Introduction

Harlequin School Bags is Australia’s favourite school bag company supplying thousands of schools and millions of children throughout the world with their innovatively designed school bags and accessories.

Source: https://www.schoolbags.com.au/about-our-company.html

Harlequin came to us in early 2018 because they were being asked to move to Xero by their accountant, but they knew Xero itself couldn’t handle the inventory management requirements of their business.

Initially hesitant to the idea – as their business had been running smoothly and efficiently on MYOB for many, many years – they eventually decided that moving to a fully integrated cloud inventory system that connected to their website and their new accounting system, Xero, was the way to go.

Harlequin School Bags

Problem

Harlequin’s main problem in finding the right inventory management solution to work with Xero actually stemmed from their chosen website platform, Magento 2. Unfortunately, when it comes to Xero apps that manage inventory, not many software connect successfully with Magento version 2. The only software solution that connects to Magento version 2 directly – without a third party in between – is Cin7.

The other challenge we needed to solve for Harlequin was how to manage their warranties. Harlequin School Bags prides itself on exceptional quality and commitment to their customer, and that’s why they offer up to an unprecedented Lifetime Manufacturer’s Warranty on our all their school products. This means they need to keep the details of outstanding warranties from their old system, bring them into the new system and have an easy way to track warranties into the future, including providing free replacements.

Another request from the Harlequin team was the ability to easily review the expected stock on hand availability throughout the year at a glance. Incoming stock and committed outgoing stock needed to be easily understood at a glance based on the relevant ETD dates for incoming purchases or outgoing sales orders.

Solution

Cin7 integrates with Xero and Magento 2. This ticked two big “musts” for the Harlequin team and thankfully, Cin7 could also provide the Stock on Hand and Availability report with ETD dates that informs the team of their expected stock levels in the future based on orders already committed to.

Cin7 was also able to provide real-time visibility into the stock on hand, gross profit margins including landed costs and samples management with ease. Slight customisations unique to the Harlequin Cin7 file was a big plus.

Harlequin School Bags

Final Thoughts

As I am writing this, there are still two areas of improvement that Cin7 needs to address for clients like Harlequin. The first is the Xero integration and the second is the user permissions. Cin7 released their updated Xero integration in January 2019 called Xero v2. This integration now includes the payment data being pulled up from Xero, however, it requires clients to disconnect the old Xero integration and activate v2. If Cin7 users aren’t aware of this, they will still be missing out on this feature.

The other area of improvement for Cin7 is user permissions. It’s only minor really when you see what Cin7 solved for this company, however, being able to have even more flexibility into what users can and can’t do at a deeper workflow level – instead of just a module level – would be a great improvement.

Harlequin came to us almost about to purchase Unleashed Inventory with Xero. Unfortunately, Unleashed didn’t have native integration with Magento 2, it didn’t have an easy way to manage samples and warranties and it didn’t have a one-click report showing the Stock on Hand forecast by month for the rest of the year’s orders. Unleashed is a great fit for many businesses, however, in this case, Cin7 came up trumps and I’m grateful we had a chance to help Harlequin see what’s possible and successfully implement Cin7 with Xero to bring their dream system to life.

If your business (or your clients) need help finding and/or successfully implementing the right addons for a product-selling business, the expert WhichAddOn team are here to help. First step is to book in a free Discovery Call with one of our Solution Engineers here.