Megan Salmon organically transformed her art into a successful international fashion brand. Cin7 and Move2Cloud help make it run “like a dream.”
Megan Salmon was exhibiting her paintings and making a name for herself but still faced a problem common to many artists.
“I had a burgeoning art career, but it really didn’t pay the bills,” Megan says. “So I needed something on the side, and I was always interested in fashion, so I kind of organically morphed into being a fashion designer and I started very small.”
Launching a fashion brand, particularly before social media, required patience. From her home in Perth, she telephoned independent retailers around Australia, then attended trade shows in Sydney and personally visited hundreds of boutiques as far away as New Zealand.
Her original designs, persistence, and word-of-mouth marketing over the next decade established Megan Salmon as a brand for women more interested in the unusual and exciting than the label.
For years, Megan ran her business using spreadsheets. This made life unbearable every February and August, as she and her two staffers rushed to dispatch more than 7,000 units in time for the upcoming season.
“Fashion is relentless, and in my business, dispatch days are hell,” Megan says. “You have to get your products out as soon as possible because you have to give your customers as much time to sell in that season at full margin.”
Megan includes with every shipment, an unwieldy process when she came across an inevitable problem.
“It was a really clunky thing to go back and change the invoice in Excel, print it out again, then make sure the order was correct, and it would always be just a really stressful time,” Megan says.
“But now, with Cin7, if we have to make a change, we just reload the order, print it out again and it’s just a dream to change it,” Megan says. “We also email the invoice to the customer at the same time, put the paper in the box, and there’s no chasing things around anymore. It’s just all right there. It’s just brilliant.”
In fact, that was just one of the things that surprised Megan about Cin7 when she became a customer in early 2016.
Megan used MYOB for accounting and every month, her bookkeeper would find huge discrepancies between her spreadsheets and her accounts. Because “things were not talking to each other,” Megan would spend hours with the bookkeeper to reconcile her sales.
This drove Megan to consult with Patrick Verryn of Move2Cloud, a software integrator, and Cin7 partner. With decades of accounting and technology experience, Patrick recognized how both Xero and Cin7 would help Megan improve her business.
“I get a kick out of using technology in a smart way that makes people’s lives better,” Patrick says. “I like going getting to know their business and their particular needs and I like coming up with solutions that make their lives easier with technology.”
“I quite like working with creative people and Megan’s lighthearted and sees the humor in life and is not too serious. For me, it’s very much about the personal relationship and developing that trust so she knows I am doing the right thing for her business.”
Patrick has found the support and customer contact a key differentiator for Cin7, along with its extensive features.
“Cin7 is functionally richer than many applications and being an accountant I don’t know how someone would do that without having that knowledge that Cin7 gives to business,” he says.
Thanks to Cin7 cloud inventory management and Move2Cloud, Megan has discovered how much easier life is now that she has that control and visibility of her inventory and sales.
“It really helps to have that inventory connected because when you go to write up an invoice, and you try to sell something you don’t really have, it tells you,” she says. “And I like the way the dashboard tells you what your biggest seller is, and I’ve just never been aware of anything like that before, it’s just been anecdotal.”
Generally speaking, Cin7 has given Megan Salmon greater efficiency, control and visibility for everything from instantly finding credit notes and invoices to, at some point soon, processing online orders using Cin7’s B2B Ecommerce module.
“Any time you do anything in Cin7, it’s instant and it’s a dream,” Megan says. “For a company my size to have this level of technology on my side, it’s just brilliant.”