Amer Sports is a global brand house that promotes an ethos focussed on health, wellness and sustainable consumption and supports over twelve proprietary sport and outdoor brands sold across over 88 countries. The Australian New Zealand subsidiary had implemented an SAP ECC 6 enterprise system which had a B2B module that offered simplistic functionality more suited to refill ordering.
“Our business model is heavily oriented towards pre-booking”, outlines National Sales Manager, Stuart Wright, “and the corporate ERP module we had access to did not provide the functionality to cater for the nuances this type of selling demanded. It’s a very visual and collaborative process between our internal and external sales team and our Retail partners. We also wanted to adopt a more sustainable wholesale model and divert the need for traditional sampling and cataloging to something more digital. We began the due diligence process to find a suitable vehicle and Brandscope emerged a solid contender based on market feedback and review of alternate options, both domestically and internationally.”
Brandscope was adopted as the primary pre-book selling tool and the Arc’teryx, Wilson, Suunto, Salomon and Atomic seasonal releases loaded onto the platform, accompanied by supporting digital marketing assets. The system was integrated into the global enterprise SAP ERP to facilitate automated flow of orders, inventory and product status to eliminate any manual processing and ensure data timeliness and accuracy. External and internal sales teams were then workshopped by the Brandscope training division in “best practices” and Retail partners introduced to the platform via digital EDM, with links to an array of online supporting materials.
“The onboarding process was well-coordinated,” said Stuart, “and the relevant support mechanisms in place to ensure a transition from a more traditional to digital model of pre-booking, but also refilling. It was quite a learning experience for our older sales guys and Retailers but they were willing to adopt in an effort to be more sustainable and streamlined in interactions. From a back-of-house perspective, we were also excited about the impact on our Customer Service team in freeing them up to invest more time into proactive practices as opposed to just entering orders.”
The resulting pre-books illustrated that “old dogs could indeed be taught new tricks” according to Stuart, with pre-book orders coming in faster, ahead of deadline and broader in category representation. The sales team were also more proactive in constructing detailed suggested orders and collaborating with Retailers to control the pre-book process, resulting in budgets being met and deadlines achieved to comply with manufacturing demands. “The aesthetic nature of Brandscope really contributed to Retailer engagement,” stated Stuart, “as they found the buying experience far more interactive and dynamic than the typical spreadsheet and catalogue mix. The feedback was also very positive about the ease of constructing multi-month buys by category with their Sales Representatives and then collaborating to finalise before being sent directly to the ERP for automated processing. We were also able to launch quickly as we’d mitigated the need for every Retailer to be physically visited, contributed to a faster pre-book and reduced travel costs. We now get 100% of orders for Arc’teryx through Brandscope, have eliminated catalogues and vastly reduced sampling (Amer now relies on fabric swatches) which aligns with Amer’s sustainability promise.”
Pre-book orders flowed directly into the SAP system and were bucketed under the relevant retail entities allowing for multiple months, varied product pricing and alternate shipping addresses.
“Though our focus is predominantly on pre-book,” said Stuart, “the platform has also been very effective for refilling as many buyers are in front of their computers and can quickly see and judge opportunities that we communicate to them. It’s a new level of immediacy and intimacy that has benefited us over our competitors. The impact on the internal team has also been marked”, added Stuart, “with the Customer Service team not having to deal with as much information provision as they have prior. Retailers have really been managing themselves which has afforded the team with a greater capacity to be more provocative and communicate opportunities such as best-sellers and new stock as examples. Overall, Brandscope has really helped us get to that next level of wholesale”.
“Implementing the Brandscope platform into Amer Sports has helped us to achieve a new level of collaboration and immediacy with our Retail partners and has been instrumental in our journey to becoming a more sustainable and profitable business. It’s a partnership that we’d highly recommend to any wholesale brand Supplier wanting to achieve similar results.”