Aardvark Mobile Tours is an experiential marketing company that creates unforgettable, engaging experiences on wheels for some of the world’s biggest brands and their agencies. From helping Coca-Cola hit the summer streets of Chicago to showing off W Hotels’ newest in-room yoga programming in New York City, Aardvark’s team is behind some of the boldest, most memorable marketing campaigns across the country.
Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Tim Considine, General Manager at Aardvark to learn more about its thriving business and understand how the whole Aardvark team uses Sortly to stay organized.
Aardvark relies on a variety of software to manage its complex operations
Aardvark executes over 10,000 events a year across the United States. This process often begins at consultation—their clients often reach out to Aardvark with only a cocktail-napkin sketch or a rough idea. From there, Aardvark continues to do it all: design and build vehicles, plan routes, hire staff, procure props, store valuable inventory on behalf of their clients, secure permits and insurance, track and report metrics, and more.
But to make it all happen, Aardvark must remain organized. Every aspect of the business is tightly managed so that each client’s event can go off without a hitch. It’s that peace of mind that Tim and the rest of the Aardvark team are so proud to offer to their clients.
“We have to be very proactive,” said Tim. “It all comes down to planning and execution. We rely on a constellation of different software packages to enable us to execute these 10,000+ events a year with flawless precision.”
Aardvark turned to Sortly to simplify its inventory system and empower their employees
Aardvark phased out its previous warehouse management software and switched to Sortly. This allowed them to create a more intuitive, visual representation of both Aardvark’s own inventory and that of its customers.
The previous system, which Tim said was not a good fit for Aardvark, was a complex, industrial piece of software. Only one employee had been properly trained to use it. When Aardvark needed to make changes to the system, the business had to hire consultants by the hour, fly them to the warehouse, discuss what they needed, and then ask them to make the necessary changes. This was both expensive and time-consuming—and not scalable for their thriving business.
Frustrated, Aardvark found Sortly online.
“I remember thinking, Boy, this looks simple. It looks intuitive. It looks like something everybody on our team could use and have access to.”
Now, only a few months into using Sortly, every person on Aardvark’s team has access to the business’s inventory list. According to Tim, this “open access” improves speed, boosts efficiency, lowers costs, and helps Aardvark serve its customers better.
In fact, Tim lists Sortly’s easy-to-access mobile app functionality as the biggest game-changer for Aardvark’s inventory management strategy.
“I might be home having wine on the deck with my wife at 7pm, but it’s 4pm in LA, and our driver is out there, field staff is working, and they can’t find something. I can open up the app, or the team can open up the app. Our team can support our drivers remotely, because everyone’s got access to our inventory now.”
To Tim, the switch to Sortly reminded him of when he upgraded from a traditional word processor to a cloud-based one.
“Everything is in the cloud much quicker. That means there’s less chance things can get misconstrued, misentered, lost, or delayed. It’s like Microsoft Word versus Google Docs,” Tim said. “Sortly is the Google Docs of inventory. Once the information is up there, everyone can see it.”
While Aardvark allows all its employees to view inventory lists, the business utilizes Sortly’s customizable user access levels to restrict who can modify or add data. This helps Aardvark ensure its records remain accurate while allowing all users to reference the data.
With Sortly, managing Aardvark’s inventory—and its customers’ inventory—is simple
Aardvark’s inventory operations are complex and they needed a system that could streamline that. After all, Aardvark doesn’t just track its own vehicles, equipment, supplies, and tools with Sortly. They also track valuable inventory on behalf of their customers.
“We’re tracking the inventory of over a hundred different customers at any one time. And at the end of the day, we have a responsibility to get it back to them,” Tim said.
To ensure Aardvark can do just that, Tim and his team use Sortly’s folders, custom fields, and tags to keep every job organized—and every last item accounted for. Because Aardvark juggles so many jobs simultaneously, the business relies on Sortly’s custom data fields to identify and track items carefully.
This is especially helpful if a customer has more than one job ongoing, and there are several vehicles associated with each job. All of this information is recorded within each item’s custom fields, and then organized in the appropriate sub-folder within the correct parent folder.
“Sortly has enabled us with a very adaptable, flexible, folder-based design. We’ve been able to develop some very simple, replicable standardized fields that help us keep straight what we have for every customer, where it is, and what job it’s on.”
What’s more, Sortly creates a “custody record” for each item in Aardvark’s inventory. If a customer cannot locate an item once in Aardvark’s possession, Tim and his team can simply consult Sortly to review the item’s history.
“With Sortly, we can tell our customer, ‘Our records show that the item came in on this date, it went on this vehicle on this date, it toured the country for six months, and then, when we got it back, it was shipped to you on this date. And here’s the UPS label from that box.’”
Aardvark follows this protocol for every item valued at $250 or more. They know whether an item has been shipped back to a customer, disposed of, or—if it’s still in Aardvark’s possession—exactly where it’s stored.
To Aardvark, Sortly’s commitment to customer success is key
When we asked Tim to tell us what he’d say to another business considering the switch to Sortly, he had two selling points.
The first point: speed, particularly the increased speed with which his staff can access information, answer customers’ questions, or quell an employee’s concerns. Nobody has to wait for a callback or an email response. Information about every piece of inventory is easily accessible in the Sortly app.
“You can’t put a price on speed,” said Tim. “And speed reduces the heat level, the frustration level. There’s a non-financial, non-metric value to everyone just getting the information they need, when they need it.”
The second point: a customer-first interface and ethos. To Tim, it was clear from day one that Sortly’s primary concern was Aardvark’s success and desired outcomes—not simply selling software. Tim cited his early collaboration with Riley, Sortly’s Customer Success Manager, as evidence.
According to Tim, Riley understood Aardvark’s goal: to create a usable, sustainable inventory system that met their precise needs. When Riley took the time to show Tim exactly how Sortly worked and to discuss whether Sortly was a proper fit for Aardvark’s needs, Tim could tell that Aardvark’s goal was Sortly’s goal, too.
“Sortly didn’t want us to have to waste all that time and expense if the capabilities of Sortly’s software weren’t going to deliver on what we needed,” Tim said.
Now, with the help of Sortly, Aardvark can manage its inventory with confidence, allowing the whole Aardvark team—wherever they might be working, and whatever brand they might be serving—to focus on what matters most: producing a perfect event.
Sortly is an intuitive, customizable inventory app that helps businesses of every shape and size take control of their inventory. Ready to get organized and start tracking your business’s inventory, assets, tools, and more? Start a free, two-week trial of Sortly and start saving time, money, and stress on inventory.