The blokarts land sailor (a land-based, wind-powered recreational device) is popular around the world with casual hobbyists and the competitive speed junkies who race them. The company has grown significantly since its inception 13 years ago and their operation based out of Papamoa, New Zealand services the large international demand with over 80% of sales being export. Matt shares that people see it from the outside and think “You work on toys all day, it must be awesome!” But as with any business, the operations side is hard work, particularly the recreation inventory management. He says the effort is all worthwhile when he turns up on a beach in Europe with 150 blokarts that have come out of their building in Papamoa. He loves meeting the people who have become attached to the sport, and continues to find the large races inspiring and humbling.
Their existing inventory solution was being pushed to the limits of its capabilities; they had to trick it into doing things that worked with their processes, which Matt found cumbersome. He says they upgraded their server thinking that it would help to solve some of the issues, but he thinks in hindsight that it was just the stability of the previous system that was probably the issue.
Matt was after a solution that could take care of forecasting and stock control to help streamline those processes. Along with wanting greater stability and removing the headaches of server maintenance, he also wanted functional remote access.
The Solution – Recreation Inventory Management
In his search for an inventory management solution that was capable of meeting the needs of blokarts, Matt came across Unleashed. Once he chose to pursue Unleashed, the implementation was surprisingly quick and smooth – even though it came at a frantic time for the company with some key staff leaving.
Matt found that the switch to Unleashed was easy: “Obviously there are going to be some differences in processes when you switch from one solution to another, but Unleashed is pretty intuitive once you get your head around how it’s structured,” he says. He reports that the support was very proactive when they had a couple of little issues crop up in the early stages of getting set up. He describes Unleashed as “nice to use; it’s stable and steady.”
For Matt, using Unleashed has freed up a significant amount of time, which means that he can concentrate on other aspects of the business. Checking the purchase orders to ensure quantities are correct, for example, used to be a six-hour job in the old system. Since the switch to Unleashed, this can now be completed in less than two hours.
The gains in efficiency have also assisted with resourcing: “We’re going through some transitions which means we’re operating with fewer staff and we’re trying to be more efficient in our processes. Unleashed has definitely helped with that,” he reports.
Matt says he enjoys the flexibility of being able to work from home on occasion. “What can take half a day in the office to get done can now be finished in an hour at home without the interruptions.”
Planning a month’s worth of production in advance has enabled Matt to improve the accuracy of his orders. He enters the assemblies into Unleashed prior to doing the purchase orders. “I can see just what I need at a quick glance. It was impossible to do that prior to using Unleashed, but now it’s there right in front of you. That’s good from a cash flow perspective as you don’t have stock sitting around idle.”
Matt has recommended Unleashed to some other local businesses and we’re really glad to be helping with the operations of such an exciting and inventive Kiwi company.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.