The pandemic dealt an unprecedented blow to global supply chains, with virtually all business leaders reporting disruptions to their strategic sourcing and supplier management processes.
Yet some companies found ways to mitigate the impact to their operations. In Demand Driven Technology’s Pandemic Planning series, we take a look at their stories—and how they leveraged DDMRP to adjust to a changing landscape.
Welcome to the new rules of shopping
Disruption is no stranger to accessories brand Miansai, which makes pieces sourced from Italian leathers, precious metals, and custom-made marine grade ropes. Changes to the retail landscape were obvious long before Covid, prompting the company to forge its own path rather than relying on department store sales. “Three years ago, department stores were 40% of our business,” explained CIO Christopher Veck. “Now, they just want us to drop ship.”
Rather than tracking finished goods, Miansai manages more than 1,000 modular components—pieces of metal, rope, and leather—that can be combined to make different products. Unwilling to maintain a huge inventory to satisfy erratic retailers, in January 2020, Miansai turned to Replenishment+ to replace its homegrown planning process.
The move proved prescient when the global Covid-19 pandemic shut down retail stores. Many small businesses were unprepared for the subsequent explosion in online orders. Miansai, on the other hand, quickly relieved the strain on its warehouse by turning its two flagship retail boutiques into shipping locations, relying on Replenishment+ to maintain inventory levels. Online sales were up 70% year-over-year in January 2021, but the company maintained timely delivery by shipping 30% of all orders from its stores.
“Because the system is so dynamic, we were able to be agile,” said Veck. The company was also able to get much deeper insight into which items were selling well. “We thought we understood what was popular, but we were under-ordering many items by a magnitude of three. Replenishment+ was able to see through our assembly items and tell us exactly how much we need across our SKUs.”
To learn more about how Replenishment+ helped Miansai rewrite the rules of shopping, read the case study.