When Jason Facio traveled from Nashville to Atlanta for the Data Driven Salon event in May 2019, he was on a growth mission. Already tapped into the ZeeZor network and in the habit of poring every P&L line item for his four high-end Element salons, he sensed he could take his lucrative hair color business to a new level of performance simply by measuring and managing hair color product usage and waste.
Doing the Research, Finding a Solution
“I’d really been looking at all types of new technologies to grow my business, from front desk to back bar,” Facio recalls. “I’d heard about some of the systems to measure and track color usage, but others were brand new to me, so I talked to every vendor I could.”
When he sat down with Josh Howard and the Vish team, Facio soon realized he’d found a solution that made the most sense for his business.
“Of all the systems I looked into, Vish required the least amount of behavioral change from the stylist,” Facio notes. “The only step professionals need to add to their existing color process is to reweigh the color bowl or bottle at the end of each service.” Once that becomes routine, Facio says, the savings—and other benefits—are obvious and rapid.
“Business was strong last year, but I was looking to secure more vertical revenue in hair color,” Facio explains, partly to defend against a potential decrease in retail sales lost to e-commerce and other channels, but mostly because he believed Element was leaving money on the table—specifically in the color bowl and by under-charging for services.
“Once I said `let’s do it,’ to Vish, they immediately committed to fly someone to Nashville to help us launch,” Facio says. “They did a great job, with all-day meetings and trainings at each location.”
How it Works
Vish is an online solution–a group of apps–to help salons’ measure, manage and grow hair color business. The system includes a Bluetooth enabled digital scale connected to a tablet (Element uses iPads) for colorists to access the Vish app in the dispensary or at the color bar; a cloud-based web app or dashboard for owners to view reports, manage inventory and more; and a front desk app to streamline communication and eliminate guesswork and paperwork between colorists and the front desk team at checkout.
- Element colorists are directed to log in, pull up a client record, input a formula, and weigh the hair color bowl or bottle as they mix the formula before each color service.
- At the end of the service, the colorist logs in to the iPad again and reweighs the same bowl or bottle. The whole process takes about 20 seconds.
- Vish records and tracks product usage data, automatically recalculating the formula “for next time” to the actual amount of product used, in the same ratio, thus eliminating future waste.
- The app tracks how consistently colorists are following through with the reweigh of the color bowl at the end, an important metric.
- The system can also aggregate and report the average amount of product used per type of service, as well as the actual product cost per service.
Stylist, hair color service and product inventory details are pre-loaded into the Vish system and can be updated regularly.
Facio says implementing a system like Vish delivers many advantages.
- It helps manage product waste by making people aware of how much hair color they are actually using for a particular service and automatically rightsizing the formula,” he says.
- Because the Vish app can communicate with the front desk, everything that gets measured gets charged. If a colorist adds a gloss service last minute, they don’t have to remember to add it to the ticket. The front desk can see what was mixed and measured, and charge for it. Nothing gets forgotten. It’s like a new source of revenue.”
- The third advantage, according to Facio, comes from being able to know precisely how much product a salon is using per each type of service, and being able to calculate actual product cost per service. That data can help fine-tune service pricing, and shape other areas of the business, too.
Facio forecasts a 30% decrease in hair color supply cost in 2020 versus 2019, given shifts Element has tracked since implementing Vish.
“In a few months, Vish has become an integral partner in the most profitable segment of our business,” Facio concludes.
For more information and a demo, visit getvish.com and meet with Vish CEO Josh Howard and the team at ISBN’s 2020 Conference May 3-5 at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.