Youth to the People empowers field sales and upgrades inventory planning & execution

Date Posted: August 30, 2019
Allure Readers' Choice Award Winner

Youth to the People (YTTP) creates vegan + superfood skincare made from purposeful, clean ingredients.

Founded in 2015 by cousins who grew up in the beauty industry, the company’s marriage of science and superfoods has driven rapid sales and distribution growth. They launched on Sephora.com just nine months after inception, quickly followed by Sephora brick and mortar stores, Nordstrom and Anthropologie.

The brand is now available at over 500 retail locations in the U.S. and Europe, as well as Amazon and its own e-commerce website.

Highlights
  • Clean skincare brand needed an integrated solution that not only provided reliable sales reporting, but also supported their need to focus more on supply chain management as they grew
  • Alloy’s all-in-one platform provides leadership, Sales, and Operations with a comprehensive view of sell-through and on-hand inventory at all their customers’ stores, as well as their own direct e-commerce channel
  • Field sales reps are empowered to track their performance and set their schedule based on stores needing attention, and provide unique value to store leadership during visits by sharing detailed performance metrics
  • Youth to the People shared data in Alloy with a retailer and convinced them to make an adjustment to distribution of a specific SKU to better match forecasted demand
Opportunity

With a small team and rapid growth, time management became an issue early on for Youth to the People. The hours it took to sort through weekly reports from retailers and build Excel files for analysis was just too time consuming. Furthermore, it was a challenge to search and find data in those documents if they needed to quickly reference something, and there were ongoing concerns about data accuracy and human errors in calculations.

Youth to the People started using a POS reporting tool to meet their retail data needs, but eventually outgrew that as well. As they expanded and sales & marketing were hitting their stride, all aspects of operations, including inventory management, became a top priority. They saw it as the #1 potential barrier to further company growth.

"I would recommend Alloy to anyone manufacturing something who needs to sell it, who’s trying to develop and grow a business, whether it be a pacifier or cosmetics. It is a huge time saver, and it is accurate and reliable.”
-Laura Cline, Director of Education

Youth to the People needed to ensure they were producing the right products, getting them out on time, and creating a safety net in case of supply or demand shocks. As a result, they were looking for a solution that not only offered accurate and reputable sales reporting, but would also enable them to manage planning and dynamically adjust inventory or ordering based on forward-looking sales projections.

As a rapidly evolving start-up, Youth to the People also wanted a solution flexible enough to adjust as their business changed, and that offered a strong support system.

 

Solution

Youth to the People was very attracted to Alloy’s all-in-one platform. With robust data collection and harmonization, predictive analytics, and demand planning, they finally had one solution that could meet the needs of everyone on their expanding team.

Field Sales Dashboard

Leadership uses Alloy to see the big picture of how the company as a whole is performing. They regularly reference pre-built executive dashboards that track key metrics, looking at their direct business alongside their retail channels – something they couldn’t do with their prior tool. For specific meetings, the team can easily customize dashboards to match the discussion, and then keep adjusting them on the fly to answer the next question.

Sales also appreciates the way Alloy software is visual and intuitive, in addition to how easy it is to navigate and make adjustments, like switching from a monthly to a weekly view. Laura Cline, Youth to the People’s Director of Education, uses Alloy to prioritize where she focuses her time and manage her team of 20 field sales people.

The platform enables them to:

  • Empower individual field sales reps to track their own performance and set their schedule for store visits day-to-day
  • Provide differentiated value to the leadership at retail stores, sharing information they don’t have access to on how Youth to the People products are performing vs. retailer goals, which SKUs are performing best, and product trends
  • Track performance by territory, and identify outliers that are not trending the same way as the rest of the business
  • Conduct regular touch bases between each field sales rep and their manager, using Alloy dashboards to deep dive into how their specific stores are performing and provide coaching
  • Plan where to schedule events and trainings to help boost sales, especially for new product launches
  • Demonstrate the impact of store-level activities, such as visits and trainings

The Operations team uses Alloy to get complete visibility into on-hand inventory across their entire business, both direct and retail. They then work in Alloy’s planning dashboard to make adjustments as needed, reallocating inventory or changing replenishment to meet true demand.

Alloy in action

As told by Laura Cline, Director of Education
“We noticed there was a big difference between actual inventory levels of a specific SKU, and what we thought would be ideal, based on what we can sell. Distribution to certain brick-and-mortar stores was different from what seemed to make sense to us.

We were able to verify in Alloy that replenishment and on-hand inventory at stores was not aligned to sell-through, and then actually export that file from Alloy to the retailer. The data convinced the retailer to make an adjustment. That’s something we wouldn’t have been able to do before Alloy.

It’s critical to us because when we’re out of a product in a store, a lot of the time it loses the sale – not just for right now, but into the future as it affects brand loyalty. And it isn’t limited to consumers either; the loyalty of the actual sales people in the store is hurt too. If they’re out of a product for a while, it’s often ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ and they might not recommend the brand as much in general. When our inventory is off, it really does have a long-term ripple effect on our sales.”

Results

Time savings. The hours spent compiling retail sales and inventory reports every week are gone. So is the time wasted digging through giant files to find a specific data point to answer a question. With Alloy, Youth to the People gets a complete view of their business and can dynamically drill down for root cause analysis, all in a matter of minutes.

Strategic decision making. Every level of the organization at Youth to the People takes advantage of the data to make strategic decisions about their work. Individual field reps can easily prioritize their store visits and trainings, the sales manager can strategically coach her team and drive sales, and leadership has the big picture they need to decide where to invest company time and resources.

Inventory matching. Youth to the People is a fast-growing brand in a competitive industry, making it critical to keep up with consumer demand and build loyalty at the consumer and retailer level. Alloy enables the Operations team to be both proactive and reactive, developing plans based on forward-looking demand and weeks of supply, and quickly responding to changes in demand by shifting inventory where it’s needed most.

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