Deadly Ponies was founded in 2005. It designs and produces leather accessories. The brand is synonymous with artisanal quality, sumptuous materials and a unique design aesthetic that pushes creative boundaries. Deadly Ponies is New Zealand based and internationally renowned.
What was your situation?Liam
“I began the company three years before Steve came on board. It was a fledgling business with six staff and we got by on the smell of an oily rag. When Steve entered the fold, things began to take off. Now we are forty plus people.
”I love making new things which means every design starts from scratch, through to production. While we are always able to surprise and delight, it also means that we are in a constant state of new, which is hard.”
“When I began Liam had been operating using MYOB, let’s call the accounting ‘relaxed’. Things needed to be tidied up, I knew how I wanted it, but I didn’t necessarily know how to get there, and I struggled with the amount of work.
“We were also finding cash flow challenging and each season would pay for the next.”
“When we spoke to Aimee, we discovered that she could anticipate our problems. We were impressed with this. We never saw her as an outsourcing offer, we saw her as a business partner.”
“At first, we felt vulnerable opening up and letting someone in, but Aimee is easy to trust. She has grown processes and systems that work for us, that haven’t constrained us and have allowed us to remain focused on what we do best.”
How did IGC help you?Liam
“In Good Company brings another element of balance to the mix, an ability to dive in and make sense of data which then gives us the confidence to make decisions and grow.”
“While we are financially conservative, Aimee didn’t help us become less conservative, but gave us the ability to operate with reassurance. We have a lot of livelihoods in our hands and we wish to create an environment where our team and customers feel happy. Being good financially contributes greatly to that.”
The relationship evolvedSteve
“When we began the relationship, In Good Company provided rudimentary book keeping and managed receivables. Progressively they took over payables and then the entire administration side of our business, production reporting, wages, bill of material, purchase orders and financial reporting.”
“Due to the seasonality of fashion, there is a high volume of work four times a year. Working with IGC means we have a team of people who can deal with the influx and then reduce the work load where necessary.”
Is IGC an innovative service provider?Liam
“Yes, in the way they have adapted with technology and their systems and processes. They provide in-house apps to speed up information flow and connection, and they are constantly changing and moving."
What challenges did you face that IGC helped you to manage?Steve
“A massive one has been understanding and refining our GP. This has given us measurable improvements year on year that has enabled the business to grow. We haven’t got speed wobbles and Aimee’s guidance has allowed us to keep our financials in a state where we have been able to grow without having to bring on external investors.”
“The great thing is we haven’t had to face a large challenge. IGC has enabled us to work around obstacles. They developed our financial knowledge and we now have a greater level of reporting and intelligence around our finance and administration.”
What was the primary benefit of working with IGC?Liam
“They have allowed us to remain independent and supported our growth. In times of intense pressure, they have enabled us to not be worried about our finances and cash flow as we were able to trust completely that we were in someone’s capable hands.”
“We can put our attention into doing the things that we do best and know that they have our back.”
What’s next for you and IGC?Steve
“We would like to refine our targets around store profitability, refine the way we create, establish bench marks that the company can set and work to over the next 3-4 years.
“We want to work with IGC to educate our staff and give them a greater degree of knowledge around financing, budgets and P & L’s. We believe this will allow us to become more sophisticated and operate at a higher level.”
Any final comments?Steve “This has been a nice opportunity to take stock and, in all honesty, we don’t thank her and appreciate what she brings to the business enough. A fair chunk of our success is because of her and her team.
“We have deliberately made it, so she can never get away. We have built a friendship with her. It’s much more than a business arrangement, she’s certainly a friend.”
“We love you Aimee.
“We see Aimee as our CFO and everything she manages falls under that. We put Aimee on our organisational chart as the CFO. Our team sees IGC as our finance department, they just sit in a different building.
“We want to be continually excited by the opportunities that present themselves, to be challenged and to learn. We believe our relationship with In Good Company will help us achieve this.”