When I was in college (to clarify, this was in the 90s, when college seemed to matter more), I majored in Computer Information Science.  It shaped my career positively but I remember when, around the year I received my BSBA, they divided the CIS degree into more granular offerings – Decision Information Science, Management Information Science, etc.  I remember thinking DIS would have been an interesting focus, and I find myself thinking about that this morning.
We currently have twelve different distributors working with us and, by the time the store opens, we should have closer to twenty.  This is good for us and for our customers because it means we have the ability to get almost any gaming product into the store.  Interested in the Traveller RPG?  How about poison ivy flock for your miniature bases?  Want to build an entire city scape using miniature hand-poured bricks made of dental stone?  Or are solid metal dice more your thing?  Whatever it is, we can probably hook you up.  We have access to, and I’m not joking, over 30 different types of glue.
And, oh my word, it’s a challenge to figure out where to buy what from, and when.  We have no less than three distributors that carry most product- so if one is out of stock, we can shift to another and keep our shelves full.  In some cases, we have six different potential sources, each with slightly different prices, and slightly different terms.
Of course, at the moment, one of the primary goals with each purchase is to build a relationship with the vendor.  So, for now, we’re spreading the love around – buying quantities from each of our partners to learn their business processes and get to know their representatives better.  Eventually, though, we’re going to need to figure out a process to manage all this information, and make sure we are purchasing as optimally as possible.
In the meantime, we’ve visited a local distributor’s warehouse and shopped their shelves; we’ve placed orders with a supplier in Poland and one in the UK; and we’ve got stock coming in from Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee and I forget where else.  And that doesn’t even count the half dozen or so Kickstarter campaigns we backed to get exclusive product in the store.
At this pace, we should have a good amount of stock available for our soft opening, and should be well prepared for the Grand Opening, as soon as we figure out when that will be.
Oh. . .for the record: we won’t be stocking all 30+ varieties of glue. . .