Case studies

Porter Lyons halves inventory management time with TradeGecko

BY Dee Sarma 16 Oct, "15

The spiritual, mysterious spirit of New Orleans can hardly be embodied by any one thing, but the beautiful jewelry produced by Porter Lyons is probably as close as anything can get. Porter Lyons is a jewelry company based in New Orleans, USA. With TradeGecko taking care of inventory operations, founder Ashley Porter can focus on grabbing inspiration from the culture around her and turning it into the amazing pieces of jewelry that make up the stock at Porter Lyons.

This isn’t your mass produced costume jewelry - these are one of kind, inspired pieces that are as unique as each part of New Orleans and as storied as the cobblestone streets in the French Quarter. In a globalized society full of brief encounters and quick, technology-laden interactions, Porter Lyons tries to fight against all that, slow things down, and really connect with what they are producing.

“I think my generation is realizing how removed companies are from their end product. I know when I was employed by a large organization I felt like my job wasn't important and was saddened by the disconnect with everyone in the company,” explains Ashley.

Culture, Care, Create

With jewelry designed, sourced, and produced locally, Ashley is all about doing something meaningful with her works of art. The goal of Porter Lyons is to have a transparent company culture, and create products that enhance the beauty of whoever wears them. She’s obsessed with how amazing it is to create something by hand, and each piece of jewelry Porter Lyons sells is a product of that amazement. Collections from Porter Lyons are inspired by aspects of the culture around them, and part of proceeds from sales go towards a selected cause that works to conserve a culture.

Porter Lyons currently manages 272 SKUs that are sold on their eCommerce site. They have a production studio, a casting house, and a warehouse, all in New Orleans. They handle fulfillment in the office at the warehouse location. Porter Lyons ships internationally using the United States Postal Service.

Necklace and earrings from Porter Lyons

Swimming in murky waters

Before TradeGecko, Porter Lyons was using Excel to track inventory - a task that was much like dabbling in voodoo: mysterious, incomprehensible and a bit of black hole ready to suck the life out of anyone who got too close. It was time to come into the light.

Tracking each unique piece of jewelry within those Excel spreadsheets, Porter Lyons would have to manually sync inventory in real time with several different users. The result? Faulty inventory numbers that couldn’t be trusted. This led to the loss of time and money; the most valuable assets any company has while starting out.

“Before we had Tradegecko, the Porter Lyons warehouse was like a cloud of mystery and now it’s as clear as a sunny day in September.”

Stumbling upon TradeGecko

Working through a haze of Excel spreadsheet, Ashley discovered TradeGecko through a third-party web developer. After a free trial, she realized that it was a unique product on the market that could solve a lot of her problems. “TradeGecko was the best solution across the board to be able to manage the specifics of inventory management that we needed.”

Time saved and a penny earned

Since they started using TradeGecko, Porter Lyons has cut inventory management time by an impressive 50%, but at the same time, greatly increased their accuracy. By integrating TradeGecko with their Shopify sales channel and QuickBooks accounting application, Porter Lyons has streamlined processes.

With this time saved, Ashley can focus energy on macro goals of the company, rather than drowning in manual inventory control details. In the highly competitive jewelry market of New Orleans, every minute saved is extremely valuable.

Rather than having to focus on inventory management details, Ashley can focus on marketing efforts to make Porter Lyons stand out against the competition. She has been able to dedicate her time to activities such as photoshoots, videos and other campaigns that highlight her art and the vision of her company.

Porter Lyons Necklace

“I would highly recommend TradeGecko to other designers who have lots of SKUs because of the ease at which it allows you to focus on what you truly love to do, whether it be making clothes, hats or in our case, jewelry.”

Let the good times roll!

Kate, the head of operations at Porter Lyons now uses TradeGecko to track all incoming and outgoing inventory. TradeGecko has turned vague estimates and best-guess forecasting into a precise science backed up by sound inventory analytics. Intelligence reports within TradeGecko allow them to see what products types are selling the best, at what quarters of the year, and where.

They can now establish predictive and accurate forecasts to be better prepared for the future. The reports allow for a decrease in inventory overhead, and the better allocation of funds.

“Without TradeGecko I wouldn’t be able to do what I love doing, which is designing our products. TradeGecko allows me to focus on what brings me joy, designing beautiful pieces that enhance the beauty of my clients.”

Seeing into the future

Ashley Porter is hard at work on future jewelry collections that will have their own unique identity under the overlaying values of Culture, Care, Create. As TradeGecko takes care of the inventory management details, Ashley and the rest of the team can focus on what they do best - capturing a moment, a feeling, or a piece of culture, and molding those into timeless works of art.

Find out more from Porter Lyons.

-

See Also:

Wanderer Bracelets - managing inventory and promoting change from the jungles of Bali
JJ Suspenders case study: save time and grow your business
LIMs: how one of Singapore's oldest traditional stores modernized its business

Subscribe to our email updates

Get the latest expert advice and tools for your business

Maybe later, thanks!

Subscribe for insights into building world-class eCommerce companies