Global Jewelry Brand Gets Gold Standard Results With Inventory Planner
Multimillion dollar, Chicago-based fine jewelry brand, selling wholesale and D2C via Amazon. Uses Inventory Planner to accurately forecast demand for more than 2,000 SKUs.
“Thanks to Inventory Planner, we’ve managed to quickly achieve a 92% in-stock rate and dramatically improved the age of our inventory sitting in Amazon’s warehouses” – Anushka Jain, E-Commerce Manager
What do you get when you cross manual inventory management methods with Covid-driven supply chain issues?
An operational nightmare.
At least, that was the experience for Chicago-based fine jewelry brand MAX + STONE.
The multi-million dollar jewelry manufacturer was founded two decades ago and is known for its huge selection of gold, silver and gemstone items. It supplies wholesale to leading retailers, including Nordstrom and TJ Maxx, and sells DTC via Amazon in the US.
After growing steadily for years, the business ran into major issues in 2021 when the supply chain crisis kicked off – and its rudimentary spreadsheet-based inventory planning system couldn’t cope.
“It was a very stressful time,” says E-Commerce Manager, Anushka Jain.
“Trying to manually manage a catalog of 2,000 products across spreadsheets and deal with the supply chain issues resulted in us having a shortage of our top-selling items and too many of our less popular products that we struggled to shift.
“We tried increasing the prices of our top-sellers to slow demand, but then we were penalized by the Amazon algorithm. We slashed the price on slow-movers by 30% but that hit our profits. It was a nightmare!”
Then Anushka and her team discovered Inventory Planner – and it changed everything.
A diamond in the rough
Inventory Planner is a top-rated 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 a merchant will sell.
Anushka says: “Thanks to Inventory Planner’s automatic replenishment tools and simple, detailed reports, we’ve managed to quickly achieve a 92% in-stock rate.
“We’ve also dramatically improved the age of our inventory sitting in Amazon’s warehouses because Inventory Planner tells us how much is in stock in every location, so we only send items that are needed, when they are needed.
“These Inventory Planner features have contributed significantly to our 120% year-on-year growth in revenue.”
Inventory Planner offers more than 200 customizable metrics so merchants can access granular-level insights for SKU-specific forecasting as well as by vendor, warehouse, and product category.
The app 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.
This has helped MAX + STONE make faster, data-driven decisions which support healthy cash flow and maximize profit.
Anushka says: “We already have more than 2,000 SKUs and we’re launching 1,000 more in the coming weeks. We’ve been really impressed by how Inventory Planner handles such large volumes of data and provides us with complete visibility across the whole range, in one handy place. It’s made a huge difference.
“It copes really well with seasonal demand, which we’d often get wrong before. For instance, we sell birthstone jewelry which is popular during a specific month, and for occasions like Mother’s Day, but then sales drop.
“When we were forecasting using spreadsheets, we’d quite often increase inventory by 40% across all SKUs with a specific birthstone. However, demand wouldn’t increase evenly across all variants. Some would be in higher demand and others less so.
“Variant-specific forecasting was desperately needed and Inventory Planner does it brilliantly.”
Going for gold
In the current economic climate, with operational costs rising and consumer demand unpredictable, cash flow is especially important. It allows merchants to pay bills, invest in growth and look to the future.
Tying up cash in inventory that then doesn’t sell (or has to be discounted to sell) has a major impact on cash flow for most businesses. But for a fine jewelry merchant like MAX + STONE, with high value stock, it’s especially risky.
Anushka adds: “We have lots of cash tied up in inventory because of the nature of our business. That means cash flow problems are a constant risk and it’s especially important that our demand forecasting is accurate.
“Inventory Planner has given us that, and helped us dramatically reduce the age of our inventory.
“Previously, we had items that had been with Amazon for 365 days or more. Now, Inventory Planner shows us how long stock has been in each warehouse, so we can see when we don’t need to send more stock and spend more money.
“Our maximum stock age is now 180 days and we’re working towards 90 days, with Inventory Planner’s help.
“Because we can easily compare warehouses, we’re able to respond almost in real-time to trends on Amazon and adjust the inventory we send accordingly. It means instead of sending tens of thousands of items to Amazon each month, we’re sending 2,000 a week – but they are the right items, that are being sold quickly.”
A sparkling future
Inventory Planner’s supplier management and automatic PO functionality has also proved to be a huge time saver for MAX + STONE.
Anushka says: “We work with 16 factories and have five or six open POs at any one time. Checking up on progress via email with each supplier was previously very time consuming, so the vendor management in Inventory Planner is extremely helpful and makes all supplier comms smoother and simpler.”
“Inventory Planner provides us with complete visibility across our whole range, in one handy place. It’s made a huge difference.” – Anushka Jain, E-Commerce Manager
After selling on Amazon in the US for five years and becoming one of the marketplace’s top 1,000 brands, MAX + STONE has recently expanded to sell on Walmart and Amazon Canada and will soon expand into Amazon markets in Japan, UAE and the EU.
There are also plans in place to grow the B2B side of the business and to launch an exclusive, high-end collection to be sold direct to consumers via a dedicated webstore.
Anushka adds: “Inventory Planner will play a pivotal role in our growth going forwards and will be especially useful for predicting demand as we enter new markets in new regions.”
Want a taste of MAX + STONE’s success? Book a tailored Inventory Planner demo now.
MAX + STONEhttps://www.maxcolorllc.com/
YoY revenue growth
In-stock rate and climbing
Accurately forecasted for