Husband and wife co-directors Brenda and Ian Foster have been running their UK retail wall and flooring business Tilemaze since 1988.

They had tried software products Sage, Vend, Talgara (Retail express), Unleashed and Retail Man. However, with two retail outlets based in English towns Shrewsbury and Telford, and most stock stored in the Shrewsbury warehouse, the Fosters needed a system with both point of sale and inventory features. “There only seemed to be one that did [that],” says Brenda.

Batch-tracking means “less wastage”

So they switched to Cin7 and since then: “We have got better control of the stock; so we have got the right goods in stock at the right time.”

Cin7’s Batch-tracking feature is essential to the Fosters’ trade because they buy tiles in pallets, identified by a unique batch number. The same type of tile can vary from batch to batchfor example, they may be a slightly different shade or sizeso it’s important tiles sold to a customer are from the same batch. Cin7 makes this easier for Brenda because she can see whether the two outlets have a certain batch in stock and can order more of any batch from the factory. The result? “Less wastage for us.”

Accurate landed costs

Tilemaze separates out shipping payments from payments for stock itself. Sage only enabled staff to assign transport payments based on tiles’ value. Whereas with Cin7, Brenda can assign these by weight, value or volume. This means more accurate tracking of the cost of goods sold. For example, decorative tiles cost more to buy, but weigh less and are cheaper to ship. “It gives us more accurate landed costs.”

Saving work and time

Cin7 also saves the time it takes to do purchase orders. Brenda has to do up to 15 of these a day. This was slow and arduous with other systems as each Purchase Order had to be printed off and faxed, whereas now they just have to press the email button.

Cin7’s ability to convert between Pounds and Euros was also crucial, as Tilemaze imports stock from Spain and Italy.

Brenda says: “Cin7 has helped Tilemaze keep control of stock more efficiently, serve its customers better, keep the staff enthusiastic as it is so easy to use and the Xero integration keeps the accountant happy.”


Steve Anderson and Barclay Saul wanted to start a company with a conscience. After working on projects to reshore manufacturing jobs in the U.S., the D.C.-based partners hoped to apply their supply chain and marketing experience to a business that did good in the world.

They learned of a wool-crafting factory in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, that made slippers and other products and that was a significant job creator in a country where 40% of GDP comes from remittances.

“People will leave to find work in Moscow doing menial labor and send home their money,” Steven says. “Not to paint it as this destitute place, but there is a lack of opportunity there.”

The work that is available—shepherding is a major occupation—is dominated by men, making it especially difficult for young women to find employment.

A Matching Pair

Steven and Barclay were intrigued by the factory’s reputation for providing women with decent jobs in a craft that has deep roots in Kyrgyzstan.

“It’s a culture where they would graze their sheep and move on, living in yurts, which were made of wool felt,” Steven says. “The clothes they wear and the homes they lived in are made of wool, and felt is part of their heritage and that was pretty neat to us.”

The factory, which once sold its slippers through a casual US distributor, was eager to find a new American business partner. Steven and Barclay liked what they saw and launched Kyrgies with a Shopify channel and a little space set aside in a garage, the classic American origin story.

Kyrgies took off. It soon shifted warehousing to a storage unit and began to sell through a second channel, Etsy. Steven and Barclay started to look into adding wholesale channels to the mix. The factory, meanwhile, hired an additional 40 people to handle Kyrgies orders.

“We were doing everything we set out to do when we founded Krygies,” Steven says. “We were a company with a social conscience and we were growing our sales channels.”

SKU and Inventory Problems Emerge

Steven and Barclay used Shopify’s built-in inventory features at first, but as they began to branch out and add variation to their products, they saw how difficult it would be to manage business in the long term.

“We wanted to offer a lot of different colors and as many different styles as we could get to give our customers plenty of options,” Steven says. “We didn’t realize the headache that that was going to cause us to keep it all organized.”

Managing multiple SKUs took time and effort, and because Shopify didn’t integrate well with their accounting software, there were persistent discrepancies between Kyrgies inventory and balance sheets.

