How this Melbourne footwear label adopted cloud-based inventory solutions to create a platform for growth
The challenge: Limited visibility on stock
XBlades launched its first bladed sole football boot to market in 1989 with a focus on revolutionary technologies and injury prevention. By partnering with leading podiatrists, biomechanics experts and sport science divisions of Australia’s top universities, XBlades soon carved out a position as an innovative market leader in the highly competitive Australian football boot industry.
So when XBlades changed hands in 2016, the new business owners bought into a great brand with strong growth potential. Unfortunately, they also inherited poor systems infrastructure. The processes in place offered limited visibility on the business’s inventory and accounts, with no effective way to track stock and orders. It was painful.
Business operations were dominated by time-consuming, inaccurate, paper-based, manual tasks that left staff (and sometimes customers) frustrated and management feeling a disconnect between the innovative drive of the company and the digital technology behind its operations.
XBlades needed help and approached BlueRock Digital to turn this around, so their business could say goodbye to outdated legacy systems and confidently launch into an exciting new phase of growth.
The solution: Streamlined stock management and online ordering
BlueRock Digital worked closely with XBlades to identify and implement an end-to-end, cloud-based stock management solution that connects the dots between sales and fulfillment without the guesswork.
It’s now possible to get a quick and accurate indication of stock availability for both online customers and retail stores. A custom integration also connects key customers and logistics partners so retail outlets, such as Rebel, can securely place large orders directly into the system.
In the warehouse, an interactive shipping dashboard utilises barcode scanners and other hardware to make it easy for staff to effectively manage order fulfillment. Personalised training helps staff to take sustained ownership over the technology and use it with confidence to save time and headaches.
BlueRock also implemented an expense management solution and accounting automation software to give management better visibility on their financials, to support decision making.
The full digital solution was implemented in three months and was backed up by three months of refinement, training and education by BlueRock’s digital specialists. XBlades were off and running, just like their boots.
The Results: 65% more orders with 37% less costs
With a seamless end-to-end warehousing and fulfilment process in place, XBlades has had the digital infrastructure to grow up to five times its original size.
BlueRock’s inventory management solution is so quick and effective that it’s supported a 65% increase in the number of items shipped from FY16 to FY17. As a result, revenue has almost doubled in the last two years. This simply wouldn’t have been possible without the right systems in place.
The cost of warehouse operations and systems also reduced by 37% from FY16 to FY17, which speaks loudly to the increase in efficiency, with less time required to process orders. Staff now know exactly when to place orders to suppliers and when to push stock to reduce inventory levels in the warehouse. It’s all automated.
As well as this, management now have greater confidence in the business accounts and can easily create and access reports to inform key business decisions.
XBlades continues to grow as they sell their exclusive football boots and apparel to sports stores throughout Melbourne and direct to consumers through their online store. Game on.
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