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Strapping is a custom order and warehouse management system specifically developed for a fashion and lifestyle brand for the gay community. The company has adopted a hybrid model in cooperation with suppliers - a combination of consignment, upfront payment and post payment.
Clients of Strapping subscribe to the service and share their size and style preferences with the manager. Each season the client receives a box with clothing and accessories, which they can try on and then decide whether or not to keep them. After that, the client sends the rest of the items back to Strapping and gets charged for the items they decide to keep as well as for items that were returned damaged.
Available SaaS services couldn’t match the company’s specific business processes, so a custom system was the most suitable solution.
When using a popular order management SaaS Tradegecko, our client faced multiple inconveniences caused by the company’s specific business model.
Most readily available SaaS systems have very limited functionality for consignment or don’t support this model at all. Managers at Strapping had to manually track all the items received on consignment, which took a lot of time and resulted in frequent mistakes.
Strapping charged customers after they try out the clothes and decide, what they want to keep. Including an invoice in each parcel and waiting until the clients transfer the money wasn’t a convenient solution. There was risk that the client wouldn’t pay at all.
Often, the company would order different quantities of the same products for different prices. These price differences had to be tracked manually, resulting in multiple mistakes and issues with pricing upon selling the products to clients.
Stylists of Strapping were combining looks for clients from clothing the company received from suppliers. When packing the desired items for delivery, it turned out that some products were out of stock. The order was returned to the stylist for rework.
Information about items available in the warehouse wasn’t exact. Mistakes with sizes and colors occurred often, which, again, affected the work of the stylists and warehouse managers.
These and many other minor issues forced Strapping to start looking for a customized solution that could be embedded in the existing company processes and improve working efficiency.
It was important for us to work in tight cooperation with the client, to understand all the internal company processes and to offer the most suitable solutions.
As a result, the functionality offered by our team is as follows:
This module is designed to track all the stages a single item goes through, starting with receiving the products from a supplier and ending with delivery to the client. Some rare scenarios, like the return of a damaged item, were also included.
To avoid complicated calculations, we implemented a FIFO (first in - first out) approach. This approach dictates that items that were received first are also sold first at a corresponding price - there’s no need to recalculate the cost of each product sold.
A separate module in the order management system tracks payments between the company and suppliers. This reduces the number of repeating mistakes. The system also generates sales reports and helps with accounting.
The system automatically syncs after each order placement. Another synchronization occurs when the whole order is confirmed by the stylist. The module can also confirm the availability of some items on request allowing to minimize mistakes.
One of our tasks was inventory management improvement. We enabled the system to schedule regular warehouse reviews in order to maintain up-to-date information about available products.
We chose integration with Stripe to allow Strapping to charge a fixed fee depending on which subscription plan the client selects. In addition, the company can automatically charge the price of the items that are kept by the user or damaged.
Strapping had all processes already running and we couldn’t interrupt it to integrate the new order and warehouse management software. We decided to transfer the work of just a part of a team to the new system, test it in real working conditions, and then improve the system according to actual feedback. After the software was polished, we could integrate it without any risk.
Developing a custom system with the desired functionality required a lot of time and resources. However, the company was drowning in manual work and needed to change the situation ASAP. We decided to start with an MVP that included crucial features and was ready for integration within 4 months.
Strapping has a specific business model that doesn’t match any existing business management solution. In order to create a service that fits their needs, we had to work in tight cooperation with the company managers. Communication and instant feedback from real software users allowed us to build a tailored solution step-by-step and to account for all the company’s needs.
In 10 months of cooperation we managed to develop a custom order management system to completely fit the needs of a company with a specific business model. The result is a powerful software that helped the company to optimize the processes, reduce manual work and improve overall working efficiency.
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