Case Studies

Four brands using Inventory Planner to save EIGHT working days every month 

The best e-commerce retailers across the globe are joining Inventory Planner by Sage in their droves – and we’re not surprised. With the ability to delve deep into inventory, use granular insights to make super-informed purchasing decisions and receive accurate, data-led sales forecasting, Inventory Planner not only boosts profitability and growth, but saves brands hundreds of hours a month on what were once clunky, manual tasks.

Here are just four examples of phenomenal e-commerce brands saving time and energy – a cumulative average of EIGHT working days each month – with Inventory Planner.

AYBL – Saving 100 hours a month

Online athleisure brand AYBL is a multimillion dollar e-commerce outfit, able to grow and evolve without blockers – in part due to Inventory Planner.

Founder and CEO Reiss Edgerton started selling women’s gym gear, such as leggings, shorts and sports bras, shortly after graduating university in 2018. With five million likes on TikTok, 700k Instagram followers, and customers in over 160 countries including the US, UK and Germany, AYBL’s popularity has skyrocketed – leading the brand to bring in around $30M a year.

After seeing the transformative benefits of Inventory Planner in a previous business endeavour, Reiss started using the top-rated inventory planning tool right from the launch of AYBL.

As well as accurate forecasting and purchasing recommendations, Inventory Planner offers detailed insights across numerous KPIs – including variant, vendor, warehouse and product category – so AYBL can glean the data they need to inform business critical decisions. This includes which designs to create next, which slow-moving items to discontinue or include in promotional events, and which hot-sellers to restock more frequently.

“With Inventory Planner, you can become an instant expert in replenishment – able to do the job as well, if not better, as someone with 15 years experience and in a fraction of the time,” says Reiss.

“It easily saves us around 100 hours a month. It takes care of so much that I can be quite hands off with merchandising and purchasing. That’s key for me – I don’t want to be getting bogged down by managing day-to-day stuff, I want to be free to focus on the bigger picture.”

Reiss also fully believes that any progressive online retailer should upgrade from a spreadsheet-based foundation to a smarter, more integrated system in order to keep up with the ever-changing e-commerce world.

“Using spreadsheets in 2023 is like still using dial-up internet when the rest of the world has fibre optic broadband,” Reiss explains. 

“If you’re a fast-growing business with multiple data sources and multiple websites, it’s just not feasible.

“To forecast in a spreadsheet, you need to have a really advanced, deep understanding of all the functions and be an expert at manipulating and importing data.

“Or you can just use a plug and play app like Inventory Planner and be set up within 30 minutes, with all the merchandising functionality you could need at your fingertips.”

Knifewear – Saving 64 hours a month

Canada-based retailer Knifewear specializes in high quality Japanese kitchen knives, renowned within its industry by professional chefs and beyond.

With five bricks-and-mortar stores and a booming Shopify Plus website, it was struggling to spread stock across all channels in line with demand. Brand Communication Lead, Nathan Gareau, said selling items they didn’t have stock of led to customer disappointment and brand damage.

“We’d quite often oversell items. So we’d sell a bespoke $2,000 knife to someone, but then have to let them know that we didn’t actually have it in stock. It would ruin their day, and ours too.

“Working out how much to buy was really clunky. Then we joined Inventory Planner and everything changed for the better – we haven’t had to ruin anyone’s day in ages.”

Inventory Planner swiftly connected to the brand’s Shopify Plus account (it’s one of the highest-rated planning apps on Shopify), so Knifewear now receives up-to-date inventory insights across all channels. Its sales forecasting is so accurate as it factors in supplier timescales, seasonality and promotions alongside historical sales data, which it then offers to Knifewear as automatic buying recommendations.

Additionally, the brand hosts online ‘Garage Sales’ to sell unique items, which were historically stressful to prepare for. Inventory Planner has proved invaluable at helping the team organize the right stock for these events, and ensures orders are processed efficiently.

“Our boss thought we weren’t hustling enough because the whole team was so calm, when actually it was our most successful event to date! That’s the power of Inventory Planner,” says Nathan.

With access to in-depth inventory information at their fingertips, and the ability to create accurate, data-fueled purchase orders, no matter how complex the requirements; Knifewear has eradicated overselling and saved an incredible 64 hours a month. 

Inside U – Saving 80 hours a month

The $3M wellness and personal care brand, Inside U has been going from strength to strength since its launch in 2009. With a focus on supplements and skincare, the retailer sells products around the world via its Shopify webstore and three retail locations in Canada, where the brand is based.

Despite a tricky few years for e-commerce and a team of just seven people, Inside U has maintained around a 30% YoY growth rate, and credits its cutting-edge tech stack for the growth goals reached.

Inside U’s founder and COO, Steve Velthove, says implementing Inventory Planner meant they no longer forgot to make purchase orders in time, and that the time saved in creating them really adds up – to around 20 hours a week, in fact.

“I love that it pops up with intuitive notifications that prevent us from making mistakes,” he explains. “For instance, if we try to order an item that’s out of stock in one warehouse, but in stock in another warehouse, a box will pop up to say ‘hey, did you know you already have ‘x’ number of these in ‘x’ location?’”

“As someone who spends 60% of their time on purchasing, I love that I can hover over each location in our Inventory Planner dashboard to see sales and key data. Plus, it’s easy to combine warehouses and create POs directly from the app. That saves time, too.”

The inventory planning app also syncs seamlessly with other apps in Inside U’s tech stack, Xero and Shopify, meaning data sharing and reporting is a swift, stress-free experience. At this point, Steve couldn’t comprehend using anything else for Inside U’s inventory planning processes.

“When we switched to Inventory Planner, I could finally start to grow the business rather than spending all my time micromanaging and fire-fighting,” he says.

Culk – Saving 16 hours a month

Urban-inspired, custom apparel brand, Culk, has been going strong since 2010, when Founder Sam Culkins started designing and printing t-shirts in his garage in San Francisco. In the years since, the brand has expanded exponentially with the help of his friend and COO, Brian Lance, and their carefully curated tech stack of e-commerce tools such as Shopify, ShipHero, Klaviyo and Inventory Planner by Sage.

Before using best-in-class tech to evolve their processes, Sam admits their inventory planning needed work – formerly based on a clunky spreadsheet system weaved with manual calculations that sunk hours of time and energy.

“I spent a lot of time tinkering in the spreadsheet to keep streamlining – but it was a very time-intensive workflow,” he explains.

When the team discovered Inventory Planner, they found it seamlessly eliminated the bottleneck of data that had accumulated due to increased orders. The ability to tag products was also a game-changer when it came to creating purchase orders.

“With the tagging function, it allows us to group items via the sales data and use it to hit a minimum order requirement. This is just one of the ways that Inventory Planner fit with what we already did, yet improved it.”

These features, alongside access to Inventory Planner’s in-depth insights and the ability to create data-fueled purchase orders in quick time means Culk has saved an estimated 16 hours a month formerly spent on manual spreadsheet work.

Not only is this a major productivity booster, but Sam says the mental weight lifted from the team is worth the investment.

“I’ve gotten better at decision making and workflow in parallel to how I use Inventory Planner. The physical labor is less, the cognitive load is way less and so much time is saved. I have the mental space to direct elsewhere.”

To see for yourself how Inventory Planner by Sage can transform your inventory planning processes and potentially save you hundreds of hours a month, get in touch with us today.