Case Study | Crosby Tiles
(ceramic tile merchant, employing around 50 staff over three metropolitan locations)
CHALLENGE Crosby Tiles had a significant need for flexible unit-of-measure calculation within inventory management.
SOLUTION The only offering that had all the angles covered was Greentree
RESULTS Greentree’s Excel integration clinched the decision to migrate from the incumbent system, since existing investment in large linked spreadsheets could be leveraged. Management’s familiarity with Excel ensured they could hit the ground running to capture and analyse data quickly, to create more sophisticated reports than the previous system would allow.
“Inventory and Systems Management are the backbone of our operations,” says General Manager Andrew Williams. “As an importer with lead times of up to four months, we literally can’t afford to miss the boat.”
Crosby Tiles imports the majority of its inventory from exclusive manufacturers in Italy, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Brazil and various other parts of the world. Andrew is enthusiastic about Greentree’s Import Costing and Foreign Currency module which “fitted like hand-in-glove from an implementation perspective”.
“It has radically improved the operational efficiencies in our logistics department and provided more timely and accurate information to assist in management decision making,” he says.
Integration and a single data entry point combine to automate processes by reducing paperwork and improving accuracy.
Andrew explains the challenges of having a foot in both the interior design/fashion industry (from a product selection perspective) and the building/ construction industry (from a logistical perspective).
“Delivery can be as short as two weeks and it can take 6-18 months from the time tiles are chosen to when building commences,” says Andrew. “Anything can happen during this time and overstocking as a contingency plan to cover all eventualities isn’t strategically smart, and it’s also a waste of capital investment”.
Greentree’s flexible Inventory Management system integrates with the Colour Selection add-on to create Crosby Tiles’ competitive advantage.
Like any fashion item, colour can become unfashionable quickly, presenting a challenge for inventory management. Due to the time delay between product selection and delivery, sales data can be misleading. Andrew says sales are more of a lagging indicator of trends, and can only tell management what consumers chose 6-18 months ago.
The customised Colour Selection add-on is designed to capture data based on selection rather than sales. This enables management to better predict where consumer trends are heading (proactive) as opposed to examining historical sales data (reactive). Since the Colour Selection add-on is part of and integrates with Inventory Management, the combined effect is to reduce stock over-ordering, which results in a reduction in the costs associated with holding stock.
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