How Automation Transformed a Stock-Heavy Business

How Automation Transformed a Stock-Heavy Business


In this case study, we delve into the transformational journey of a business that grappled with a significant challenge—managing a large inventory using a manual process. As the company grew, the strain on its directors became increasingly unsustainable, with hundreds of items requiring manual processing.

Desperate for a solution, the business initially turned to the “Unleashed” software program to automate its inventory management. However, this choice presented a new set of challenges, as Unleashed was not fully integrated correctly, transactions were missed in Xero, leaving the company in a precarious position with escalating subscription costs and little time savings.

The Challenge

The business, dealing with a substantial inventory, was drowning in manual processes. This cumbersome system required company directors to manually process hundreds of items, an approach that became progressively untenable as the business expanded. Recognising the urgent need for change, they sought to implement “Unleashed” to automate their inventory management.

However, the software posed a fresh set of challenges, particularly the lack of direct integration with Xero, their chosen accounting platform. A third-party app meant to facilitate this connection failed to function as anticipated, jeopardising the automation initiative. As a result, around 500 sales invoices were left unprocessed, necessitating manual creation and backdating.

The Solution

The company turned to Ascentis for a financial health check, which included a reassessment of their current app stack. As part of their recommendations, Ascentis introduced “Dext Ecommerce” to address the integration issue.

Dext Ecommerce offered seamless integration with Xero and had the capability to link digital sales and purchase data from various marketplace, ecommerce, and point-of-sale platforms, including Amazon, Woo Commerce, Etsy, and eBay. 

To resolve the integration issue, Dext Ecommerce served as a bridge between Woo Commerce, the driving force behind the company’s website, and Xero. This eliminated the need for extensive manual data processing and enabled the automatic generation of fully traceable sales invoices.

Xero, Unlimited and Dext Ecommerce Management

Dext Ecommerce also had the capacity to retrieve up to two years of historical data, making it possible to capture the missing sales records. The platform allowed for detailed data separation into sales, fees, and refunds, as well as accurate tax allocation for both local and international sales. With Dext Ecommerce in place, the company achieved a unified and real-time source of data information.

Value Impact

The implementation of Dext Ecommerce brought about several significant value impacts for the business:

  • Real-time Accuracy: Accurate sales data became instantly accessible in real-time, eliminating the need for manual data processing.
  • Automation Efficiency: The automation of sales invoicing drastically reduced the time and effort previously spent on manually creating approximately 500 transactions. This freed up the sales director to focus more on revenue-generating activities.
  • Rapid Financial Reporting: The ability to produce management accounts within a week of month-end provided the company with more timely insights into its financial health.
  • Increased Revenue: The company was able to attend more sales exhibitions, resulting in increased revenue and profitability.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: The accounts team benefited from time-saving automation, allowing them to allocate their resources more effectively.
  • Reduced Stress: The company directors experienced reduced stress levels thanks to improved visibility into financials and a streamlined operational process.

In conclusion, this case study illustrates how the adoption of technology, specifically Dext Ecommerce, transformed a business plagued by manual processes and integration challenges. The company overcame its operational bottlenecks, achieved greater efficiency, and reaped significant financial and operational rewards, ultimately positioning itself for growth and success.