Meet the Cofounders of Clearly Inventory!
Steve Lochmoeller and Ethan Johnson founded Clearly Inventory in 2008 because they believed that lots of small businesses, individuals, and organizations needed a simple online inventory management system. Steve has spent close to 15 years working in manufacturing (much of that time spent with software and website development) and the previous 5 years in retail management. Ethan has been coding and developing software and websites for more than 10 years. Before that, he owned and managed a retail cycling store for 5 years. Both have been through their own frustrations with bad inventory systems, horrible software, and poor website designs. That’s why Clearly Inventory is here today.
Steve earned a B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Ethan earned a B.S. from the University of Kansas in Lawrence and an M.B.A. from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Story of Clearly Inventory
A small manufacturer in St. Louis, Missouri, needed a simple inventory application. They wanted a web-based system that could link their inventory data to their website, and they didn’t want to have to install software on every computer in their operation. Also, they wanted an inventory system that everyone could use and understand, with a minimum amount of training. So they did what most companies do—they called Google and asked them if there were any inventory systems that met these criteria. Google directed them to their website, www.google.com, but they still couldn’t find anything.
So they got Steve and Ethan to develop a custom online inventory management system for them.
The result was one of those “I can’t believe how we used to do this” moments, like when you switch from film cameras to digital cameras, or from paper mail to email, only on a much smaller scale. Among the benefits the new inventory system brought: decreases in shipping errors, reduction in stockouts, faster responses to customers, faster stock picking, quicker and better inventory counts, better purchasing decisions, less time wasted looking for things, and an overall reduction in administrative work. The plant manager alone eliminated more than 30 minutes of mind-numbing work every day! And all of the above benefits have the additional benefit of reducing the amount of stress that the company used to experience due to frustrations with inventory.
After experiencing the above benefits, it wasn’t much of a leap to figure that thousands of other companies could benefit from a similar system. And so the company decided to invest in the development of a commercial version of the new inventory application, and in 2008, Clearly Inventory was born.