“We think of ourselves as a data company that just happens to sell furniture.”
CEO of Walker Edison
Since its establishment in 2006, Walker Edison has become a leading partner and drop-ship solution for the biggest names in e-commerce. Driven by data, they strive to cultivate a culture that inspires customers to Live Outside the Box™ with innovative furniture. Walker Edison is a global organization with operations in Brazil, Asia, the UK, and Germany.
Challenge: This furniture manufacturer lacked the data needed to accurately manage inventory, which prevented the company from being a stable partner to retailers.
Solution: Thanks to Domo, the company has transformed to a data-driven culture that provides real-time insight into their supply chain, sales, and more.
Impact: The company has the insight required to better predict inventory needs so they can meet customer requirements and recognize revenue.
Walker Edison turns dining tables into data points with Domo.
Walker Edison is not a furniture company. Sure, they partner with some of the world’s largest online retailers to design, manufacture, deliver, and market their white-labeled furniture products. If you’re sitting down to read this on a couch or at a desk that you ordered online, there’s a strong possibility you own one of Walker Edison’s products and don’t even know it.
But ask Brad Bonham, CEO of Walker Edison, and he will set you straight: “We think of ourselves as a data company that just happens to sell furniture.” Thanks to Domo, Walker Edison has been able to leverage their data to grow from a scrappy startup to one of the largest furniture brands in the business.
“It took us ten years to go from zero to $18 million before we got Domo. Since we got Domo, we went from $18 million to 25 times that amount in the last five years. You can pinpoint the inflection point of our growth to the moment we onboarded with Domo,” he said. “I can’t imagine where we would be from a revenue perspective if we hadn’t onboarded Domo. I would guess we would be a tenth of our size, that’s my honest guess.”
“Next to our ERP, Domo is the most important piece of software we have here at Walker Edison. If you have a question, there’s probably already a dashboard that has the answer.”
Steve Brownlee| Associate Director of Business Intelligence
Taking stock of a broken inventory process.
Before Domo, Walker Edison had built a sterling reputation for quality products, fast shipping, and incredible customer service. When talking to their retailer partners, they only had one complaint: why are you always out of stock?
“This was a talking point in every meeting, and the truth is we didn’t know. Our inventory management system was basically going into the backroom to count: ‘We’re out; I guess we should order more of that,’” Bonham said. “One day, we sat in a room to write down every question we didn’t have an answer to, and the whiteboard filled up with questions about margin, inventory levels, and sales.”
The company tried to answer these questions with spreadsheets, but it quickly became too complex to manually aggregate data from all their disconnected sources.
“It would take me days or even weeks to get the data and the information that we needed to be able to draw a conclusion,” said Boyd Kezerian, Chief Transformation Officer at Walker Edison. “Being in the ecommerce space, that’s a real problem. A lot of the time, I would bring the data back, and it was great data, but it was now irrelevant.”
Evolving to a data-driven culture.
Thanks to Domo, Walker Edison instantly unlocked the insights required to take the next step in their evolution. The company has gone from gut decisions based on intuition to creating a data-driven culture that is responsible for their exponential growth.
“You can’t speak up in a meeting here if you don’t have the data to back it up,” Kezerian said. “Before we implemented Domo, we talked a lot about furniture. Once we implemented Domo, all our conversations started to change. Frankly, I don’t remember the last time I talked about a piece of furniture.”
Everyone from executives and the board to customer service agents and order processors use Domo to track inventory, supply chain performance, sales, and market conditions. In addition, the company’s third-party logistics partners can access Domo-powered dashboards through PDP to answer questions and make decisions. As a result, Walker Edison ensures that everyone is working with the same source of information so that there’s complete alignment.
“Having Domo makes it so easy to share data across teams, and everyone can see the same data. It drives a lot of transparency and makes sure everyone can see everyone else’s view of the business,” said Sharat Alankar, Chief Growth Officer at Walker Edison.
In addition to leveraging dashboards to make data accessible, Walker Edison relies on alerts that tell people when there’s a change in a key indicator that needs to be addressed. Instead of waiting for reports at the end of the month to know how the business is doing, the team now uses these alerts to make real-time adjustments on a daily basis. “It brings peace of mind knowing those key points are being watched 24/7,” Kezerian said. “As an ecommerce business, we’re selling all the time, so this helps us monitor our business the same way.”
Insight across the supply chain.
With Domo, Walker Edison no longer wonders about the state of their inventory. They utilize Domo to track their inventory from when it leaves the factory floor on a container ship to when it arrives in the warehouse to ultimately when it arrives in the home of a customer. Alerts quickly indicate if there is an issue, such as a backlog, so that the company can redirect other shipments to meet their customer commitments and recognize revenue.
During logistics disruptions fueled by the pandemic, this ability to understand and manage inventory at every point in the supply chain has been critical. The company is able to identify if a factory is shut down due to quarantine, if a container ship is stuck outside a port, or if a warehouse is struggling to keep up with orders, allowing the company to adjust on the fly. “We’ve saved millions over the years, if not tens of millions, by using Domo to be able to quickly adjust where our inventory is positioned,” Kezerian said.
With an unpredictable supply chain becoming the new normal, the company relies on Domo to improve forecasts and conduct scenario planning based on inventory, sales, and potential issues. They can also quickly identify slow-selling or excess inventory so that managers know which items to discount to make room for top-selling items. “For our partner growth team, they can see which items are selling above forecast so we can double down and increase revenue,” Brownlee said.
“We have predictive modeling from our data science team that provides predictions based on the current trajectory,” Alankar said. “During COVID, that’s been really critical for achieving short-term accuracy, which is more volatile now due to huge shifts in both demand- and supply-side constraints. We’ve gotten to the point that by the fifth of the month, we can predict the rest of the month with approximately 95% accuracy.”
As Walker Edison looks to the future, the company plans to leverage the ability to make smarter predictions in order to determine the direction of the business. Remember, they’re a data company now, not just a furniture company, so the sky’s the limit to where the company can go.
“There are so many new growth areas we can go after. Domo lets us make better decisions and then communicate that across the team. The faster we can do that, the faster we can double down on a good decision and pull away from a bad decision.”
Sharat Alankar| Chief Growth Officer
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