FullCircle to Stitch: how Outerknown re-platformed to accommodate for ecommerce growth
We’re suckers for a brand that cares about their impact, and Outerknown does just that.
Founded by 11-time World Surf Champion Kelly Slater and intuitive designer John Moore, Outerknown exists to provide ‘style without sacrifice;’ Outerknown truly cares about the health of the environment, and the workers who make it. Originally a men’s apparel brand, Outerknown expanded to women’s apparel at the beginning of this year which has grown the brand substantially.
As a brand with a strong voice and intentional product offerings, the world needed more of Outerknown, and they realized a multichannel solution was necessary for meeting customers wherever they prefer to buy.
When Outerknown decided to focus more on the direct-to-consumer component of their business, they realized they needed a better way to better purchasing and inventory. While figuring out how to shift their business from mainly wholesale operations to direct, Outerknown realized that visibility into their sales channels would be a core component in pushing their business forward.
Outerknown originally operated their ecommerce on Magento and the majority of their operations on FullCircle, a massive ERP system that focuses on wholesale. Because FullCircle is such a large system, they aren’t able to give Outerknown the flexibility it needs to experiment and scale as quickly as needed. With an Amazon channel and the desire to expand their ecommerce sales, Outerknown decided to switch their entire tech stack to accommodate growth.
“We knew it was time to move off of a full-blown ERP system, so it was really understanding that there are going to be new opportunities to integrate, and being able to move quickly and be nimble is key.” — Travis Heard, VP Finance
Since Outerknown was looking to grow their direct sales channel substantially, they needed to move warehouses. When consciously shifting business to be focused more on direct, they felt that they needed more control and a robust 3PL and tech stack that would allow for more usability.
The countless workarounds such as manual order-routing with their current tech stack were time-consuming and prone to error. Outerknown knew there had to be a better solution that would support their growth mission while also being more cost-effective.
Moving to a best-in-class tech stack
When Outerknown partnered with Zehner, a visual marketing agency located in Los Angeles, they mentioned they needed the ability to operate flexibly and scale their direct sales channels. From Zehner’s recommendation, Outerknown switched from Magento to Shopify Plus, and within two months, turned on their Amazon Marketplace account. They soon realized that they weren’t moving inventory through Amazon, so decided to redirect units to their ecommerce channel automatically, while deducting the available units from Amazon when needed.
Outerknown recognized this flexibility in operations was something they wanted more of, so they began to look into different options for the future:
“We were coming from large ERPs where they talk about timelines and rollouts and updates in years. Being with a more tech-minded company, I really bought into and believed in the vision of Brandon Levey, [CEO of Stitch Labs] and your whole purpose of moving fast and innovating where necessary.” — Travis Heard, VP Finance
Being mindful of their operational needs when expanding their direct sales channels, Outerknown wanted an operations management platform that was turnkey and helped them implement on their schedule. Outerknown also partnered with Stitch to easily route orders from their warehouse to the appropriate sales channels, and control their inventory as master of stock.
Aside from an operational standpoint, Outerknown chose Stitch because of the partnerships involved. Zehner helped Outerknown build their site and creatively build how their brand is represented. Since Outerknown trusted Zehner to build their brand awareness through their ecommerce site, they also recommended Stitch to Outerknown, and trusted them to help re-platform their brand to run more smoothly:
“We’ve worked with Zehner since before we were even selling product in the marketplace. I think we work really well together, from a creative, aesthetic perspective because he’s just so in tune with the brand ethos, the look and feel, just the vibe itself. We also tasked them with giving us good partner vendor options which is actually how we came to connect with Stitch.” — Travis Heard, VP Finance
After Outerknown re-platformed, they knew they were on the right path operationally, but a new tech stack requires a great deal of technical learning. Because the other components of their new tech stack run through Stitch, they received help from Theresa Luke, one of our Customer Implementation Managers to support them throughout the process.
Outerknown opted for the best-in-class tech stack by using Stitch alongside FullCircle for their accounting system. This has proven ideal for Outerknown since it’s given them the control they need of their finances, and the flexibility they need to scale.
After implementing Stitch alongside their current ERP (FullCircle) for their accounting module, Outerknown launched their women’s line while maintaining visibility into their operations. This expansion allowed them to scale and reach an untapped market without halting business.
Outerknown has a clear mission of providing quality, sustainable apparel to men and women who want to make a difference. With a ton of operational changes to their tech stack this year alone, Outerknown was able to:
- Gain visibility into their sales channels and automate their inventory and orders
- Easily route orders from their warehouse to customers
- Streamline their purchasing workflow
- Grow their direct-to-consumer sales channel (Shopify), and launch women’s apparel
- Implement Stitch quickly and take advantage of our customer success resources
While Outerknown’s main focus for the year is building a customer base for their new women’s line, they are always thinking of what’s next. Travis mentioned that they’re looking to experiment with pop-ups and events, while selectively growing their wholesale business, and we’re excited to help them through those processes.
To learn more about Outerknown and shop with purpose, check out www.outerknown.com.
“Theresa was a huge help and support as we were standing up the whole new tech stack and that's the type of stuff that you would hope an Operations Management Platform would bring to the table that's something where we definitely benefited. I think people at Stitch really know all of the ecosystems that they operate in--not just their own software--so I think that ends up being something that's very valuable.”
Travis Heard, VP Finance | Outerknown