Unleashed disrupts logistics with price feeds from plumbing merchants

Inventory gives plumbers live price updates.

Cloud inventory company Unleashed Software gave plumbers live pricing of nearly 40,000 items held by New Zealand’s second largest plumbing supplier after integrating with its production systems.

The exclusive deal with NZPM Group, which sold to 1,200 plumbers through its retail arm Plumbing World, took two months of programming to complete.
“This is a live price feed for 37,331 items auto-populated directly from the merchant,” Unleashed CEO Gareth Berry said. “The merchant will make price changes, contract pricing or other modifications on their system and it’s instantly reflected into Unleashed.

“We get the live price file for that particular plumber’s pricing. There’s no file imports or exports, it’s just there.”

Unleashed had integrated its inventory program with field management and scheduling application GeoOp and cloud accounting program Xero to allow information to move between the three programs. A plumber could create a new job in GeoOp and then in Unleashed allocate the job number next to products bought from Plumbing World.

Unleashed automatically created a purchase order and sent the journals directly to the Xero accounting program. “Before the plumber’s walked out the door of Plumbing World, the goods have been automatically signed to the job so he can instantly see what the profitability of that job is on his iPhone or iPad,” Berry said.
“Once he finishes the job GeoOp will send that invoice across to Xero and it will update Unleashed with the actuals used. So if he uses three parts instead of five for the order, it will put two parts back into stock.”

As the inventory updated itself for new purchases and products used in jobs it would also help plumbers manage the stock carried in their vans which was often a problem for organisations with more than five plumbers.

“Their liability in terms of the amount of stock in the vans it’s actually quite significant,” Berry said. Unleashed was in talks with other plumbing suppliers to integrate their systems into the inventory program.

Once Unleashed had connected price feeds from four or five merchants it would add templates for projects that could automatically create a bill of materials, find the best pricing across all merchants, and calculate the profitability of the job.

Merchants would also be able to better manage their stock levels because they would have forecasted requirements from Unleashed users, Berry said.

Unleashed, which has close to 5,000 customers, was relaunching its website this week with more information about its inventory and listings for Australian partners. The inventory software had been updated to make every field and view customisable so that different users could look at only the information relevant to their needs.

A warehouse picker could have a very simplified interface that showed the barcode number, quantity and type of product, while an accountant could view all fields relating to purchase price, sale price and profitability.

Reports were also user definable; fields could be dragged into different orders or deleted.

Unleashed had also added a document designer that could customise invoices, packing slips and purchase orders for individual orders or customers. An improved user interface let users complete tasks from any list screen without navigating to another area of the application.

Unleashed raised $2 million in venture capital in September to hire more sales staff and developers. Australia was a major new market and Berry said he hoped to establish price feeds with Reece Australia, one of the largest plumbing suppliers.

Integration with sales channels such as eBay, Etsy and TradeMe was also on the cards.

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