Inkstop Experiencing Significant Forecasting Results

InkStop, a fast-growing retail specialty chain focused on digital consumable products and based in Cleveland, Ohio, is experiencing significant forecasting results in only 30 days of going live with JDA's Advanced Store Replenishment by E3 solution.

InkStop, which operates 129 stores in 15 major metropolitan markets, opened its first store in January 2006 with a core product offering consisting of ink and toner cartridges, CD/DVD media and storage, flash memory for digital cameras and USB storage devices, as well as a selection of digital cameras, printers, shredders, monitors, and drives. Today, its in-store assortment consists of approximately 1200 SKUs. InkStop will launch its e-commerce site this summer, which will offer an expanded assortment of over 30,000 SKUs. The company is on schedule to have a total of 170 stores open by the end of the year with another 100 more stores planned to open in 2009.

"As fast as we are expanding, we really needed a system with advanced capabilities to support continuing and future growth," explained Dawn Callahan, co-founder and vice president merchandising, InkStop, Inc.

InkStop carefully reviewed all of the system alternatives and decided on JDA's Advanced Store Replenishment and Advanced Warehouse Replenishment by E3® solutions. "We were familiar with JDA since we are utilizing its Merchandise Management System-I as our core merchandising solution. The advanced replenishment package met our essential business requirements and gave us the necessary flexibility to have customized forecasting and inventory optimization by store based off of demand generation. It was the right fit for us at the right time," said Callahan.

Advanced Store Replenishment was implemented before Advanced Warehouse Replenishment because of InkStop's need for tailored replenishment, forecasting and inventory management at the store level. Advanced Warehouse Replenishment is scheduled to go live in mid-2008. Within the first 30 days of utilizing Advanced Store Replenishment, InkStop was able to recognize a measurable reduction in inventory. The system also helped to increase inventory turns by optimizing safety stock, creating accurate order quantities, and integrating promotional buying.

"Advanced Store Replenishment has really allowed us to fine tune the inventory and replenishment by store. It has also allowed us to make key adjustments by store with regards to stocking levels to ensure that the stores are being supplied with the optimal amount of inventory. Early results show that we have been able to reduce our inventory by 18 percent. We are confident that the system will continue to help us reduce inventory, increase our turns, and assist us with promotional planning and proper allocation of merchandise," Callahan added.

Dave Seach, IT director, InkStop, Inc., further explained additional benefits from the software, adding, "The old system was very rigid, requiring a great deal of manual intervention in the order generation process. The JDA system allows us to automate much of those manual processes and enable exception management. This has improved our productivity significantly and allows our replenishment specialists to focus on analytics and not data entry tasks."

InkStop also utilizes JDA Software's Space Planning by Intactix® and Space Automation by Intactix® solutions to improve customer satisfaction and optimize business processes. "JDA's Space Planning solution allows our store design team to provide a consistent look and feel across multiple store layouts. It also allows for a seamless transition of seasonal merchandise into the product mix," said Seach.

Callahan commented on the overall experience in working with JDA Software. "We were pleasantly surprised with the level of service and professionalism we've received from JDA. The JDA team came in, rolled up their sleeves, and worked very closely with InkStop, resulting in an excellent teamwork environment," he said.

Wayne Usie, JDA Software senior vice president of retail, said, "Today's retail companies are increasingly focused on integrating their merchandising, store operations, and overall planning and execution business processes. JDA's innovative solutions enable companies like InkStop, to achieve a substantial inventory reduction while also delivering significant improvements in customer service levels. JDA Software enables retailers around the world to stay on top of consumer demand with market-leading innovations that provide a competitive edge."