Hectic is an established UK and European distributor with a sophisticated network of Agents, specialising in incubating and fostering growing American brands into the complex UK/EU market. Historically, Hectic has incubated brands such as O’Neill, Stance, Sun Bum, Arcade, Florence Marine and Simple. Yeti was an exciting and dynamic addition to the stable and presented a challenge with respect to a very broad distribution channel across Action Sport, Lifestyle, Outdoor, Sport and Leisure compounded by multi-lingual and multi-currency requirements. Compounding this was commercial pressure from the US parent company to maintain an aggressive sales growth profile similar to that experienced domestically, and manage the inventory challenges as a result of fast growth and stressed supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hectic management knew that a reliance on the traditional sales methods of catalogues, spreadsheet order forms and countless onsite showings would present a challenge in achieving the set targets.
“There’s comfort in trodding the same beaten path”, said Hectic Managing Director, Peter Caldwell, “but in this situation I was dubious that we could achieve the aims of our parent company. Digitisation was a possible solution but it was early days and still somewhat unproven.”
Hectic adopted Brandscope as the primary online B2B sales portal to support Sales teams and Retailer collaboration in launching, viewing and trading an array of products across a dynamic and sophisticated market throughout the UK and Europe. The platform was integrated into the Bright Pearl ERP to automate the flow of orders and inventory between the two systems ensuring that all parties could seamlessly trade 24/7 in any territory knowing that what they ordered would be delivered. The Brandscope system was initially used to facilitate refill but, as supply chain tightened, it was then used to capture pre-book orders to eliminate inventory risk.
“Brandscope was presented to us by people that knew the industry and just spoke our language”, related Peter, “and there was an intuitive flow to the system that just made sense. As an old school kind of guy, if I felt comfortable then I was sure that my Retailers and Sales team would be comfortable as well. We bit the bullet and went for it”.
Yeti’s growth through the UK and Europe was steady from the onset, with Retailers embracing the tool as the only way to work with their Sales representatives and place orders for the brand. The elimination of spreadsheets resulted in a significant reduction in human order error and the capacity to easily access the Brandscope platform, and know exactly what was available and when, heralded a new level of Retailer independence in growing the brand. The high level of Retailer and Sales Representative engagement allowed Yeti to accelerate the release process, reduce sampling and present the brand to the market with greater immediacy and reach. Greater accuracy in order capture also facilitated more accurate buying allowing for more refill and lower stock obsolescence rates.
“Seeing the team and our Retail partners embrace the Brandscope platform was exhilarating” said Peter, “and we were able to fortify the processes and protect the brand’s growth against the pressure of an increasingly challenging world brought on by Covid-19 pandemic. More to the point, we were able to grow the brand quickly and efficiently across the UK and Europe and achieve our goals as a business. It was a decision that really paid off”.
“Brandscope has been a critical cog in our brand incubator business model. It’s helped us to effectively manage rapid expansion of our brand set and collaborate with our sales team and Retail partners with greater immediacy. It’s a tool that has enabled us to sell more and reduce costs simultaneously which is the perfect commercial outcome.”