Case Study – AHC
Finding an Inventory and POS Soulmate
AHC 1970 was founded in León, Guanajuato, Mexico. It started off manufacturing shoes, but later sold these directly through its affiliate channels, comprising over 10,000 affiliate partners across Mexico. It also operates a small production line, several factories and a successful retail franchise that continues to grow.
The more AHC 1970 grew, the more complicated its business became. Selling shoes to multiple sales channels with Point of Sale systems that were prone to failure, was a real issue for Alvaro Madrigal, Co-Founder and Operations Manager at AHC1970. Alvaro needed a Point-of-Sale system that staff could rely on. Stumbling across Cin7, he found the system did much more than just POS. Cin7 became a core tool, the entire business now uses to manage its inventory, sell and fulfil the numerous channels it operates in. As an avid user of Cin7, Alvaro now wants to go further than just using Cin7. He’d like to help spread the word throughout Mexico and help link Cin7 with the local tax authority for better processing.
Managing numerous sales channels
AHC 1970 operate a complex business model that spans across manufacturing, wholesale and retail. This means it sells to a vast range of channels through its online stores, physical stores and through its affiliate program, compromising of over 10,000 partners. “These affiliates can sell shoes anywhere from 1 to 1000 pairs and they’re very successful,” says Alvaro. With the growing number of distribution and sales channels emerging, AHC 1970 found it hard to consolidate and manage all its inventory using its current system Shopify. Without consistent data across all its channels, AHC 1970 suffered from overproduction in unit styles, stock shortages or incorrectly ordered items. “This all costs money for a business to manage,” Alvaro says.
Finding something that fits
In 2014, AHC 1970 made the business decision to migrate to Shopify for its eCommerce website. This posed even more complexities, as it needed a POS system that could consolidate inventory and integrate directly with Shopify. After extensive research online, Alvaro discovered Cin7. “I was looking for a POS system, not an Inventory Management System. But once I started to evaluate my other options, I saw that Cin7 could not only fix my POS issues, but also our inventory requirements. Because it was web-based and it was a specialized inventory and POS system, I realized I could solve two problems in one shot,” Alvaro says.
“Not a lot of POS systems have the ability to stay offline and still be able to process sales,” Alvaro says. That ability to keep transacting was really important to Alvaro and the businesses ability to keep making sales without needing an internet connection. The proposition of being able to sell and manage all AHC1970’s inventory with a single tool was a unique proposition and something Alvaro “didn’t believe anything out there could do”.
Streamlining all operational processes
Having vast experience in ERP implementations, Alvaro was no rookie when it came to these types of projects. “It usually takes about a year with an ERP implementation. With Cin7, it took us just 2 weeks and we were transacting. Everything was up and running to a point where we could begin to use the system and resolve any internal process issues we had,” Alvaro says.
Cin7 has helped streamline AHC 1970’s entire operations. Because all its distribution channels are now operating from one system, it’s meant all the stores and distribution centres are all “speaking the same language,” says Alvaro. That’s given it the ability to better manage its stock and made performing key functions, like transferring stock between stores easy. That visibility and accuracy of knowing where all its stock is, has saved staff countless hours of time. “We used to have three people managing our inventory, warehouses and systems. With Cin7, we only need one person to manage and control all our inventory, across all our channels. It’s saved a lot of staff time,” says Alvaro.
“It’s hard to put a number on it, but I’d say we’ve already gained the return on investment with Cin7. We haven’t had any POS issues. Our previous systems would always break down during our busy days. We needed a reliable system we could count on, that didn’t need us to go and install drivers or using special browsers,” says Alvaro. Cin7 has been rolled out throughout all of AHC 1970’s stores and has proven to be a great system the team can use. Affiliates are now ordering directly through the wholesale B2B ordering system which has given AHC 1970 functionality they simply couldn’t get using another system.