Published on by Oracle NetSuite & Myers-Holum
4 Ways NetSuite ERP Helped High-Growth Retailer 4DH Manage an Innovative Sales Strategy
This blog article was written by Oracle NetSuite Alliance Marketing Manager Jenni Moseley, and first published here.
Working with Myers-Holum, 4DH replaced its disparate business applications with NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP system. It also directly integrated some of its existing applications into NetSuite, effectively creating a streamlined order-to-shipment to payment process.
Lifestyle brands management company 4DH LLC is continually reinventing itself — and its inventory.
4DH’s roster of dietary supplement and lifestyle apparel brands includes Axe & Sledge Supplements, All American Roughneck and American Made Nutrition. The company is known for its innovative retail model, which centers around limited-release “drops” of merchandise that typically sells out within 24 hours.
This strategy, while it raises buzz, leaves the Pittsburgh company with hundreds or thousands of orders to fulfill in a compressed period of time. That creates inventory, fulfillment and customer service challenges.
Working with NetSuite Alliance Partner Myers-Holum, 4DH replaced its disparate business applications with NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP system. It also directly integrated some of its existing applications into NetSuite, effectively creating a streamlined order-to-shipment to payment process.
That new technology approach solved four key problems for the high-growth retailer:
- Poor inventory tracking. 4DH’s fragmented software stack created big problems for inventory management teams, which were unable to track stock in real time or accurately forecast future sales, hindering the company’s growth. “There was absolutely no way to figure out what we needed to look at next in terms of expanding our line, adding clothing sizes, and/or expanding quantities of certain merchandise,” said Mike Rhoten, co-founder of 4DH LLC.
- Too many disparate systems. Like many fast-growth companies, 4DH added new software as needed. For example, 4DH relied on Shopify to manage its ecommerce sales. It also used SkuVault for inventory management, QuickBooks for financial management, ShipStation for shipping management, Authorize.net for credit card processing and Zendesk for customer service management, along with a smattering of spreadsheets. Over time, this mass of disconnected applications hindered data sharing across departments, required too much manual work and led to a high number of errors.
- A need to manually resolve order issues. Given the massive number of orders processed in a short amount of time, finding and fixing even a few problems threw a wrench into fulfillment efforts. Customer service agents had to refer to Shopify, Authorize.net and SkuVault to find order-related information. Then, they had to sift through ShipStation to find the "one order out of the 2,000 that needed correcting," Rhoten said. “On our big drop nights, we may process 10,000 to 15,000 orders,” he said. “Our customer service staff of eight would have to manually correct any shipping address that needed to be changed.” When apparel was purchased in the wrong size, for example, that just added to the chaos.
- An inability to scale. As 4DH and its brands began to grow, these manual processes and multiple systems just couldn’t keep up. A model that initially ran on one Shopify ecommerce cart eventually spread to various fulfillment applications plus QuickBooks for financial management. Customer satisfaction was impacted, and resource allocation became something of a guessing game. “We got to a point where our accountant was very stressed out, but we didn’t know whether there were better solutions out there,” said Rhoten. “We also didn’t know what steps to take to find those better solutions. It was just survival.”
Ready for a Change
In need of a unified solution that would support its current and future growth, 4DH went in search of an ERP solution that would meet its needs. NetSuite made the short list of options, and Myers-Holum walked Rhoten through how the cloud-based ERP could dramatically simplify processes while allowing the company to grow.
“Our NetSuite rep told us, ‘Whatever you need for your business, we can do,’” Rhoten said. “To me, you really can’t put a price on a promise like that.”
The company adopted NetSuite ERP to manage customer interactions, inventory, financials and payments.
“We even talk about forecasting or demand planning, which we could never do in the past,” he said. “It's comforting to know that we'll be able to do that.”
Watch this webinar, "NetSuite for High Growth Brands with 4DH - Axe & Sledge, American Roughneck, American Made Nutrition " to learn how 4DH transformed its business with NetSuite.