Apparel Brand Finds The Cycle Path To Success
DTC cycling apparel brand Cycology saves $100,000s and boosts cash-flow using Inventory Planner.
“I tell other merchants that they can’t afford not to have Inventory Planner. Say you hold $1 million in inventory and, at a very conservative estimate, Inventory Planner improves your inventory ordering and investments by 10% a year (for us, it’s actually higher than 10%). That would result in a saving of $100,000 a year.”
– Michael Tomchin, Founder and CEO, Cycology
When it comes to managing inventory, spreadsheets offer a temptingly cheap fix.
However, many merchants – especially over the last couple of years – have been forced to learn the hard way that manual solutions (we’re looking at you, Excel and Google Sheets) mixed with guesswork are a recipe for disaster.
Cycling apparel brand Cycology is one of those merchants. The successful global business tried to ‘make do’ with a manual approach to managing its extensive inventory – and ended up paying the price.
“I knew it was crucial that we had the right stock in place at the right time so I would spend hours poring over data from multiple sources and trying to massage it into spreadsheets to come up with a solution that worked,” explains Cycology’s Founder and CEO, Michael Tomchin.
“The trouble was, we’ve got about 2,000 SKUs in every warehouse for every product, so trying to work out the specifics of what we needed was absolutely daunting. It resulted in huge overheads and multiple bad decisions.”
GETTING A HANDLE ON INVENTORY
Australian-born brand Cycology, a primarily DTC multichannel business, operates in four separate regions including Europe, the UK, North America and Australia, and decided to escape ‘Excel Hell’ and join Inventory Planner.
Michael says: “We initially looked at a bespoke inventory planning tool that was 10 times the price of Inventory Planner and didn’t do all the things we needed. I quickly realized that Inventory Planner is a truly tremendous tool – and a very cost effective one.
“It’s so much more than just an inventory planning tool. It’s an intelligence tool and an information management tool that I use every single day. It’s transformed how we operate.
Inventory Planner is the #1 inventory planning app which reveals which inventory to order, how much to order, and the perfect moment to order it, based on an accurate calculation of how much you will sell.
It helps you sail through market fluctuations and maximize profit by eliminating out of stock events and releasing cash from slow-moving items, which you can reinvest in growth.
Michael says: “I tell other merchants that they can’t afford not to have Inventory Planner.
“Say you hold $1 million in inventory and, at a very conservative estimate, Inventory Planner improves your inventory ordering and investments by 10% a year (for us, it’s actually higher than 10%). That would result in a saving of $100,000 a year.
“That completely dwarfs the subscription fee – it pays for itself many times over!”
GOING UP A GEAR
With retailers in the UK and US claiming they are just weeks away from a cash flow crisis as the economic crisis deepens and consumer demand remains unpredictable, Inventory Planner offers merchants a way to minimize risk and gain clarity.
Michael says: “If you’ve got a heap of small sized products but you’re out of stock of large, which is the one everyone goes for, you’ll lose out on sales and have capital tied up in inventory that’s not moving. It’s of absolutely no value to have heaps of the wrong sizes and it’s a massive risk to cash.
“Inventory Planner gives me the actual history of what I’ve consumed, where I am today and where I can get to after I’ve ordered stock. It shows us patterns and trends across our regions and warehouses.
“It gives me the clarity I need to confidently make truly informed inventory decisions. It helps me see which products might be slow moving so I can adjust my sales strategy accordingly.”
“Our Inventory Planner subscription is one of the best investments we’ve made and it gives us a huge productivity boost.”
Without Inventory Planner, merchants leave themselves open to weak cashflow, high overheads and unreliable or inaccurate data which can lead to poor and even fatal decisions.
Merchants that ‘go it alone’ struggle to keep on top of their inventory’s performance and stay up-to-speed with rapidly changing trends. Sadly, this results in missed sales opportunities, customers disappointed by lack of stock or cash tied up in so-called ‘safety stock’ which eventually has to be liquidated.
“The harsh reality is that if you don’t take care of inventory your business will be dead,” Michael says.
“Inventory planning needs to be a spending and strategic priority.
“As merchants we happily spend a fortune on advertising, websites and design but might not spend anything on inventory planning. That’s crazy! Inventory planning needs more focus because it can be the difference between surviving – and not.”
OILING THE WHEELS OF SUCCESS
By connecting sales data, supplier timescales and factors such as seasonality and promotions, Cycology has used Inventory Planner to strike the delicate balance of avoiding running out of the most profitable items and avoiding having warehouses packed with inventory that can’t be shifted.
With detailed insight across various KPIs, including variant, vendor, warehouse and product category, the business has been able regain control on supply by making intelligent and informed decisions on when to order products, how much to order and how to make stocks last between shipments.
Michael says: “There are three things that can go wrong with inventory – you can have too much, too little or the wrong variants.
“I just don’t see how any retailer can manage those risks without a system like Inventory Planner in place. Maybe if business is plain-sailing you might get away with it, but in the current market when demand is unpredictable and costs are sky high, you just can’t. Inventory Planner is the perfect solution.”
Want to see the impact Inventory Planner can have in your business? Start your free 14-day trial today.
Saved every year by Inventory Planner