Looking Sharp: Fashion Reseller Saves £320K in Three Months With Inventory Planner
Battling the threat of stockouts when you have hundreds of SKUs is bad enough – but imaging battling it when you have 10,000s of SKUs.
That’s been the reality for multichannel footwear and clothing reseller, Sharp Attire – a successful multichannel reseller of clothing and footwear, especially Western lifestyle products such as cowboy boots, belts and leather goods.
After spending tens of hours every week trying (and failing) to get a handle on demand forecasting and reordering, the fast-growing company joined Inventory Planner – and hasn’t looked back.
As a top-rated inventory planning app on Shopify, Inventory Planner 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. Its accurate forecasting factors in supplier timescales, seasonality and promotions alongside historical sales data.
It then translates the forecasts into hassle-free buying recommendations.
“The time savings are incredible! Previously, I could spend 40 hours a week, all month long, working on ordering and replenishing. Now I can do it in two or three Mondays.” – Marco Valle, COO, Sharp Attire
Marco Valle, COO at Sharp Attire, says: “Inventory Planner has been a complete game changer for us. It’s saved us huge amounts of time, reduced our lost profits from stockouts and dramatically improved our balance of stock.
“Our business model is quite unusual. We buy from manufacturers and then we sell wholesale and through Amazon primarily. We have thousands of SKUs so previously managing and planning our inventory was hugely labor intensive and complicated.
“Now Inventory Planner does most of the heavy lifting for us and has streamlined our whole process. It accurately forecasts demand and shows us exactly what to order for each location.
“Previously, I could easily spend 40 hours a week just on ordering and replenishing. Now I only need to spend two or three Mondays. So we’ve gone from spending 22 days a month on replenishment to just three days – saving 19 days. The time savings are incredible!
“We’d literally need to hire 30 virtual assistants to do the replenishment job that Inventory Planner does for us, so there’s a massive cost saving too.”
Sharp cuts to stockouts
One of the biggest benefits has been the huge reduction in stockouts, even just in the first three months since implementation, that are achieved thanks to accurate forecasting.
As well as SKU-specific forecasting, Inventory Planner’s detailed insights across various KPIs – including variant, vendor, warehouse and product category – are based on 200+ metrics and are highly customizable, so Sharp Attire can access the data that matters most to their business, and use it to their advantage.
The app proactively flags up hot-selling variants and flags which are slow-moving, so brands can cash in on new trends and discontinue or earmark less popular items for discounting.
It clearly shows merchants the risk of delaying reorders by highlighting the forecast lost revenue.
Marco adds: “I love that it gives us the info we need at a glance so we can make critical decisions in seconds.
“We lost around $1.25 million of revenue last year, just on out of stock items. Our lost profit was around £500K.
“We knew something needed to change – and within just a few weeks of having Inventory Planner our stock outs dropped by 7%.
“In the same period this year, since having Inventory Planner, our lost profit has been £180k – so there’s been an almost overnight saving of £320K. We’re confident that can be brought down even further.
“That’s money that we can reinvest into growing the business and in more profitable stock.”
In a further boost to cash flow, Inventory Planner enabled Sharp Attire to dramatically improve its balance of stock, flagging up 5,000 skus as non-replenishable, so the merchants can stop tying up cash in potentially dead stock they won’t be able to shift.
Instead, the business only invests inventory it can rapidly sell and turn into profit. In the first quarter after joining Inventory Planner, the brand’s stock turn (how quickly a company sells and replaces its inventory within a given period of time) went from 1.24 to 1.77.
Marco says: “We need to be able to analyze lots of products very, very quickly, but I can’t manually analyze the data from 5,000 products. I can’t cycle through one product in 12 different metrics, in 12 different places.
“I need to see most of that information at a glance on one screen quickly to just say yes. And when replenishing I just go down a list selecting what we need. Inventory Planner makes that possible.
“It analyzes our data and flags the items that are to be discontinued or marked for non-replenishment. Then boom – in minutes we’ve identified 1,000 products that we no longer wish to replenish. We can also see all out-of-stock items that we can discontinue selling.
“It’s really powerful to be able to import and export large pieces of information and make sweeping changes to so many products so quickly.
“The forecasting in this software suite also helps us when we’re moving some of our existing inventory from our warehouse to Amazon. The fees for storing products with Amazon (FBA) are really high and our cost for warehousing products is nothing in comparison.
“Optimizing that is another way Inventory Planner saves us money.”
With Inventory Planner front and center in its tech stack, Sharp Attire can plan for the future with confidence and only invest in inventory it can sell.
“We’ve tested it and the data Inventory Planner throws up can be trusted 100%. Now we can easily and confidently stay on top of our replenishment.” – Marco Valle, COO, Sharp Attire
Marco adds: “We’re an ambitious business and we’re trying to grow as fast as we can. Inventory Planner’s insights and forecasting will continue to play an extremely significant role in that.”
Want to follow in Sharp Attire’s footsteps? Book a tailored Inventory Planner demo now.