Rapid business growth – supported by bespoke core business system

  • New system manages each order from enquiry to fulfilment
  • Initial minimum viable product was first step in ongoing development
  • Sustainability tool will enable carbon neutrality for each job

100%

Replacement of spreadsheets

4,200+

Stock rolls managed

2

Warehouses managed in UK and Europe

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Our client’s problem

Yarn Collective is a young and rapidly growing textile design business which was getting by relying on multiple Excel spreadsheets and a simple QuickBooks accounting system. Like many businesses their size, they relied on emails and spreadsheets, and stock updates from their outsourced warehouse. As far as they were aware, this approach was serving them well enough.

The problem as they saw it was the lack of a sophisticated stock control system. We found a different problem. Using a mix of emails, spreadsheets and paper records, they were virtually flying blind – unable to see at a glance their current orders and what stage each had reached. We proposed a system to manage their workflow but also keep detailed track of stock.

What we did

A business system to manage workflow

We built Yarn Collective a bespoke core business system which manages each job from enquiry to fulfilment. As soon as an enquiry is received it goes onto the system with full details of the potential customer – details which never need to be entered again. At every stage details on the system are updated, from sales order to purchase order from suppliers to fulfilment instructions for the warehouse. The entire process is visible and fully audited so nothing gets lost or forgotten. 

The system also contains detailed information on all Yarn Collective’s products – rolls of beautifully designed fabric  – held at the warehouse. This includes images, exact fabric characteristics including details such as whether it is flame retardant (and PDFs of the certificates that prove it), how much is left in stock, the location and so on. Stock is broken down by ‘piece’: each roll of the same material is recorded separately, as any two rolls of a given fabric may be very slightly different due to the variations that occur in natural products. The system is flexible enough to allow a section of a particular batch to be reserved for a customer – vital for repeat orders where an exact colour match is needed. Customers and suppliers are communicated with using whatever units of measure they prefer to work in, whether yards (US), metres (Europe) or inches (UK). 

A phased delivery process

This is only the first part of a multi-stage process. After we submitted an initial proposal it became clear that a solution was needed as quickly as possible to support a fast-growing business. We responded rapidly, working through the proposal to make sure we concentrated on the minimum viable product and left the bells and whistles till later. This is what we built first and which has enabled Yarn Collective to grow quickly in a matter of a few months. The business has no need for an IT department, so we manage and maintain the system for them (and help with any queries), making it a hassle-free business tool. 

The secret to success was establishing trust, which we achieved by working with the Yarn Collective team in a completely transparent way. Further targeted developments are planned to support the business’s strategic expansion. These include integrating Yarn Collective’s accounting system and creating a web portal for customers and distributors to reserve fabric and place orders. The system will also support an important sustainability goal by calculating the exact carbon offsetting contribution for each order delivered, based on the carbon dioxide produced by the processes of manufacture, stocking and shipping.

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“I’m really impressed with how Decent quickly understood what our issues were. I completely trust Decent and really enjoy working with them.”

James Gomez

Director, Yarn Collective

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“James at Decent is really smart. He understands nuances of our business really quickly and just gets it.”

James Gomez

Director, Yarn Collective

The transformation journey

Business process analysis

We held workshop sessions at Yarn Collective’s warehouse and offices doing a deep dive into how the business works.


Bespoke software build

Following our analysis we created a simple sketched model of a core business system. Approval was rapid, and we created a more detailed plan and then built a new bespoke system. The first phase was an MVP (minimum viable product) to match Yarn Collective’s rapid growth and budget. 


Phased development

Yarn Collective’s system continues to develop in a series of further phases, including integrating with accounting software and a web portal for customers and distributors to place orders.


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The results

Yarn’s system has only been live for just over a year, but already the business has seen rapid growth – without any need to increase administrative staff. They have opened a warehouse in the Netherlands to provide a rapid service to EU customers - something that wouldn’t have been possible without the new system – and are planning to further expand their network of distributors in the US, having already expanded from two to eight states.

The results have been so impressive that the business has committed to further system development to drive growth.

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“The Decent system does exactly what we’ve needed. The great thing is as Decent develop it in a phased way, more and more functionality is added. It’s also really easy to use.”

James Gomez

Director, Yarn Collective

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Services used

New Claris FileMaker system

Optimise your business with a bespoke Claris FileMaker system designed for the way you work.

Bespoke software

Software crafted to suit your exact processes dramatically improves your productivity and supercharges your growth.

Claris FileMaker support

Maximmise the performance of your Claris FileMaker system.

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