It’s rare for anyone to say they “love” their inventory management system, but Jennifer Xidias, accounting inventory specialist and administrator for fashion company Peta + Jain, does.
“I love Cin7,” she says.
Peta + Jain are an ethical (and certified vegan) fashion company. Specializing in handbags, wallets, travel bags, belts, and jewellery, the Australia-based brand bills itself as “affordable luxury”.
Named after founders Jain Da Silva and Peta Wessell, Peta + Jain was a near-instant success, becoming one of Australia’s most popular handbag brands in under two years. After starting operations in their home workspace, Instagram and social media-fuelled growth saw them move to a new warehouse and office space in south Sydney.
Only three years later, Peta + Jain are one of the fastest-growing fashion brands in Australia, and they’re now expanding rapidly into the lucrative North American market.
But this rapid growth and international success brought new challenges. Opening up channels in new countries to online and bricks-and-mortar retailers, as well as running their own direct-to-consumer website — all while operating their own warehouse and fulfilment systems — brought Peta + Jain’s inventory processes near to breaking point. Their old system, a mix of MYOB and spreadsheets, “just didn’t cut it for inventory management,” Jennifer says.
It was time to try something new.
For a while, Jennifer was able to manage Peta + Jain’s inventory requirements with their existing MYOB and spreadsheet-based system.
“When we had MYOB, it was a long process. For example, we would have to key in all our orders from Iconic and Shopify, then download and upload spreadsheets into Australia Post, just to print shipping labels and other assets,” Jennifer says.
It took her and the team many hours of manual labor each week. But as the business grew, the system became more and more unsustainable. Errors became more frequent. Jennifer had a decision to make: either hire more employees to work with the existing system, or try a fresh approach.
While she did consider other ERP solutions, Jennifer knew that the cost of implementing a large system would be prohibitive and the process would be long, which is when she came across Cin7.
“Prior to that, I’d never really heard of the Cin7 system,” Jennifer says. “I looked at the functionality and noticed there’s a lot more growth and flexibility in this than there is in a high-end ERP.”
From her research, she decided to try a demo, and was immediately sold on it.
Peta + Jain went live with their Cin7 implementation on January 1, 2020. Using Cin7’s Xero integration, they took care of accounting first, moving balances across from MYOB, and doing a stocktake. Then they spent a month moving slowly to make sure things were working, while simultaneously training the staff on the new system. A month later, they turned on the Shopify integration.
Then, in March, the world turned upside down.
“When the pandemic started, we had one bad month, which was April. But straight after that we were absolutely flat out as the world embraced online shopping,” Jennifer says.
“As soon as we came back from Covid, we implemented Starshipit and turned on the Iconic Marketplace integration. I’m now looking to implement barcode scanners, so we can do stocktakes easily,” she says.
“With Cin7, all our orders come in automatically. We just download and print the picking list. With Starshipit integrated, it automatically creates the consignments and prints shipping labels, which has saved hours.”
Another positive from moving to Cin7 is that company management now has access to high-quality analytics and reporting, allowing them to instantly place inventory in any of the company’s multiple channels.
“It gives us a good indication of what aged stock we have. Plus, the chart graphics are great because you can see all your sales throughout different countries. We can see what is growing and where,” Jennifer says.
With a number of integrations now up and running seamlessly (and more planned), Jennifer says that Cin7 is now saving Peta + Jain several hours every day.
“It definitely saves time. It’s all live, it’s real time. Everything’s there to reconcile [in Xero] easily,” Jennifer says.
With future marketplace expansions and continued global growth, Jennifer says that without Cin7, the company would need one to two extra full-time employees, at minimum. Jennifer says that this was the key factor when she calculated how much money Cin7 has saved the company. She also added that when the cost of implementing traditional ERP software is taken into account, the saving is even more apparent.
“Cin7’s very well priced in the market. Other ERP systems are far more expensive, and the implementation is also more expensive. With Cin7, the onboarding costs are really low too, which is a big benefit.”
Jennifer says all these benefits combined add up to an unhesitating recommendation for other mid-market companies in the online B2B and B2C space to go with Cin7.
“I would recommend Cin7 to anyone. The flexibility of it, and the ease of integration will benefit anyone who’s in online selling, or B2B.”