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 batch—for example, they may be a slightly different shade or size—so 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.”