points when considering back-orders:

1. We average a 90% or higher original fill rate.

2. Most backorders take less than a month to be filled.

3. We gain nothing by putting parts on backorder, so you can be sure that we are doing our best not to backorder any parts.

4. The benefits of our backorder system outweigh the disadvantages.

5. Backorders may be cancelled for a full refund at any time before they are shipped.

6. We will not be able to tell you how soon your backorder will be shipped because we seldom know for sure when the parts will be in.

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