Grow Catalog Business While Gaining Control of Inventory

June 14, 2013 | By

Lady Grace

Challenge

Lady Grace wanted to grow its catalog business, but it had to first gain a better control of its company-wide inventory.

Solution

It implemented Data Management Associates’ MACH as its catalog and retail order management software.

Results

Lady Grace’s catalog business has more than doubled and is expected to triple within the next few years. Its retail operations have grown cumulatively by approximately 35%.

Lady Grace is a purveyor of women’s intimate apparel and lingerie. The family-run company was established as one retail store in 1937 in Manchester, New Hampshire. It has grown to 11 retail stores, with a worldwide Internet and catalog business. The company’s management began to seek a new order management system in 2001 when they realized their catalog growth was being hampered by a disorganized inventory system.

Because their catalog and retail inventory were tracked in separate systems, the company was having difficulty controlling its inventory. The main warehouse and the retail stores had no way to easily see the inventory levels in both places. This led to unfilled orders and lower customer satisfaction. Lady Grace needed to find a system that could seamlessly handle both the catalog and retail components of the business, integrating not only inventory management but accounting as well.

[quote style=”1″]As Bruce Green, part-owner of Lady Grace said, “We wanted to find software that would teach us the proper mechanics of running a catalog business, fulfilling orders and meeting customer needs in a professional manner. “[/quote]

They looked for a company with a proven record and established software on which they could depend. It also had to offer a package that was reasonably priced based on the value they were attaining. Lady Grace management chose MACH and implemented it over a few weeks in the winter of 2001.

Lady Grace’s catalog business saw immediate benefits from the new software. Inventory control vastly improved and with it customer satisfaction and sales. In fact, their catalog business has more than doubled since they started with MACH and is expected to triple within a few years.

The Point of Sale (POS) retail component also was an instant hit because it gave Lady Grace’s stores the ability to run a customer loyalty program which was not possible with the previous system. Green credits the loyalty program and the improved inventory tracking with the excellent growth the retail side has enjoyed.

[quote style=”1″]“There may be other POS systems out there in the market, but to be honest, there is not even a single thing that I can think of that our MACH POS system is not capable of delivering,” he said. “Our retail operations have grown cumulatively by 35% since the MACH implementation.”[/quote]

A few years ago, Lady Grace was given the opportunity to be one of the first of a select group of companies to appear on Amazon’s new Apparel site. To be placed on the site required a lot of custom work by both MACH and Lady Grace. The sales the company derives from this Amazon segment are an important part of their business and Green attributes much of that success to the MACH software and teamwork of both companies.

[quote style=”1″]“If you go to the Amazon site and check out customer satisfaction levels, you will see that we rank as high as anyone and this is a tribute to the MACH software,” he said.[/quote]

The benefits of the DMA/Lady Grace partnership have been plentiful. Lady Grace has steadily increased their customer base and customer satisfaction has grown with it. In 2006, the company moved into a new, larger facility of 25,000 square feet, about a 50% increase in space. The move was necessitated by their growth and their confidence of continued growth in the coming years.

[quote style=”1″]“New challenges always emerge and competition always gets tougher,” Green said, “But we feel that MACH gives us a great tool to compete with the best of these competitors. The decision to go with MACH back in 2001 was as important a decision in our success as any that we have made.”[/quote]

 

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Tony is working on new client relationships and the expansion of present accounts.

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