30 Jul, 2020
In this case study we meet Guy De Wieuw, and hear how his frustration with producing inaccurate management reports in Excel for his investor led him to seek out Fathom. He also tells us why sales of tropical fish boomed after lockdown.
About the client
After living in Belgium, Guy and Nadine De Wieuw founded Petworld in South Africa in 2013. They saw there was a large gap in the market for a high quality, everything-under-one-roof store focused on pets and pet accessories. The group has 110 employees, and has grown to seven branches, a head office, and two franchise stores in the UAE.
- Fathom is quick, easy and simple to set up to; so you can start gaining insights and reports fast.
- All your information in one place, no more Excel sheets in folders across branches and servers.
- Benchmarking different branches and comparing financials.
- Insights, patterns and trends that are actionable on the shop floor and with the wider team.
When COVID hit South Africa, Guy’s investor asked him how well prepared he was and highlighted errors in his financial data. Guy was spending a day a month trying to generate graphs and reports in Excel and Word using his Xero data.
He was increasingly finding that he was not only wasting valuable time he could be using to guide his business, it was also retrospective and didn’t offer him any insights into how to adapt his strategy.
You can see patterns. That's good in COVID when you don't want to be wasting money or having a stock that's not going to move and just sit there.
What Guy wanted though, more than easy to understand reports for his investor, was an everything-in-one place dashboard where he had a complete consolidated overview of his branches, his stock and his financials, as well as the ability to dig deeper into areas if needed. And after trying out several other packages and software offerings, he found Fathom fitted the bill exactly.
It’s a testament to how quick and easy Fathom is to set up that Guy did it during a global pandemic and under financial scrutiny from his investor. He was up and running in just a few hours. Since then, Guy has created custom management reports from his Xero financials containing all the information he and his investor need.
Guy’s also using Fathom’s KPIs and tracking category breakdown to provide detailed analysis of his stock types. Whatsmore, this information is actionable; with Fathom he can spot trends and patterns and adjust his stock, marketing and customer service accordingly to maximise his efficiency.
“We have categories such as dogs, then within that we have dog food, dog non-food, dog health and dog vet food and so on,” says Guy.
Read: analysis in Fathom
The deep analysis in Fathom gives Guy a superb level of granularity over his business sections. “You can see patterns. If a certain category is suddenly becoming more popular, then you might have to extend that a bit in the stores and maybe reduce something else because it's less popular. That's good in COVID when you don't want to be wasting money or having a stock that's not going to move and just sit there.”
Petworld has two types of store, two 100 square metre convenience offerings and five larger 1500 square metre superstores. Using Fathom's Benchmarking functionality, Guy can compare stores and see at a glance which has sold more items or generated big wins, then share that insight with the wider group.
All this means Guy is able to better serve his customers, who during the pandemic turned to pets for friendship and company. “Just after the strict lockdown, we saw a lot of fish tanks being sold. People said, ‘well, if I stay at home, I'd rather start a hobby,’ We also saw a lot of people buy guinea pigs and rabbits to keep the kids busy!”
Written by Andrew Webb
Andrew is Fathom’s Content Strategist based in the UK. He has a background in journalism and has worked for companies like the BBC and HuffPost, as well as start ups in education and technology. Andrew has also published 5 food books and makes a great pie.