- NYDJ chooses Toolio to replace merchandise planning in spreadsheets, with an estimated six-figure ROI
- CEO will get real-time visibility and drill-down capabilities
- 35% lift in planning team efficiency and productivity
NYDJ is a brand built around innovation. From their original founding based on the frustration of not being able to find that perfect pair of jeans - so hey, we’ll create them ourselves! - to their exclusive Lift Tuck Technology, NYDJ does not aspire to be status quo.
During two decades of operation, NYDJ has experienced rapid growth, becoming America’s #1 denim brand* and expanding to 30 countries. They have wholesale, retail and ecomm contributing to growth that has helped fuel the acquisition of additional brands under their parent company, Sunrise Brands LLC.
But again, despite this growth, in 2023 and beyond the team at NYDJ continues to push growth opportunities, streamline workflows and improve efficiencies.
Manual Processes Result in Human Error
“To err is human” they say and NYDJ’s team of talented planning professionals found that new requirements spread their already thin team a little too far. They began finding errors in manual inputs, in addition to sometimes not even catching the error before it cost the company hard dollars. As any retail planner knows, one miss of adjusting average unit cost could result in a six figure overstate in margin.
Imagine having to have that conversation with your CFO and CEO.
Opportunity in the Challenge
Like any great team, NYDJ’s leadership saw the mistakes as an opportunity to find a solution. Tara Ragan, EVP - Planning, collaborated with a technical counterpart, Director of System Operations, Maria Michaels, to explore solutions. Unsure of exactly what technology they were looking for, one thing was for certain, they knew it needed to integrate directly with Shopify and other Business Intelligence (BI) tools.
NYDJ had recently invested in Shopify for ecommerce and their point of sale solution, but it wasn’t integrating into their inventory planning. They knew if they could adjust their planning workflows to reduce (or eliminate) the manual process of exporting data from Shopify and other homegrown tools, importing into Google Sheets and then manipulating it, they could reduce the errors from the team and give them time back in their day to focus on higher value initiatives.
Tara said, “There's a lot of manual tedious work that just goes into getting [our systems] to work… Maria and I are of the thought, Let's just find a new, easy-to-use tool that connects to all of our data systems."
Like any retailer, NYDJ has a slew of digital transformation projects, but decided the risk of continuing with manual processes was worthy of addressing early in 2023. After assessing all of Toolio’s four modules and the benefit of each for each of their brands, Tara, who owns planning across multiple brands, decided to prioritize two main areas for the initial Toolio investment:
1. Integrate systems with Toolio to actualize data
2. Get the NYDJ team managing Open-To-Buy and wholesale dilution in Toolio
Integrate system for actualized data
Tara estimated that her team spent an entire day per week pulling data from various sources, merging it together, validating it and then adjusting for issues, before they could even start assessing, analyzing or truly working with the data. By automatically pulling data into Toolio, she expects her team to see a 35% lift in productivity executing on initiatives that add to the bottom line.
Manage OTB and Wholesale Dilution in Toolio
Like most planning teams, NYDJ’s planners are spreadsheet wizards, yet Toolio provides functionality and out-of-the-box elements no spreadsheet does. With flexible attribute management, planners can plan tops-down or bottoms-up and reconcile quickly, seed from multiple variables, create various scenarios and automate reports for themselves or executives.
Tara immediately understood the OTB management for the ecomm piece of the business, saying, “the ecomm side works like magic.” Yet, she remained concerned about moving dilution work into Toolio. The brains behind managing budgets, sales and wholesale dilution, Genevieve Silverstein, worked with our Solution Consultant to ultimately proof of concept how Toolio could bend to their unique business requirements.
Tara estimates this improved functionality will result in more efficiency for her team, but also, all but eliminate the manual errors, which could save over six figures annually in mitigated risk.
Bonus: Reporting that the CEO can drill into
Although not a core business requirement, Tara knew that asking her CEO to move from the spreadsheets he loves to another system might cause some anxiety. So, when she learned that with Toolio, her CEO can get a report directly to his inbox that he can click into and dive down to different brands, categories and whatever his heart desired, it was a bonus.
Conclusion: Moving to the right tool
Ultimately, it can be tempting to use a seemingly free option, like spreadsheets, but that choice costs retailers millions of dollars a year. Often in silent ways. But Tara and the rest of the NYDJ leadership team knew that investing in inventory planning (and the planning team as a whole) would reap benefits in time savings, waste reduction and ultimately improved margin by giving them visibility into how to get the right product to the right customer via the right channel everytime.
To see a demo and how Toolio can help your team see success click here.
*NPD Group Consumer Tracking Survey YE Q2 2020