What was this stock which had not moved for the past year "and was therefore obsolete"? This seems like an arbitrary accountant's assumption. Was it parts for gas fitting, plumbing, electrics, lift maintenance etc.? If so, by what criteria was it deemed obsolete?
A major problem for tenants is weeks or months spent without heating, hot water or operating lifts because necessary parts are no longer held in stock but ordered on an ad hoc basis and may take a very long time to obtain. This can be very serious for some tenants without lifts in tower blocks or for elderly people or children without heating. I knew one elderly tenant largely trapped in her flat for 9 months whilst lift parts were obtained from Germany.
Not keeping an adequate stock of parts is, of course, another accountants' wheeze. They don't like to see money tied up. "We're waiting for parts" is considered a satisfactory buck-passing answer by complacent housing or maintenance officers, whilst the tenants suffer and don't get what they're paying for.
If there are any long-serving tradespeople left in an organisation or its maintenance contractor, they will readily tell you how x, y, and z used to be kept in stock at their depot or even carried on their vans but "now we have to order it".
Although it wouldn't apply to the lift components from Germany mentioned above (which should have been kept in stock) the chawsing thing in the case of many plumbing or gas parts is that they are often readily obtainable over the counter at a local specialist supplier. That seems too simple a solution for modern ALMOs and RSLs busy burnishing their illusory haloes. The items in question may cost a little more that way, but the overall cost of simply going and getting what is needed and getting the job done is certainly less.