Telecommunications supplier gains electrifying clarity with Inventory Planner
TrueCABLE saves a “tremendous amount” of time after switching spreadsheets for Inventory Planner.
“We’re a business now generating over $20M in revenue – at that size you can’t spend your time just hoping and praying that what you’ve bought is going to sell. You need to make educated decisions based on accurate data – and Inventory Planner gives you that data.”
– John Ibbetson, VP Sales and Business Development at trueCABLE
Missouri-based e-commerce brand trueCABLE is a multichannel seller of low voltage supplies, from precision tools and accessories through to its high-quality Ethernet and Coaxial cables. Launched on Amazon back in 2015, trueCABLE was built on an idea to shake up an outdated industry by delivering the most reliable supplies directly to consumer’s homes.
Now selling via its own Shopify-powered website and following a hectic yet lucrative stage of pandemic-fueled growth, the merchant has honed a smartly curated tech stack – which includes Inventory Planner by Sage to create a streamlined, highly profitable inventory planning model.
PLUGGING IN TO POTENTIAL
trueCABLE achieved impressive growth during the pandemic despite its clear challenges – but the continuing economic turbulence of the years following saw much of the e-commerce and retail industry facing ongoing supply chain issues such as shortages and unpredictable lead times.
In a bid to regain control and get more clarity, the brand ramped up their use of Inventory Planner, which they’d onboarded in 2018.
“In the past, we’ve had to know exactly how much to purchase to align with both our business and customer needs,” says John Ibbetson, VP Sales and Business Development at trueCABLE.
“We had Inventory Planner for that, but we weren’t using it to its fullest potential. Now it’s really come into its own and as the economic climate is so volatile, we couldn’t do without it.”
The team hired a consultant with a deep understanding of Inventory Planner to demonstrate its forecasting, reporting and purchasing potential, and the impact to efficiency was huge.
“It’s an incredibly robust tool,” says John. “We’ve seen lead times go from 45 days to 120 days just like that – so the challenge for us now is using Inventory Planner data to stay on top of things as they quickly change.”
LETTING DATA LEAD
Knowing exactly what’s in your inventory, such as which products will sell out first and which slow-moving items are trapping cash, is the golden ticket to improved cash flow; cash flow being the lifeblood of retail businesses, especially during times of economic uncertainty.
For trueCABLE, Inventory Planner’s refined demand forecasting offers the brand accurate, reliable sales predictions based on historical sales data, while importantly factoring in variables such as market shifts, microtrends and ever-shifting lead times.
“We’re a business now generating over $20M in revenue – you can’t just spend your time hoping and praying what you’ve bought is going to sell,” says John.
“You need to make educated decisions based on accurate data. Inventory Planner gives us that accuracy.”
Many merchants use spreadsheets to monitor inventory levels and calculate incoming demand – but as business grows, the system can become compromised as data quickly ages, gets lost, and errors are made in cross-referencing.
John says eliminating ‘Excel hell’ from trueCABLE’s former inventory planning process has supercharged productivity for the team.
“Spreadsheets are long gone – as are the hour-long chats we’d have guessing which of our products we should purchase next,” John explains. “Instead, we’re spending our time getting familiar with all of Inventory Planner’s data points.
“We have utmost faith in our replenishment reports, so can put our cash towards A movers as Inventory Planner advises and put our minds at ease.”
Alongside data-led purchasing advice, Inventory Planner’s clear and digestible insights and 200+ reporting metrics allows merchants to use a range of granular KPIs – such as variant, size, color or potential revenue gain or loss – to make well-informed business decisions that drive revenue.
Making the most of this function, Zach Foster, Procurement & Supply Chain Coordinator at trueCABLE, is in Inventory Planner every day.
“We just continue to dial in on A, B and C movers – what’s making strides, what’s falling in sales – and identify what inventory needs to move,” he says.
“It allows us to ask: do we need small Ethernet connectors in different colours, piece packs and other variants? Can we cut back, maybe eliminate a color?
“The non-replenishment tag in Inventory Planner is super helpful in that, and we can make educated decisions rather than guess.”
With manual calculations significantly reduced for trueCABLE, the copious time saved is also proving advantageous. John believes this is only amplified by their carefully chosen, integrated tech stack, which covers four Sage platforms including Inventory Planner.
“Time is money and we get a tremendous amount of time back every single day thanks to our technology. Order entry would require a much larger team people if done manually – and the amount of time Zach would spend on spreadsheets, he simply wouldn’t be able to do it.
“Inventory Planner has been a phenomenal time saver, and integrating it alongside the rest of our operational processes has completely transformed how we function as a business.”
POWERING TOWARDS PROFITS
With a winning tech stack and the means to significantly boost cash flow with its intuitive inventory planning model, trueCABLE is well positioned to keep powering towards its bigger goals.
“The goal for next year is to keep optimizing the technology on our path to growth,” says John.
“Now that we bring in lots of data from all parts of the business, we can make future-proofing decisions – and we’re really proud of the tech stack that we’ve built.
“The instability is still hitting us hard, but we have the means to manage credit, stay competitive and increase profitability, so we have a great head start on what’s still to come.”
To see how Inventory Planner’s forecasting method, purchasing recommendations and in-depth insights can transform your business, book a demo today.