Saddleback links demand-planning software to its NetSuite e-commerce platform.
Paul Demery , Chief Technology Editor
Saddleback Leather Co., an online retailer of leather goods such as belts, purses and shoulder bags, uses a mix of e-commerce technology to get orders it might otherwise miss, president and founder Dave Munson tells Internet Retailer.
Saddleback uses a combination of NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce software to run its consumer-facing e-commerce site along with NetSuite OneWorld software to manage its financial and inventory management. That includes managing the operations of two firms closely related to Saddleback: the TrueBlue Productionmanufacturing company that makes its leather goods, and the Chamberlain Shipping fulfillment house, which ships Saddleback.com’s orders. By integrating the three companies into the NetSuite software, Saddleback can better plan the production of items that consumers want and ensure that enough of the most popular products are in Chamberlain’s fulfillment center ready to ship, says Munson, who is president and founder of Saddleback and co-partner in TrueBlue with Saddleback CEO Chuck Bowen.
Plugged into the NetSuite software is a demand-planning application from Valogix, which analyzes Saddleback’s sales to ensure TrueBlue is ordering the materials and producing the finished products it will need to meet customer demand, says Saddleback operations manager Blake LeBrun. Valogix is a member of NetSuite’s SuiteCloud Developer Network, a program for independent software vendors that provides access to development tools and technical assistance so that other software developers can integrate their applications into the NetSuite software platform.
The combination of Valogix and NetSuite software allows the online retailer to automatically respond to out-of-stock situations in a way that keeps the customer informed. When a customer in the 2012 holiday shopping season wanted a small leather briefcase that Saddleback didn’t have in stock, for example, the combined NetSuite and Valogix system let the shopper request it on back order while the system forwarded the order details, including the necessary production materials, to TrueBlue, Munson says. The customer received an order confirmation promising delivery by Christmas, saving the sale and winning a new customer, he adds.
The home-grown e-commerce platform, Saddleback previously used would have required a manual process of entering information in spreadsheets and sending data to TrueBlue—a project that would have received little attention during the busy fall shopping season. “It would have taken longer and monopolized people’s time,” Munson says. “I don’t think we would have even attempted the project.”
Read more about companies using e-commerce technology to improve how they work with suppliers and serve customers in the March issue Internet Retailer magazine.