TINC: Inventory management and scalability driving growth ambitions
TINC, an Aarhus-based store, offers sustainable care products, a diverse gift assortment and plenty of items on the shelves. With 3,500 unique product numbers across 60 suppliers, customers have a wide variety to choose from. The ambition is to expand from Frederiksgade in Aarhus to the rest of the country as well as internationally. An efficient inventory system and maximum scalability were therefore considered to be the most important criteria when TINC-owners, Michael Timm and Jane Jensen, chose Uniconta as their financial system.
“Our clear ambition is growth; from the beginning, we have seen TINC as the first step of the journey ahead, ultimately expanding internationally. We are working on refining the concept – and an essential part of that is getting the administrative routines in place. That’s why we are thrilled with Uniconta,” explains Michael Timm, who, like his girlfriend, has a past in retail industry, including the Normal-chain.
“In my experience, you often choose a cheap but limited solution initially and subsequently switch to an expensive and overly-complex solution when activity picks up. With Uniconta, we have achieved an affordable solution that we can continue to use as we grow the operation – as far into the future as we can project.”
Timm believes Uniconta can handle virtually all tasks TINC throws at it. Naturally, there is an independent cash register system; but other than that Uniconta handles all day-to-day tasks and challenges. This includes exceptional situations that arise because the store not only works with ordinary merchandise, but also sells products by weight on the scale.
“We sell, as an example, Shea butter, Himalayan salt and other ingredients to craft your own skin care. It is sold by weight and it is often a little tricky to control inventory levels and the need to reorder products. But Uniconta is prepared to handle it, so we can now control these types of situations.”
Overall, it is a significant task to maintain an overview of all products when, as a newly formed company, you don’t have years of experience to help you.
“We need to keep an eye on 3,500 items, evaluate whether they should stay on the shelves or whether we should replace them with other products. And if we decide to bring in new products, others have to be removed. This is where the continuous overview offered by Uniconta really matters. It is very easy and fast to delete old products and create new ones.”
“The system actually includes an automatic reorder feature, which activates when the stock of a product reaches a certain level. However, we have not used it yet, as we feel we still need to be a little more hands-on across the product offering, ”explains Michael Timm, who is also excited about the opportunity to import and export data via Excel.
“As a new company with no history, you feel a bit like a racing driver with only a rear view mirror to look into. When you see the road turning, it has already happened. That is why we follow all figures very closely, and it helps that it is so easy to import and export data from Uniconta to Excel spreadsheets, ”he says.
Webshop and expansion
The next big task for TINC is the implementation of a webshop based on a close integration with the other functions of Uniconta. Initially, it will be based on the 100 most popular products in the physical store. “From there, we can expand the range in line with the need as well as the opening of new stores. In fact, we already ship goods to customers who don’t live near Aarhus, but would like to buy their preferred products anyways. It is, however, probably more good customer service than it is good business; without proper integration, there is a lot of work in it ”says Michael.
The only place where Michael Timm sees a challenge on the horizon is the interaction between the cash register system and Uniconta. For some reason, the checkout system cannot record where a purchase is made and communicate it onwards to Uniconta.
“It’s going to give us challenges as we get more stores. However, the problem lies with the checkout system, so if the problem isn’t solved, we’ll replace it. Not Uniconta,” he says.