StoryTiles – this what you will read in this case:
- The StoryTiles purchasing process is automated and less time consuming
- Purchasing based on feeling has been exchanged for data-driven decisions
- There is less excess inventory and a better cash flow situation
- More insight into the product performance ensures a better match with customer demand
The creativity of Marga van Oers forms the basis of StoryTiles. Having started at the Amsterdam School of Arts with ceramics processing, she has now, years later, built up a thriving e-commerce company. StoryTiles is a company specialising in handmade tiles with unique designs. Since the start in 2013, they have been working on a webshop in three languages (Dutch, English and German), worldwide delivery options and customers from 20 countries. StoryTiles has its own store in the centre of Amsterdam and sells its products to more than 300 other stores.
Manual working method blocks accurate purchasing process
StoryTiles sells ceramic tiles that every customer can design themselves. The tiles are then traditionally baked in an oven – all in StoryTiles’ residence country, the Netherlands. The traditional way of working is a strength on the product side of the company. However, processes had to be made more ‘modern’ on the system side. Purchaser Krista Spiegeler talks about the steps StoryTiles has taken to improve its purchasing process.
“I was used to purchasing with Picqer, our WMS system in which we track and process all products and orders. However, Picqer is not a procurement system. Every month I used to make a printout with the numbers sold from the previous month. I slightly increased the numbers to make things less likely to go wrong. I manually entered those numbers per product to know how many of each product I had to order.” This manual working method meant that Krista and StoryTiles often had to deal with a shortage or surplus of stock.
Krista continues: “In all honesty, this way of purchasing was more based on guesswork than hard data. There was no insight into the inventory level, making it difficult to meet customer demand continuously. In addition, the method also proved very time-consuming.”
“Because I now use Optiply, I can see when there is a threat of stockouts and when I need to replenish, I only have to press a button.”
StoryTiles meets Optiply
To improve the purchasing process and make it less manual, StoryTiles started looking for a solution and found Optiply. Due to the existing collaboration with Picqer, one of Optiply’s integration partners, a direct link was made between the two systems. Optiply works completely data-driven and its purchasing advice is based on 40+ forecast methods. The app determines exactly how much of each product you should (re-) order and when you should place the purchase order.
Time savings with Optiply
By working with Optiply, the manual approach of StoryTiles is a thing of the past. Thanks to the automated working method of the app, ordering goes in a much more efficient way and there is less chance of errors. Krista: “The biggest advantage is that I spend much less time purchasing.”
“Due to the specific data in Optiply, you can really trust that the numbers per order are correct. For example, you can enter the delivery time for each supplier, the order period, possibly the fixed order costs and the minimum order value. In addition, back orders or emergency orders can be activated so that a signal is given when orders need to be placed earlier than planned.”
“In addition, it is possible to phase out products by setting an end date for products that expire. That way, everything becomes a lot clearer.”
A more efficient and automated purchasing process
Due to the advantages of working with Optiply, the purchasing process of StoryTiles has become much more efficient. There is no time wasted by purchasing via a manual process. And less money is wasted on inventory that turns out to be excess in the long term. The purchasing process is automated and there is much more insight into the inventory level. As a result, purchase orders can be much better aligned with customer demand.
Three things StoryTiles no longer does since they started with Optiply:
1. Manually estimate the number of products. Before Optiply, StoryTiles mainly did the purchasing based on guesswork. This meant the purchasing staff manually tracked the quantities and estimated how many of each product needed to be ordered. Thanks to Optiply, this process is now automated and more data-driven decisions are made.
2. Place orders manually. Before Optiply, StoryTiles had to place orders with suppliers manually. Not only was this time-consuming, but it also increased the chance of human error. Optiply has streamlined this process and ensures that orders are placed automatically.
3. Purchasing unnecessary stock. Before Optiply, StoryTiles often suffered from excess inventory that went unsold. This led to unnecessary costs, a loss of warehouse space, and a negative impact on cash flow. With Optiply, StoryTiles can more accurately align inventory procurement with customer demand, minimising the likelihood of excess inventory.
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Three reasons why StoryTiles is happy with Optiply:
1. Time-savings. The StoryTiles purchasing process has become much more efficient thanks to Optiply and now takes much less time. Automatically ordering the correct quantities ensures purchasing staff can focus on other tasks.
2. Better insights. With Optiply, StoryTiles has more insight into current stock, customer demand and supplier performance. This makes it easier to react quickly to changes in the market.
3. Cost-efficient. Optiply helps StoryTiles lower procurement costs by reducing excess inventory and aligning orders more closely with customer demand. his leads to improved cash flow and less cash tied up in inventory.
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