By Andrea Lucille Pooler, Business Management Lead
Keeping up with the growing advancements in technology is essential to maintaining a competitive edge and meeting growing customer needs within the jewelry industry.
As customer expectations rise and inventory grows, it’s important for your business operations to keep pace. Now is the perfect time to evaluate your company’s systems, identifying what works well and what may need an upgrade or replacement with more integrated technology to support ongoing expansion.
We often receive questions at Hill & Co. regarding inventory management, especially about upgrading an existing system or migrating to a new inventory management system (IMS).
Having an IMS that’s up-to-date and capable of growing as your business grows, allows you to:
Improve Inventory Tracking and Management
Accurately monitor your inventory levels, track item movements and immediately flag stock discrepancies, which translate to a better customer experience.
Automate order fulfillment, shipping, and inventory replenishment, saving time, reducing errors and letting you focus on sales and customer service.
Enhance Customer Experience
Accurate inventory data and a seamless order management process ensure customers receive orders promptly, without issues, increasing customer satisfaction, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth.
Real-time insights on inventory levels, sales trends and customer preferences allow you to make accurately informed decisions about pricing, product assortment and promotional strategies without second guessing your numbers — which equals increased revenue and business growth.
Scale and Adapt
Easily scale, expand and accommodate increased inventory, new product lines and additional sales channels so you can focus on the growth and success of your jewelry business.
Continually refining your business and enhancing data sharing between departments not only enriches the customer experience but also drives growth.
The good news is updating your IMS or migrating to a new one doesn’t have to be a daunting experience — especially when you evaluate your current operations and get a clear picture of where you are at, and where you want to go, before deciding what to do next.
So, how do you go about this?
Assessing growth: Look at your sales, customer base, and overall business expansion over the past few years.
• In what areas are you experiencing steady growth?
• Identify areas where improvements are needed, such as:
▪ Data communication between departments
▪ Inefficient and error-prone manual processes
▪ Repeated tasks that may be automated
▪ Limited access to real-time data
• What goals will you set in the areas that need improvement?
Examining Existing Inventory Management System:
• What are its current limitations?
• Is it capable of scaling to your projected growth?
Compare pricing and look for an IMS with features tailored for the jewelry industry, such as:
• A comprehensive system capable of tracking your most complex items such as findings, components, gemstones, etc.
• Integration with your current website and other systems, including ERP, CRM and POS
• Real-time reporting and analytics
• A level of complexity that will match your team’s needs and abilities to learn and operate.
Create a plan of action in these areas for seamless integration:
• Staff training and support
• Data cleaning – remember, “garbage in, garbage out”
• Data integration and system compatibility
• Consider whether a phased approach will be best (sometimes it’s not) to minimize disruption
Read or obtain customer reviews and recommendations. What you learn from the experiences your fellow jewelry industry professionals share is amazing.
Once you have the information and data collected from your evaluation, it’s time to do your research and investigate which IMS is best for your company.
• Define your business’s critical components: Identify the data you track, such as specific inventory items or sales channels, and ensure the IMS you choose can accommodate these requirements.
• Ensure seamless integration with your website platform: Your IMS should integrate effortlessly with your current website or the platform you’re considering migrating to. This is crucial to maintain a cohesive online presence and streamline operations.
• Seek recommendations: Connect with other industry professionals who offer a similar inventory size and product mix. Reach out to your own suppliers and ask about the IMS they use with other customers. Their recommendations can help you narrow down systems to consider.
• Leverage social media for insights: Conduct polls on LinkedIn and Facebook to gather opinions and experiences regarding their preferred IMS.
• Test multiple IMS options: Just like when trying on jewelry, testing several IMS options to find the perfect fit lets you compare features, functionalities, and compatibility with your business needs.
• Consider third-party data analysis experts: If analyzing IMS options seems overwhelming, enlist the help of third-party experts. Their industry expertise can guide you toward the best system for your business.
• Test at least three ‘finalists’ with your team through demos, virtually or in-person.
One of the best and most efficient ways to gather information and find the right technological solutions for your business is to attend industry trade shows. Get hands-on demos and answers to your questions in real-time, all while networking with fellow diamond, gemstone and jewelry industry professionals in a beautiful, high-energy setting.
As the saying goes, ‘There’s no time like the present,’ and as luck would have it, Las Vegas Jewelry Week is happening May 31st – June 5th, 2023, with JCK, Couture and JCK Luxury adding some extra sparkle to the lights of Vegas. This is a prime opportunity to ask questions and gather intel directly from the many companies there.
Several members of the Hill & Co. team will be in attendance for the shows, and we understand the unique challenges jewelry, diamond, and gemstone retailers and suppliers face to stay current with technology while growing their business and delivering outstanding customer experiences.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s find time to meet during Las Vegas Jewelry Week.
If you won’t be at the Vegas shows, get in touch today and let’s start a conversation.
Together we will harness the power of modern technology for your business to create seamless, integrated systems that drive growth and elevate customer satisfaction.
All the best,
Andrea Lucille Pooler
Business Management Lead