Ford Power Stroke Diesel Category: Case Study The Situation: Ford Power Stroke Diesel was in what it referred to as a “crazy” situation. It had heavily overspent on branded merchandise and was financially responsible for all its inventory. While its branded items were popular among loyal customers, the merchandise was simply not moving quickly enough to keep cash flow manageable. Much of the inventory was sitting in FPSD’s fulfillment supplier’s warehouse gathering dust as orders trickled in. The situation was costing FPSD hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. It had taken an enormous financial risk purchasing the merchandise and no relief was in sight. FPSD knew it had to start moving inventory and recouping the cash it had laid out. But how? The Solution: FPSD contacted a Helm account manager with whom it had a relationship and presented the problem. Helm reviewed the situation and developed a unique business model to mitigate FPSD’s investment risk while energizing its sales of branded merchandise. Helm quickly negotiated an arrangement to immediately alleviate FPSD’s financial obligations. With the financial pressure off, FPSD was able to then consider Helm’s larger solution to the entire situation. It was agreed that Helm would take on the responsibility of storing and selling the inventory as well as the fulfillment of customer orders. Helm then proceeded to update the FPSD e-store, modeling it after the Ford-branded merchandise website, giving it a more retail look and feel. Helm gave the website an easy-to-use merchandise ordering system, started managing the site, and processing orders that came through the site. Helm also began an aggressive marketing campaign to support the website and draw visitors to it. The Results: FPSD is pleased. Helm has established a relationship with FPSD and acts on behalf of FPSD in all branded merchandise activities. It manages all the company’s branded merchandise with order fulfillment directly through Helm or drop-shipped from the manufacturer upon Helm’s direction. Helm’s efforts have resulted in the sale of more than 80 percent of FPSD’s existing inventory. E-store traffic and sales have increased significantly, to the point that Helm is working with FPSD to develop a line of merchandise and apparel displaying the various FPSD engine models. FPSD is especially pleased that it is no longer financially at risk for its inventory. By allowing Helm to manage the business, FPSD saw its inventory moving while minimizing its risk and capital outlay.