Bower Collective Subscribes to 20% Stock Turn Boost With Inventory Planner
“Inventory Planner is a powerful tool that lets us completely manage all of our purchase orders, replenishment and forecasting with ease” – Nicky Spear, Retail Product & Operations Lead, Bower Collective
If your business model is outside the norm, or if you sell from multiple locations, across multiple channels or to different markets, accurately forecasting demand can be especially challenging.
But there is a solution – and Bower Collective offers proof.
Launched in 2020 and based in the city of Bath, England, Bower Collective offers an innovative
subscription service for products made with natural ingredients such as laundry detergent, hand wash, skincare and bathroom items.
The brand is on a mission to transform the way we buy home and personal care products with its proprietary reusable packaging system, promising it can save each customer around 100kg of plastic waste from landfill and incineration each year.
Its unconventional business model sees products delivered to customers’ homes and then they ‘join the refill revolution’ by pouring the liquids into reusable dispensers before returning the packaging in a pre-paid envelope, to be reused by Bower Collective over and over again.
The business, which is backed by Davina McCall who described its concept as ‘brilliant’, generates over 68% of its revenue from loyal subscribers via its own webstore, but it also runs a successful B2B and wholesale operation.
This non-standard set-up was giving Bower’s founders an inventory planning headache – until they discovered Inventory Planner by Sage.
Making a splash
Marcus Hill, Co-founder and CEO at Bower Hill, says: “Our product range is quite complicated. We sell individual products and then we also sell those products within bundles. And as well as our fast-growing direct to consumer subscription business, we also have a growing wholesale business.
“This has brought us some additional challenges around managing our inventory.
“We’d been using Google Sheets but it couldn’t cope. We joined Inventory Planner because we needed a robust system that could simplify and streamline planning – especially over the next 12 to 18 months, which are going to be crucial for our growth.
“We considered other solutions but many seemed old and clunky, and that’s not really what we wanted. Inventory Planner seems fresh and easy to use and that stood out for us.
“We did the free demo and we immediately liked how well laid out everything was and how easy it makes it to know what to prioritise with purchasing. We were sold!”
As a top-rated inventory planning app, Inventory Planner is loaded with cutting-edge features and functionality which are proven to help businesses like Bower Collective save time, boost revenue and adapt to market changes.
It offers accurate, up-to-date demand forecasting which factors in supplier timescales, seasonality and promotions alongside historical sales data. These forecasts into simple buying recommendations which the whole team can use to know exactly what to order and when.
The software slots seamlessly into your existing tech stack – which for Bower Collective includes Shopify and the subscription platform Recharge. Implementation is fast, hassle-free and led by experts.
Lather, Rinse, Succeed
Nicky Spear, Retail Product & Operations Lead at Bower Collective, says: “The support from Inventory Planner through implementation and beyond has been second-to-none. The set-up went really smoothly and it’s really reassuring to be able to pick up the phone and speak to someone genuinely knowledgeable and helpful whenever you need it.
“Accessibility was really important to us and I love that you can get to grips with it very quickly. Our whole team – and especially our buyers – are absolutely loving using Inventory Planner.
“That’s actually one of the many small but powerful benefits – that the app isn’t limited to just one or two users. Anyone in our team can go in and access the data they need without needing to know silly formulas, like you would with a spreadsheet.
“It’s been hugely helpful to improving our succession planning and it’s a massive time saver – we’ve cut the time spent on inventory planning by 30%”
With Inventory Planner, merchants can access more than 200 customizable metrics and granular-level insights for SKU-specific forecasting.
The software proactively flags up which variants are selling well, as well as identifying slow-moving items. It also highlights key info, such as the potential revenue loss if reordering an item is delayed. Even the creation of time-consuming POs can be automated.
This functionality has helped Bower Collective eliminate tedious manual processes, improve decision-making and foster growth and scalability.
Having Inventory Planner in place has removed the risk of overstock and stockouts, dramatically increased stockturn and empowered the team to make faster, data-driven decisions that maximize profit.
For Marcus and Nicky, it’s the significant improvement in stock turn which stands out as a major benefit of using Inventory Planner.
Sparkling results, delivered
Marcus says: “Maintaining a higher stock turn is vital for us because it helps conserve cash (and any cash we have sitting in stock is cash that we can’t use elsewhere in the business). It also reduces storage costs, minimizes product wastage due to expiration and increases the efficiency of our stock management.
“Inventory Planner helps us keep stockholding low while avoiding stockouts by providing accurate forecasting and critical inventory data, including on each individual supplier.
“Now we can keep a close eye on ‘Days of Stock’ for each supplier – it’s really easy to get the info we need and it has enabled us to implement just-in-time replenishment strategies. This has led to a 20% improvement in stock turn, which is an incredible result.
“Being able to access customized data on our inventory has also helped us be more strategic with our promotions – which are important for helping us retain subscribers.
“The nature of our business means we don’t buy for the same peaks as other businesses so we don’t tend to have massive overstocks, but it’s still hugely useful to see accurate data on slow-movers and best-sellers when we are planning promotions and bundles.”
“Inventory Planner helps us keep stockholding low while avoiding stockouts by providing accurate forecasting and critical inventory data. This has led to a 20% improvement in stock turn, which is an incredible result” – Marcus Hill, Co-founder and CEO, Bower Collective
With more households than ever looking to cut plastic waste, Bower Collective is determined to grow its mission to eliminate plastic waste from home and personal care products. This includes extending the wholesale arm of its business and growing its list of subscribers.
As a flexible and scalable software, Inventory Planner will be able to grow with the needs of the business – offering additional cutting-edge features, like Open-to-Buy planning, when needed.
Nicky adds: “Our business model is changing quite a lot in the next few months as we add multiple sales channels with multiple order types, but we’re confident Inventory Planner will be up to the test.
“It’s also an opportunity for us to dive into features like the Open-to-Buy planning tool. Knowing what our forecasts across the business will do to stock holding using open to buy will be really useful in the months to come.
“We now have a laser focus on data in all our decision making and Inventory Plannner tells us exactly what products to buy and when to buy them to meet growing customer demand.
“It means we can ditch spreadsheet-based inventory calculations and instead receive integrated, accurate inventory insights across all our products, channels and warehouse locations that are always up-to-date.”
Want a taste of Bower Collective’s success with Inventory Planner? Book a demo now.
innovative subscription service for products made with natural ingredients
The eco-friendly firm's sales have risen 234% since 2020
Stockturn boost with Inventory Planner
Time saving with Inventory Planner