Industry:Consumer Health Devices
"The visibility and control we have with DEAR is paramount. It just makes life so much easier for us."
DEAR removed this product company’s inefficient inventory management pain point – period.
Consumer medical tech company Ovira make an incredible product: an inexpensive machine that can stop period pain. They knew that the product had the potential to drive enormous, global growth. But first they had to address their own pain point – inefficient, time-consuming, manual inventory management.
At the heart of Ovira is a single, simple product. Their Noha device uses time-tested TENS technology to stimulate nerves and stop period pain instantly — with no pills, no side-effects, and no interruptions for people who experience periods. Founder Alice Williams has been upfront about her struggle with endometriosis, and was inspired to create the device after years of searching for a pain-management solution.
“Some of the feedback we get is really exciting. We have people emailing us essays saying, literally, it’s changed their life, which is amazing,” says Tyron Gyde, supply chain manager for Ovira. “It’s something we’re really proud of, being able to solve those problems.”
At Ovira, Tyron’s role is predominantly working with the supply chain as well as in product development and management. Previously, he had a foot in both the ecommerce and medical device world, working with ecommerce giant Koala, and some of the biggest medical device distributors in Australia.
It was through his role at a company called Device Technologies that Tyron met Minal De Silva, who would prove to be pivotal in helping get Ovira migrated on to a new inventory management system.
Minal works for a systems implementation and consultancy company called Business Continuum, who help advise customers in terms of system, process and resource improvement.
“Having worked with Minal and Business Continuum in the past, I was able to recognize some of the challenges that Ovira was experiencing,” Tyron says. “I reached out to them saying we’ve got an issue that feels very familiar to where we’ve been before.”
Before adopting DEAR Systems, Tyron says the business had no real focus on inventory control. They had multiple sources of truth, relying on spreadsheets, warehousing partners, and emails to track inventory.
“We were literally sending emails to order stock. We were manually tracking orders and spreadsheets. Everything was very much manual, in terms of the accounting backend as well. We were managing inventory in the most shallow way you possibly could,” Tyron says.
Tyron approached Business Continuum having identified a big opportunity to build inventory maturity into the business, and clarify vital business processes like ordering and reconciliations. He didn’t have a set inventory management system in mind; he just knew they needed one that would work.
Minal worked through Tyron’s concerns and Ovira’s growth plans to find a best-fit solution, and he recommended DEAR Systems.
“Ovira were working with Shopify and Xero, and there are a handful of inventory products that work well with that software – Cin7, DEAR, Unleashed and TradeGecko. They’re the major providers in terms of SaaS inventory solutions,” Minal says.
The reason they chose to work with DEAR was because Ovira had a Shopify integration, multiple stores, and the potential to require multiple, international companies with intercompany transactions. Plus, “DEAR handles landed costs much cleaner than other products,” Minal says. “Ovira is a small company now, but they’re growing to have a big presence across the world. We knew about that ambition upfront, and that’s why we decided on DEAR.”
A seamless onboarding process, helped by partner presence
To prepare for the migration, Ovira met with Business Continuum for process design workshops and scoping sessions, where Minal worked to understand the business and its processes, and how these mapped to the different settings available in DEAR. From this starting point, Minal can demonstrate the system in action – and with up to 40 DEAR implementations worth of experience, he’s well versed in what does and doesn’t work.
“Just having Minal on hand to walk us through was really helpful. If there was a setting we didn’t really understand, he was able to provide really clear examples – for instance, if you choose A, then B will happen, and so on,” Tyron says. “From there we went through the master data population, and did the integrations and connections, which are really intuitive and quick to set up.”
Once the initial scoping and demo is done, it’s just a matter of inputting data, organizing training, and then performing final checks before going live, Minal says.
“It felt easy and painless to get going,” Tyron adds.
Post-live, Tyron says there have been areas where questions need answering – either by himself, another member of the Ovira team, or even by a third party like their accountant or bookkeeper — and for this, the DEAR support has been invaluable.
“Just jumping on the support docs online and the videos have really helped us out,” Tyron says. “And there are a lot of ways to solve some of these problems, which has been great.”
After only three months with DEAR, Ovira is 75 percent more efficient
Ovira only migrated to DEAR three months ago, but the move is already paying enormous dividends for their business.
“We utilize DEAR pretty extensively, and we’re pretty comfortable with it now. It’s well and truly embedded in the way we operate our business,” Tyron says.
“It’s embedded not just in a transactional way, but even in our thinking, in terms of the way we introduce change to any part of the business.”
