How Lurking Class gains visibility and control through centralized inventory management
Edgy, grungy, and darkly humorous apparel and accessories brand Lurking Class was founded by illustration artist Sketchy Tank in 2015. Being drawn to gritty and dark art from a young age, Sketchy Tank started as a blog featuring artwork he collected over the years. Eventually as the blog gained traction, he began to add his own illustrations into the pictorial mix, thus marking the beginning of Sketchy Tank’s original brand: Lurking Class.
At the beginning, Lurking Class’s operation was set-up as a pretty straightforward merchandising initiative to sell Sketchy Tank’s most popular artwork. However, due to high-demand of his products, it didn’t take long for Lurking Class to launch into a fully operational, multi-channel lifestyle apparel and accessories brand.
While booming business is always a welcome challenge for any entrepreneur, his emerging success was accompanied by an all-too-common caveat: operational growing pains.
Christian Ottobre, Director of Operations and employee number one of five at Lurking Class was introduced to Sketchy Tank two and a half years ago to grow Lurking Class’s direct sales channels and break into wholesale channels.
Leveraging his past experiences in building out workflows and operational logic, Christian was tasked to manage Lurking Class’s increasingly complex inventory and find ways to streamline and automate their highly manual operational processes.
“Within the first few weeks of starting at Lurking Class, I immediately knew that we needed a solution that gave us more oversight. We were trying to grow our direct sales channel in addition to launching into wholesale channels, and what we were using at the time just wasn’t giving us enough control or visibility,” explained Christian. “Everything was so manual. We tried to automate some of the processes, but there are a lot of moving pieces and no defined rules. We’re still trying to figure out our own internal process”.
On an average week, Christian was spending an upward of 24 hours, or 3 full workdays, manually pushing and pulling orders, tracking inventory across multiple channels, and comparing multiple data sources for accurate information on inventory. Similar to many growing brands, this type of manual work especially in a small and lean team is simply not scalable and can, in some cases, be detrimental to the business.
“This all changed when we switched to Stitch Labs,” said Christian.
Along Comes Stitch
Lurking Class was introduced to Stitch Labs through recommendations and word-of-mouth from similar, like-minded brands in the industry. Christian describes that what was most appealing to him and his team at Lurking Class was the strong partnership between Stitch and Shopify, as well as Stitch’s plug-and-play approach to inventory management.
“At the beginning, it was a little bit of blind faith that Stitch was going to work for us,” revealed Christian. “But pretty quickly, it was apparent that between the strong partnership with Shopify and integrations with other software we were already using, Stitch Labs was the modular solution I was looking for that was going to give me the freedom to build out what’s best for us. Now, Stitch Labs is integral to running our operations smoothly. If our operations were a cell, Stitch would be the nucleus.”
Prior to implementing Stitch as Lurking Class’s inventory management software of choice, Christian and team briefly used TradeGecko, another popular inventory management software for growing businesses. “We decided to switch because we realized we weren’t using over 65% of the functionality available. It felt a little clunky, and it didn’t support a lot of the brand level decisions we wanted to make. We switched to Stitch because it was really clear to me that Stitch Labs is a company focused on building a technology that solves contemporary problems for modern brands.”
As a relatively new Stitch user, Christian and the Lurking Class team is primarily using Stitch for accurate stock keeping and management across their many sales channels, but has plans to take advantage of the robust reporting capabilities and team training services in the future.
For more information on Lurking Class, visit www.lurkingclass.com
“We switched to Stitch because it was really clear to me that Stitch Labs is a company focused on building a technology that solves contemporary problems for modern brands. Now, Stitch Labs is integral to running our operations smoothly. If our operations were a cell, Stitch would be the nucleus.”
Christian Ottobre, Director of Operations | Lurking Class