Appalachian Organics:
The Path to Inventory Success

How one small business survived the 2008 economic crash and successfully grew inventory 3.5X.

Where it all began

For thousands of business owners, the 2008 recession had a devastating effect on their business, shuttering many doors of small and local businesses. For others, like Appalachian Organics, it offered an opportunity to pivot.

inventory management case study appalachian organics

What started in 2005 as a candle manufacturing business, began to diversify into other natural, organic products like soaps, lotions, pet supplies, and foods. Founder Shaun Donovan saw an opportunity to capitalize on the organics industry, and began carrying products that catered to those customers looking for a place that carried all the products they needed.

Through perseverance and tenacity, Appalachian Organics became a trusted source for a niche industry of people following a specific lifestyle. But with all the new inventory Appalachian Organics now carried, Shaun was finding the task of managing it daunting.

Inventory Q&A

Shaun Donovan initially used a spreadsheet, updated daily, to track incoming and outgoing inventory. As Appalachian Organics continued to grow, that solution was no longer viable. In 2014, Shaun turned to ShippingEasy to help him manage his growing number of shipments.

Then in February of 2017, Appalachian Organics adopted our Inventory Management solution, and hasn’t looked back. We sat down with Shaun to discuss the changes he made to Appalachian Organics’ inventory practices.

Let's rewind

SHIPPINGEASY: Can you describe what your inventory management process was like originally?

SHAUN DONOVAN: We used to manage a big spreadsheet to track when things were received and sold. Every day we’d upload an updated sheet, and it took a lot of time out of our day to constantly find each item sold or received and update the numbers in each field. We didn’t even bother tracking POs, just inventory in and out was tedious enough.

Time for a change

SHIPPINGEASY: What encouraged you to make the jump to ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management?

SHAUN DONOVAN: I decided to check it out after seeing a prompt in the app, and was really interested in the ability to track incoming POs, get low-stock alerts, and create POs to order. The streamlined process eliminated duplicate work for us, and cut a ton of time no longer having to manage inventory line by line. I easily set everything up on my own; imported all of my inventory, connected my storefronts, and all my information was now in one place.

Let's talk benefits

SHIPPINGEASY: What are the main benefits you’ve seen from using ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management solution?

SHAUN DONOVAN: It’s really easy to use. The ability to connect multiple marketplaces is a great benefit for a multi-channel seller like us. Our inventory is more accurate because we’ve eliminated duplicate ordering. Since shipping is integrated, we log in once and can manage multiple things, which saves us a ton of time.

Stellar Results

Now that Appalachian Organics is using ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management solution, Shaun and his team can focus on expanding their inventory—now increased 3.5X over what they carried before—without being slowed down by the extra product management. No longer managing a spreadsheet among multiple people has increased accuracy and makes it easier to see what is currently in stock, saving Shaun and the Appalachian Organics team 10 hours per week.

The end result is Shaun Donovan and the Appalachian Organics team have doubled sales year-over-year. Now that is a success story. Interested in learning how you can create your own inventory success story? Get started with Inventory Management by clicking below.

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