For businesses, making the jump from small to medium-sized is an exciting milestone! For Advance Global, evolving into a larger business meant a significant opportunity, but the company needed reliable software in place in order to take advantage of the growth.
Advance Global found the right technology in Cin7, who recommended SMB Consultants as a preferred implementation partner.
With the help of both Cin7 Core and SMB’s guidance and expertise, Advance Global completely streamlined their operations, removing several of the multi-stage, manual processes in the business and freeing up resources for other areas of the company.
Advance Global began as an exhaust-fitting business and has since expanded into a wholesale provider of safety and compliance products. The company provides Australia’s massive agricultural and mining industries with road signs and other safety solutions.
The company experienced significant growth in the past five years, in which the staff grew from a crew of three people to a team of 15. During that time, the growth put pressure on their operating systems.
“We’ve had quite a substantial amount of growth, and we’re looking at increasing that again by another 50% in the next three years,” says Advance Global’s Sherilyn Mansley, who looks after the system and finance side of the business.
At a crossroads
Advance Global’s team saw further growth coming and knew they needed to be ready for it — but their existing systems were getting in the way.
“We weren’t keeping up with the growth, and that was preventing us from growing as much as we could,” says Sherilyn.
“Plus, we didn’t have any forecasting tools, and we wanted to understand how things would look when we did grow our sales. What stock levels would we need? What were we wasting money on? That was a big thing for us — we seemed to have everything we didn’t need.”
At the time, Advance Global’s team was recovering from a bad implementation experience with a previous inventory provider. That resulted in them managing stock through their accounting software, Xero.
Advance Global knew that Xero alone wouldn’t be what they needed to manage their inventory – it’s simply not what the software was designed for. “We knew it was a bit of a band-aid over a broken arm,” Sherilyn says.
Eventually, Sherilyn decided to use Cin7 Core as the foundation of Advance Global’s new tech stack because it offered multi-channel sales features, the ability to handle a complex bill of materials, and a user-friendly interface.
She also knew that she wanted an implementation partner who could ensure that the system was optimized for future growth.
“We contacted Cin7, and they sent us some preferred partners; of the ones they sent, SMB Consultants looked like the best fit.”
The power of a connected tech stack
SMB Consultants worked closely with Advance Global each step of the way to get their new tech stack perfectly tuned to the brand’s needs.
“We wanted to have a proactive process in place, leaving us able to go back to the business and say, these are things that we talked about initially, have we completed them?” says Jeff Atizado, Founder and CEO of SMB Consultants.
After relying on a disconnected mixture of Xero and spreadsheets, things are now very different.
Ordering, receiving, and invoicing all go through Cin7 Core, and then orders flow through to Starshipit to be sent to customers, and Pinch Payments are used to manage overdue accounts. All the finances flow through to Xero, where they’re easily accessible for reporting and compliance.
“It’s removed the fog from our eyes — that technological things aren’t as hard as they seem,” Sherilyn says. “When you’re stuck in a system, you’ve got no potential to grow. Whereas now we know ‘Cin7 Core will do that,’ or ‘We can add this on Cin7 Core.’ It actually has helped a lot.”
“Xero is there working in the background,“ adds Jeff, “but the fact that you can have a front end like Cin7 Core is what gives Advance Global front-end functionality. Cin7 Core can be customized to manage this workflow from start to finish, but still integrate seamlessly into Xero and just be in the background.”
Earlier in their journey, Advance Global bought and sold finished products, but their new tech stack helped them manufacture some of their own items.
Here, too, Cin7 Core has made itself particularly useful. Its Bill of Materials functionality means that anything that comes in as a raw product and is manufactured into a finished product is properly accounted for.
Once assembled, Starshipit’s integration with Cin7 Core allows Advance Global to do freight quoting and other vital shipping tasks.
“We are using the system Jeff and SMB have implemented from start to finish.”
Advance Global, SMB Consultants, and Cin7 make a winning team
With their successful business relationship with SMB and Cin7 Core as part of their tech stack, Sherilyn and Advance Global are confident they have made the right choices for the future of their business.
“Before we’d engaged SMB, we didn’t know where to go or how to make certain things happen. SMB has become a support partner. If we want to build a website or move forward in any way, we know we can reach out and have those talks with SMB.”
Having seen the remarkable results from the Cin7 Core implementation, Jeff agrees. “It’s a credit to Sherilyn and her team,” he says, “for embracing change and going on this journey with us so that we could identify these areas where integration and automation could streamline and save time and make data more up to date.”
The journey hasn’t been without its twists and turns, but Advance Global sees an open road ahead of them.
“We’ve got a lot more control over what stock we do and don’t have. We’ve reduced the amount of stock that we’re running out of and we’ve reduced the time spent on manual processes,” Sherilyn says.“Before, if we ran out of something, they’d have to write out and order it and then it’d go to our purchasing department, and now it’s an automatic process.”
By transitioning operations from manual to automatic, Advance Global was able to take advantage of the growth opportunities in front of them and remain profitable. With the previous setup, sales growth would have meant hiring more individuals to keep the system running.
Now Sherilyn says, “Even if we doubled our sales, we still wouldn’t need to put anyone else on because the process is so simple.”,
Management and staff alike are enjoying the much smoother ride. “Cin7 Core has taken out a lot of the manual processes that were involved in our business,” Sherilyn says.
Working with SMB and Cin7 has also helped Advance Global reimagine what future growth looks like. Sherilyn is particularly looking forward to implementing forecasting tools, “That’s going to be a huge saving as well because at the moment we are carrying a lot of stock, but we don’t know what we’re carrying too much of.”
Using real-time inventory levels and having the ability to look back at sales trends will help Advance Global take a more data-driven approach to managing their stock and optimizing costs.
Finding the right tech stack and implementation partner has also created new growth opportunities. Sherilyn explains:
“It’s opened up a lot of channels that we would’ve never gone into. We’re now thinking about things like eBay and Amazon, things that we never thought of before because we simply didn’t have the resources because everything was done manually.”
Compared to her first disappointing implementation experience, working with Cin7 and SMB has been rewarding for Sherilyn and her business. Not only has the partnership enabled seamless sales and inventory management, but it’s also changed the way Advance Global looks at opportunities.
“We thought putting a new inventory system would be huge, but it was a lot simpler than we thought. So, I suppose it’s given us more confidence going forward in other projects we look at implementing in our business. We have a bit of a, we can do it attitude now.”
If your business is ready for the next level, explore Cin7 Core today.