Removing An Obstacle To Growth

After two years of searching, clothing brand Chateau de Sable found a solution to their inventory woes through DBS Techmatch.

chateau de sable

For Stephanie Lemaire, keeping track of stock levels at her children’s clothing brand Chateau de Sable is an unwieldy process of updating various spreadsheets with data that comes in from her outlets, online store or warehouse.

This manual and time consuming process meant that she was unable to have a real-time picture of her inventory.

"Some customers may have booked a certain order, and our excel sheet shows that we have stock when actually we don't," she explains. This further prevented her from making informed decisions to help the 15-year old Singapore-based business grow to meet rising demand for its popular line of clothing.

Ms Lemaire decided to turn to technology for the answer, but after two years of speaking to 10 different vendors she couldn't find a right fit for her business. Being a small retailer with six outlets in Singapore and a handful overseas, many of the off-the-shelf solutions they considered were too costly for their customised needs.

Finally, around six months ago she was introduced to a technology vendor BiTs through the DBS Techmatch programme. The initiative by DBS BusinessClass aims to give SMEs access to customised tech solutions to their most pressing challenges.

BiTs provides solutions that integrates and automates processes so that small businesses can grow and improve productivity by eliminating the burden of complex administration. The firm does this by offering a host of low-cost, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems from human resources management, inventory management and accounting.

"Chateau's staff were doing a lot of copy and pasting of data into the spreadsheets. Ours solution replaces this copy and paste function and all data that comes in ends up in the same location," explains BiTS CEO and founder Jonathan Lee.

Ms Lemaire added: "We met with BiTs and liked that they were very transparent and very serious about finding us a solution that was easy to use and suited our needs."

BiTs inventory management consolidates information coming in from various streams automatically, whether it is a Point of Sales (PoS) system that registers a sale or when Chateau orders new stock for the warehouse. Receipts or invoices are then generated automatically, helping the company keep track of their cashflow.

"What we want is to help them grow and recognise their full potential by improving their productivity and allowing them to achieve scale," said Mr Lee.

The two parties held their kickoff meeting earlier this month, and hope to have the system up and running in around three months time. As Chateau's business is relatively small, the solution can be implemented mostly "out of the box", although some technical development will be required to integrate the retailer's PoS system with BiTs inventory management module.

Following the implementation, Ms Lemaire can focus on what she does best: selling high quality children's apparel to customers around the world.

"We can analyse what our bestsellers in Singapore and other markets for re-ordering," she said. More importantly, Chateau will be able to proceed with its expansion unhindered.

The company started its operations in China last October and is looking to make further inroads into that vast market. Ms Lemaire also plans to open one or two more outlets in Singapore and another in Paris further down the line.

Said Ms Lemaire: "We are going into an exciting growth phase!'

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