Since making the move, Tyron says Ovira has been able to clean up a lot of their processes, and introduce vital inventory management principles, like three-way matching for purchase, payment, and invoices. What’s more, Ovira have found in DEAR something that is absolutely crucial for a growing product business: a single source of truth. From this, they’ve experienced a lift in order cycle efficiency of at least 75 percent, with up to four times the product throughput of their pre-DEAR state.
“Because of DEAR, we know that the system is accurate, and when it comes to planning and ordering inventory, the cycle time for that is a lot shorter as well,” Tyron says. “We’ve been able to streamline it to the point where it takes us 25 percent of the time it did before. What was taking three or four days before, now takes less than a day. And it’s not just the time saving — we’ve got far better quality data to make decisions from as well.”
Accounting, too, has benefited from the transition to cloud-based inventory management. Month-ends are much more streamlined, and Ovira’s bookkeeper — who previously had to be “the most patient bookkeeper in the world,” as Tyron puts it — is now “saving so much time.”
“She doesn’t need to manually manage any spreadsheets anymore. We can just pull data straight from the system now, which is great. I don’t have to send any more emails saying ‘Oh, by the way, the air freight order we had arrived and it’s getting receipted in.’ We’re now conducting all those transactions in Dear, which is flowing straight through to Xero. We cut a lot of back-and-forth, which is really good, and which obviously frees up our time to focus on the value-adding activities.”
Thanks to accurate inventory control, Ovira has supercharged its growth ambitions. They’ve launched into the UK market with a new warehousing presence there, and at the same time, they’ve been able to launch a micro-fulfilment model in the US that offers same-day delivery. “If you’re a customer in central New York, we can get you your product within two hours,” Tyron says. “There’s a lot of other really valuable initiatives we’ve been able to really dedicate time to, just from the extra time we’ve got back from using DEAR.”
Why measuring matters
Being able to measure the effect Ovira’s DEAR implementation has had on the business is incredibly important, Tyron says. In fact, it’s core to the way they operate.
“It was something we were documenting before the switch — even just really basic things, documenting across the board to get an idea of where our time was going. For instance, documenting that it takes 30 minutes to solve that issue, or takes two hours to do planning for this one location. Just even if it’s at the end of the day, just a quick 10 minutes of jotting down notes can really go a long way, putting some data behind what the real time-suckers are in the organization.” Tyron says.
“Once we transitioned to DEAR, we were able to have real-life data, post integration, to compare our previous documentation to.”
When processes are understood, documented, and timed, it not only makes the switch to a new inventory management system easier, but it makes it possible to quantify what improvements the new system has made possible. What’s more, there’s huge potential for business systems improvement that takes advantage of the new IMS.
“Some of the real potential in the integration with DEAR is in changing some of our business processes,” Tyron says.
Minal agrees, adding that both the consulting and client businesses benefit from measuring the wins. If measurement isn’t in place, customers can’t know whether the new software they’ve just invested in is saving money or working well.
“When you’re in business, working in inventory management isn’t the main thing you want to do. You want to sell products and gain more revenue. So the more you can automate things, the better the value-add.” Now that the gains of using DEAR are clear to both consultant and client, Tyron says that the sky’s the limit for Ovira.
“We know we have the right foundation in terms of our inventory management,” Tyron says. As the business grows, the foundational efficiencies are going to be multiplied many times.
“So when we increase our SKU count, increase our warehouse count, having that visibility is going to be really important. It’s going to make a massive difference for our business,” Tyron says.
Next stop, the world
Three months in, things are looking great for Ovira — and they have no plans to stop now.
“We believe we’ve got a really good product, and we want to be able to offer a good service worldwide,” Tyron says. “We’re in Australia, the US, we’ve set up a warehouse in the UK, and we’re going into Canada. That will not be the last territory we go into in the next 12 months. We’ll be expanding everywhere we can.”
And he adds that none of it would be possible without DEAR. DEAR’s inventory management capabilities, he says, are absolutely foundational to this bold vision. “The visibility and control we have with DEAR is paramount. It just makes life so much easier for us,” Tyron says.
Tyron unhesitatingly recommends the software to like-minded, high-growth product businesses.
“DEAR is a really a flexible cloud-based inventory management system that takes away a lot of the workload and manual intervention that you’ll probably be experiencing on a day-to-day basis if you don’t already have an inventory management system in place.”
Minal agrees. DEAR, implemented well, especially as part of a stack with other cloud-based software, can help any product business, he says.
“DEAR has a lot of features that can take workload off your business and improve efficiency, and offer better integrations with multiple software solutions as well.”
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