10 Years with ApparelMagic: West Indies Wear’s Journey to Better Inventory Management


The Challenge

West Indies Wear, founded by designer Kim Van Loo, started as a small but vibrant resortwear business. In its early years, the company faced significant challenges managing its growing inventory and complex orders. Initially, Kim relied on Excel spreadsheets to track SKUs, shipments, and orders, but this manual system was cumbersome and error-prone. The process was further complicated when factories began sending separate shipments, leading to backorders that were almost impossible to track using their outdated methods.

As West Indies Wear expanded from its Caribbean base into the United States, new logistical issues arose, including customs brokerage concerns and package searches for drugs, which led to difficulties in fulfilling orders for U.S. boutiques. The situation was less than ideal, and Kim knew that to maintain her business’s growth, she needed a more efficient system for inventory control and backorder management.

The ApparelMagic Solution

In late 2014, West Indies Wear adopted ApparelMagic’s desktop software, transforming its business operations. With ApparelMagic, they moved from chaotic manual processes to a streamlined, efficient system. Kim recalls feeling like the business had “grown up” when they started using ApparelMagic. The software provided robust inventory control and allowed them to manage backorders effectively.

In 2016, the company transitioned to ApparelMagic Cloud, enhancing accessibility and flexibility. This was a game-changer for Kim, who, as a “one-man band” designer, often worked at night. With the cloud version, she could now manage her business from her office, home, or even her phone, which was crucial given her unique business model.

“ApparelMagic is our bible, everything else in the business stems from that, and it is absolutely crucial to my business.”

The software’s comprehensive features allowed Kim to maintain a detailed history of every design, complete with images, colors, prices, fabrics, HTS codes, and descriptions. The UPC code generation feature significantly reduced the time spent on data entry, while the costing functionality streamlined their pricing process. The software also offered integrations with Shopify for online sales, Xero for accounting, and NuORDER for wholesale orders, which fit seamlessly with their evolving business needs.

The Results

The implementation of ApparelMagic revolutionized West Indies Wear’s operations. The robust inventory control and backorder management features streamlined their workflow, reducing manual errors and improving efficiency. Kim often describes ApparelMagic as the “backbone” of her business, providing stability and support as the company grows. The software’s comprehensive design records have become invaluable, allowing her to reference past styles and inform new collections, enhancing the brand’s creative and operational efficiency.

The cloud-based solution provided the flexibility Kim needed to manage her business effectively, whether from her office, home, or on the go. The ability to clone previous styles and carry over historical data streamlined her design process, while the seamless integrations with Shopify, Xero, and NuORDER enhanced their sales and accounting functions.

Streamline processes & increase productivity by 60%

More news from the ApparelMagic Community