Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Industry:Waterproof Cycling Apparel
What They Needed: Need to Optimize the Supply Chain
About Showers Pass
Based in Portland, Oregon Showers Pass is made up of a small team of outdoor enthusiasts who bike, run, hike climb and play in the outdoors. In 1997 Showers Pass was born from the desire to develop clothing and gear that would get people out on their bikes no matter the weather. They specialize in waterproof and breathable active apparel (rain gear) and have broadened their line to include baselayers, waterproof socks, and waterproof bags. Their products are used by pro cycling teams, mountain climbers, runners, cross-country skiers, bike commuters, mountain bikers, firefighters, endurance athletes and anyone who demands a high level of performance from their gear.
When Kyle Ranson acquired Showers Pass he knew the company had little IT infrastructure and no managing systems.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Showers Pass develops clothing and gear that gets people outdoors no mater the weather. Showers Pass specializes in waterproof and breathable rain gear that are used by pro cycling teams, mountain climbers, runners, cross country skiers, mountain bikers and anyone else who demands a high level of performance from their gear.
Need to Optimize the Supply Chain
Kyle, CEO of Shower Pass, came from a career in the high tech sector where one of his areas of strength was supply chain management.
“When we acquired Showers Pass there were no business processes in place at all,” said Kyle. “In fact I noticed the supply chain in the apparel industry as a whole was in the dark ages with a complete lack of visibility up and down the supply chain.
“I felt that optimizing the supply chain in this space would be a huge area of opportunity. If we could attain even a tenth of the efficiency that the high tech industry had it would yield amazing results. I was familiar with systems like SAP and Oracle to manage the back end of the business so I knew what a system could do, but in order to make it aﬀordable we needed a totally different set of expectations.”
“AdvancePro has done a remarkable job of putting the right technical resources in place. It’s been a pleasure to do business with them. They have been remarkably responsive in delivering the tools we need to move our business forward.”
Finding the Right Solution
Kyle started an extensive search knowing that the supply chain platform he would choose was going to be the foundation for building the business over the coming years. Said Kyle, “A platform is not something you switch out frequently because at the end of the day it is the foundation of your business.”
Kyle found that, for small businesses, the solutions were limited. They were too simplistic with regards to inventory management, supply management, and international capabilities. They were designed for mom-and-pop stores with little visibility to growth.
“But, when I looked at AdvancePro, I was pleasantly shocked with its level of sophistication and its capabilities.” said Kyle. “It was really in a class of its own. A lot of its capabilities would stack up nicely against the enterprise class products and so I selected AdvancePro to be the foundation for growing our business. And the price met our budget, too. I was actually shocked at how low the cost was.”
Over the last decade Showers Pass has evolved substantially, but they continue to utilize AdvancePro as the foundation for everything they do. Today the ordering landscape has changed dramatically. Online, direct to consumer sales have accelerated at an unprecedented rate. Showers Pass’ ability to evolve their business model from what was a B2B business model to a hybrid business model which combines both B2B and B2C was critical. Their business is now 30 percent B2C and growing rapidly. Said Kyle, “I am pleased to say AdvancePro has been able to grow and adapt with us.”
“What was critical to us was the seamless integration of AdvancePro with QuickBooks and Shopify, ” said Kyle. “As our B2C business scaled up we could easily handle the growth. It was critical to us to have that integration.”
How AdvancePro is used at Showers Pass
When someone places an order on the Showers Pass website they interface with an e-commerce front end. Once the order is placed it goes straight into the AdvancePro warehouse module for picking, packing and shipping. Once the order ships AdvancePro communicates a tracking number back to the consumer. The consumer gets a complete end- to-end experience and AdvancePro is the hub of that experience.
“Overall our business strategy is three pronged,” said Kyle. “We have independent dealers which are small organizations that purchase gear for a few thousand dollars a year. Then we have our major accounts, customers like REI, MEC, LL Bean, who typically purchase via EDI. Those orders typically go out by the pallet. And then we have direct consumers with orders of one or two items. So having a system that’s capable of managing pallet-size orders and orders of a single unit simultaneously is imperative.
Working with AdvancePro
Kyle adds, “AdvancePro has done a remarkable job of putting the right technical resources in place. It’s been a pleasure to do business with them. They have been remarkably responsive in delivering the tools we need to move our business forward.”
“And AdvancePro’s technical support is in a class of its own. When we need help we have never been left hanging. They’ve always responded in an unbelievably timely fashion. Obviously we go through upgrades and there are challenges from time to time but, overall, we don’t have downtime. That is a tremendous accolade to the AdvancePro team.”
“The challenges we face as an apparel brand are very similar to the challenges others face so it’s really a case of who can out-execute the other and deliver a more compelling value proposition to the consumer. We chose AdvancePro because it supports our eﬀort to execute on our business model.”
AdvancePro is a Success at Showers Pass
“Over the last couple years our revenue has increased dramatically. Last year alone we grew over 30 percent; our consumer direct business grew at over 60 percent. The sheer volume of orders coming in is tremendous and growing rapidly. With AdvancePro we have been successful in handling a growing volume of orders without dramatically increasing the number of personnel. AdvancePro has really helped us keep costs in check. Growing too fast can be the death of a company because costs can quickly get out of hand. With AdvancePro we’ve been able to manage our costs very eﬀectvely.”
“I would absolutely recommend AdvancePro to other organizations,” said Kyle, “as long as they don’t compete with us. With AdvancePro we have enterprise class capabilities at a very reasonable price. We have Integration across our IT stack and that came standard with AdvancePro.”
Kyle concludes, “What we were not expecting, but which has been a very important benefit, has been the engagement of AdvancePro’s senior management. They remember who we are, they know what our business does and they know what our goals and aspirations are. I look at any of the competitive products out there and, best case, we would have been just another name on a spreadsheet. So I would say the commitment of AdvancePro’s senior management was a most unexpected benefit. Put simply, these guys care.”
AdvancePro knows that each business is unique, with special challenges and needs. AdvancePro owners have been in the warehousing industry for over 20 years. Our team of business process experts work with you to fully understand your specific workflow and help you identify and remove bottlenecks. AdvancePro gives you the systems and tools to grow your business.