These problems were amplified as Kyrgies started to sell on Etsy. Without a centralized inventory management system, they couldn’t rely on Shopify to accurately track stock levels. For example, if they had three pairs of slippers in storage and they wanted to move two pairs to sell on Etsy, Shopify would tell them they had only one pair in storage.

“We were basically keeping two inventories, and that was not ideal,” Steven says. “If we were to continue to branch out to wholesale or to Amazon, that was obviously not the way to be doing business so that we can grow and scale. It would just be creating a lot more work for us.”

How Cin7 Helps

Kyrgies started using Cin7 in 2019. Now, Steven and Barclay can manage many SKUs, inventory and sales for Shopify, Etsy and a steadily growing base of retail customers, all with one solution.

“It’s a unified solution to a complex problem,” Steven says. “It ties in all our channels in one place and it’s pretty user-friendly, once you know how to use it.”

Cin7 eliminates the need to manage separate stock for every B2C and B2B channel they sell through today. It integrates seamlessly with Xero, keeping inventory synced with their accounts. It also integrates with ShipStation, for streamlined order fulfillment. Finally, it’s a solution that sets the stage for Steven and Barclay’s growth plans:

“We want to expand aggressively to more retailers,” Steven says. “I want to keep growing to turn this into something where we’re financially secure but we’re still fulfilling on our social-impact promise.”

New Farm Confectionery

“It was me making marshmallows and a few other products and selling at the local markets,” Jodie laughs.

“I thought I would earn enough money to buy a few pairs of shoes, and that would be it.”

Today, Jodie can probably manage more than a few new pairs of shoes. New Farm Confectionery now has over 150 products and, in addition to having their own brick-and-mortar flagship store, they send their product all over Australia, both direct-to-consumer (D2C) and to over 100 wholesale customers (B2B).

But growth and success have come at a cost. Keeping up with their own production processes became incredibly difficult, and logistics got much more challenging. Because New Farm Confectionery handcraft their products, the business must stay across costs, keeping careful track of not only finished products and shipments, but also watch how many raw ingredients they require. Constant demand — even during the lockdowns imposed by Covid-19 — means the business is always pushing to produce enough product.

Before Cin7, all this was nearly impossible to deal with. And Jodie didn’t know how to fix it.

“I couldn’t have told you at the time that we were looking for an inventory management system. I just knew that I couldn’t tell you how much a bag of peanut brittle cost me to make. I had no idea whatsoever.”

Now that Cin7 is implemented as their inventory management system, Jodie and the team can easily keep track of costs, run production jobs, and control minimum stock levels, as well as track B2B orders from wholesalers and retailers, and orders from D2C ecommerce customers on their Shopify-powered website.

“Cin7 just helps me manage my inventory incredibly well, from base manufacturing all the way to being able to to sell my products. Without it, I literally would have no idea what sort of stock I’ve got.”

From a production point of view, Jodie says that very few solutions  are able to offer the level of inventory management that Cin7 is capable of, at Cin7’s price.

“Now, I can tell you exactly how much a bag of peanut brittle costs,” Jodie says. “I think Cin7 is doing absolutely everything that I need it to do. I love the fact that it integrates with my ecommerce, and I love the fact that it’s great with my bookkeeping system. The main thing is it’s great. I’m happy with Cin7.”

New Farm Confectionery Factsheet: 

New Farm Confectionery are a manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of delicious, handmade confectionery and chocolate products

Employees: 15 – 35

Revenue: $1m – $5m AUD per year

Sales order volume: 5000+ items/SKUs sold per month

New Farm Confectionery uses Cin7: 

  • For more efficiency in inventory operations
  • To integrate and streamline operations
  • For more accurate inventory management

Cin7 helps with the following areas of the business: 

  • Demand forecasting / purchasing
  • Manufacturing
  • Warehousing
  • Channels to market
  • Consumer / customer relations

Accounting integration: Xero

Ecommerce integration: Shopify

Payment provider integration: Tyro

Sales & Marketing integration: Drip

Are you ready for your business to increase efficiency and sell more?

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