Pure Fishing is a leader in outdoor and recreational lifestyle products representing over 30 internationally recognised brands, sold all over the world. The business has operations in 19 countries and a dedicated workforce conversant in 28 languages.
“We run a dynamic business with a lot of moving parts from a brand, product and customer perspective,” said Mitch Birt, ANZ Manager. “Our bespoke B2B was being used by our sales team but lacked the capacity to be a customer-facing solution that our Retail partners could comfortably engage with”.
The Australian fishing industry was still in its infancy with respect to B2B adoption and was still heavily reliant on a Sales Representative based model, centred on a high level of in-store engagement.
“Our sales team were accustomed to the nuances of the current tool and how it dealt with pricing, product filtering and general ordering but it was a big concern pushing it onto our somewhat anti-tech customers, many of whom did not even have POS systems”.
There was the option to invest in internal system updates to make it more palatable to its target audience, but there was still the burden of constant Retailer training and ongoing IT investment to maintain the system’s market viability.
“We also wanted to rid the business of printed catalogues and better manage Retailer requests for digital marketing assets, basic product information such as barcodes and inventory checks. We knew that a customer-facing solution could help with this.
“Our focus really needed to be on building our brands and looking after our customers and consumers,” recalled Mitch, “so a pure-play B2B system that had the capacity to deal with our complexities, be easy to use and known to our Retailers was an attractive option.”
The Brandscope B2B e-commerce platform was already well established in the Australian and New Zealand fishing markets due to its penetration into the outdoor, sport and leisure retail channels. The system’s unique capacity to manage multiple brands with complicated segmentation and pricing structures, multi-level product filtering across Brand/Division/Segment/Category and the ability to directly integrate with our ERP (SAP) suited the Pure Fishing business model.
The complete stable of brands was loaded onto the Brandscope system under a single release and then segmentation, filtering, pricing and territory allocation tools were applied to coordinate retail views according to Pure Fishing’s business requirements.
“Out of the box, Brandscope could do the vast majority of things that we required from an operational perspective,” recalled Mitch, “but they also worked closely with us on some key custom updates to further refine the functionality to suit our complex wholesale business model”.
“But the real attraction was that the majority of our customers already used the platform for other brands so were very accustomed to logging in, viewing and ordering products, downloading marketing assets and general navigation. Once the SAP integration was in place it was literally a plug-and-play situation and we simply springboarded off Brandscope’s growing market presence.”
The other significant resource draw on the business was the design and printing of catalogues which Retailers were beholden to in the absence of a B2B option.
“Moving away from catalogues was a big concern for us, given everyone’s historical reliance on them for so many years,” stated Mitch. “Brandscope was a valid solution, enabling us to present a live range of constantly changing products to our customers 24/7. Making adjustments at the back-end was also super easy, ensuring that our customers were always looking at accurate product information.”
The engagement from Pure Fishing’s retail customer base was instant due to their familiarity with the Brandscope platform and its intuitive flow, making it easy for them to view products, inventory levels, marketing assets and then place refill and pre-book orders.
“It’s been great for our business in that it’s connecting us with remote and smaller format stores that we couldn’t service on a regular cadence due to distance and time restraints”, stated Mitch. “It’s almost like we’re there in-store, working on ranging, whether it’s St Helens, Tasmania or Broome, Western Australia. Customers are also buying with renewed confidence because they can see the inventory levels, know that the product they buy will arrive and are open to trying something a little different simply because it’s so easy to find and order.”
Pure Fishing has also stopped printing catalogues and has invested heavily in maximising the digital environment on Brandscope with informative marketing and educational information that Retailers can also export from the system as required for their POS, B2C and social media platforms.
“Our sales representatives still work intimately with our customer base but we’ve added a whole other level of engagement by providing our customers with a tool that awards them access to an incredible amount of accurate information and immediacy but is also very easy to use.”
“There’s still a lot to do and we’ll always have challenges that push back on new and different ways of doing things which is fine,” stated Mitch. “Our Sales Representatives are seeing the benefits of the system and the incremental benefits of having Brandscope in their sales toolkit as well.”
Country Manager (ANZ)
“Brandscope has provided our Retail customers with a new level of independence in dealing with Pure Fishing. The autonomy has led to greater operational efficiencies and increased sales, especially for our smaller independents who are now revelling in a 24/7 connection to our business across sales, marketing and product education. It’s been a great experience for everyone.”
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.”
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