Established in 2004, luxury leather accessories manufacturer Deadly Ponies started out life in Creative Director Liam Bowden’s garage. Growing steadily ever since, the structure and goals of the retail business have, of course, changed markedly over that time.
Steve Boyd the Marketing and Finance Director of Deadly Ponies, shared how Unleashed has helped them sew up their stock management. Steve’s passion for the business springs from seeing the finished product — having something to sell that’s so luxurious and unique. The luxury aspect is a particular point of pride for Steve as it’s something a bit different to be doing from New Zealand. Deadly Ponies is testament to the fact that it’s possible to run a luxury accessories line from the bottom of the world. And do so in style.
The Problem – Retail Inventory Management
Growing at an exponential rate, Steve realised a few years ago that the self-described “slap and tickle” arrangements just weren’t sustainable. They would have seasons where they brought in a whole lot of extra stock to make a product, and then two weeks after dispatch they would discover an unused box of hardware they’d completely forgotten about ordering. These blind spots in their stock management were losing them money: “There was no way to know whether we were misplacing 20 bags with the lack of tracking. We had to streamline everything and put it under a single system to do things properly.”
The system they were using prior to Unleashed and Xero wasn’t meeting their needs — they wanted something more sophisticated. Steve was particularly keen for a cloud-based solution as he wanted the flexibility to work remotely (doing the “boring admin stuff in front of the TV”).
Wanting an inventory system that could provide costings, invoice directly and sync with an accounting program, Steve was recommended Unleashed by Amy from Total Admin. “Unleashed fulfilled all of the requirements in a single piece of software from the get-go.”
Total Admin held their hands through the implementation process, walking them through step by step. This was a major help as the company had a very small staff and Steve was spread pretty thin taking care of all the admin himself.
Along with covering the fundamentals of invoicing and a strong Xero integration, Steve realised that there was more to Unleashed: They could build bills of material, create assemblies around those and develop true costings.
The visibility Unleashed provides has really helped with accurate costing: “Up until implementing Unleashed, we would pretty much make up a price based on what we assumed a product had cost. Now we can have an accurate number.”
The ability to add in wastage during the assembly enables Deadly Ponies to better gauge how much leather is wasted: “It’s one of those products that by its nature can be quite up and down. We can see where we’re winning and losing with that through Unleashed.” He also rates the multi-currency function for the ease it adds to exporting: “The ability to have various prices within a whole raft of different currencies attributed to the same product is really handy.”
Steve is positive about the feature-set of Unleashed: “Offering all of the components that Unleashed does gives you the opportunity to grow.” He’s also found it to be very cost-effective for the feature set that it provides.
Over the last six months, they have adopted some new processes which together with Unleashed has resulted in a much more efficient assembly system. Steve realised that by reviewing the existing processes that they could gain even more from the software. “You’ve got to have those other little bits that make the system work for you.” Now, the way they move product in and out of the building has completely changed; they’re able to move a season’s worth of stock out in six hours, down from two days. This very large admin job wouldn’t have been possible to complete in a day without Unleashed.