Before IA was launched, what stock challenges did EGLO experience?
We struggled to understand the health of our inventory. We keep track of it with our weekly stock tracker, where we also monitor sales to make sure we maintain a certain amount of stock each week.
IA puts this information into a visual format – the graphs it displays have been really helpful because when I’ve got meetings to discuss our products, I can pull the data up on IA and demonstrate that we’ve got huge amounts of overstock. We can then review this and plan what we do with this overstock. We can also look at our bestsellers and measure them against our customers and the retailers we work with to sell these products. IA provides an easier-to-read overview than what I previously put on a spreadsheet.
What do you find most useful about IA?
The reporting element is what I use most on IA, which is very easy to navigate. I do a monthly operations report to the wider business; stuff that goes on outside of Zendbox – carriers that we use, for example. I use the bottom section of IA, from which I pull out the bestsellers – the good, the bad, and the uglies. It enables us to understand where we are with stock inbound, how the order bank is looking, how many orders we’ve shipped in the past month, and how it compares to the previous month, among other things.
We started off slower than anticipated in 2022 due to lots of socio-economic factors like energy price rises and the ongoing issues in Europe, but we’re going upwards, which is great.
How does IA support better stock management?
IA helps us understand what we really need to order. We go through the sheet that we keep internally to work out where the gaps are, and if we need to order based on X number of orders made over a certain week. Then we sense check it through the IA dashboard to make sure that we’re not pulling too much stock in.
During periods like Easter, for example, we have a lot of stock because there will be many promotions going live in that timeframe – both from EGLO’s end and that of the retailers we work with to sell our products.
What do you think of the technical support for IA?
The support from Zendbox on IA has been very useful. It was Zendbox CEO, James Khoury, that we spoke to initially about having something that shows us important statistics in a snapshot, and IA was pretty much what we were looking for. Zendbox responds to our feedback for these kinds of innovations. We appreciate that we’ve had communications from the team asking what we think of the software. Zendbox Product Manager, Alex Borg, and I have run through IA extensively and it’s been a very positive experience.
How else has IA impacted your business, if at all?
In its infancy, IA has helped us make sure we’re on track with stock replenishments. We have regular review meetings to go through the stock with our team, who have customers that place orders to be fulfilled by Zendbox. I want them to understand what I can see with regard to whether we’ve got a healthy inventory or too much overstock, and what we need to do to change that. This can also help with promotional activities around the slow movers in order to clear them, for instance.
The initial product range that we had with Zendbox was – rather frustratingly – compiled by ranges we had with a very select group of customers. The problem with this is that this can change regularly. We’ll list the product and then when the range is changed, we’re stuck with X amount of stock on the warehouse shelf. We ran that risk originally and we found that there were a couple of items that just didn’t work, so we had to review regularly.
Lighting is very trend led, so an item that could be selling 50 times a week for months, if not years, can then be superseded by something else and that product then dies because trends have moved on. We have some products in our range that haven’t performed as well as we have hoped and in these instances, I have to assist the team to make sure everything moves efficiently. IA is going to be even more helpful in the future, but it’s currently helping us understand where the gaps are in our stock.
Why would you recommend IA?
The overview aspect of IA has helped me massively. I can take the information on this platform and share it with my management team so that they have a complete picture of how well EGLO is performing.
Are you hungry for more control and visibility over your stock? Zendbox can help your eCommerce business optimise your inventory processes, and grant you the ability to view, track, and manage your stock in real-time on Zendportal. Get started and find out why outsourcing your fulfilment operations to Zendbox could be the boon your online business needs.
Micah assists in developing and implementing innovative marketing campaigns that promote the products and services at Zendbox. She also produces articles, eBooks and other useful resources to help online retailers optimise their eCommerce operations and grow their business.