The Douchebags story started with a chance meeting in an unlikely location. Braving the icy waters of a surf beach in northwest Norway, Truls Brataas met Jon Olsson, Swedish free ski legend with 11 X-Games medals. Before long, they discovered a shared passion for traveling the world in search of epic skiing.
As avid adventure sportsmen, they could also relate to the pain of lugging around cumbersome ski gear. Fast forward to January 2012, when the world´s lightest, length-adjustable and fully compressible wheeled ski bag hit the international market with immediate success.
We spoke with Ove Andreas Staurset, CFO of Db Equipment AS, the company behind the Douchebags brand, to hear some of the secrets of the business’ 220% yearly revenue growth.
Creating an automated business
‘’The key was to think about the business processes and IT environment we wanted to create from the start, then find the individual systems to enable that and link them up.
We didn’t want to use installed applications, they have a higher risk with maintenance, so we needed to find cloud applications that suited our size of company and the processes we wanted. We found the applications, but there were no out of the box integrations between them, so we contacted ConnectMyApps.’’
‘’ConnectMyApps has been vital to our business. It has helped facilitate our growth, because it let us automate several of our processes so we could focus on sales, product development and other strategic business areas, rather than administration. Now the system works for us, instead of us working for the system.’’
As the company expanded, they saw the need for sophisticated ecommerce and logistics processes. After evaluating several options, they selected Magento for their webshop and Unleashed for inventory management. By integrated the two applications, web orders are automatically transferred from Magento to Unleashed.
To streamline the order management, fulfilment and invoicing processes further, Douchebags added Shipwire as their 3PL (3rd party logistics) in the US and Canadian markets, and Prime Cargo for European markets. Using ConnectMyApps, they integrated all of their systems, so orders are routed from their Magento webshop to Unleashed, then to their 3PL systems for fulfilment. Tracking numbers from the 3PL systems are then fed back into Unleashed and into Magento.
To complete the process, orders are then transferred from Unleashed to their 24SevenOffice ERP software for invoicing.
This has allowed Douchebags to greatly increase efficiency in their operations, says Ove. ‘’Everything works in the same way regardless of the location. This has really simplified the admin and invoicing processes.”
”Now we only enter information in one application rather than three, so we spend very little time punching data, it just flows through our system. I estimate the integrations save us 1 or 2 full time employees.”
As the company has continued to grow, particularly in the North American market, they are seeing sales roughly split between consumers buying online, and trade sales. To support this Douchebags, is now integrating NuOrder, a B2B CRM / e-commerce application for their wholesaler and distributor network. This will enable the Douchebags sales team to simply close and process trade orders straight into their accounting system, further streamlining their business.
Reducing IT risk
As well as efficiency benefits, Ove believes the integrations have reduced their IT risk overall. ‘’As a former IT auditor at PwC, I spent a lot of time reviewing financial and reporting systems.
”Our IT risk is reduced because ConnectMyApps monitors our integrations, rather than us having black box integrations that no one is maintaining or watching.”
If things happen, which they invariably will, then ConnectMyApps is on top of it and can fix any issues quickly.’’
You can read more about the Douchebags story and watch some of their cool videos below.
From day one, Douchebags’ goal was to create durable, practical and innovative products. For example, they patented the “rib cage”-system which is, as the name suggests, inspired by human ribs which protect our vital organs.
‘’Product development is the core of our company. We went from the traditional SS [Spring Summer] and AW [Autumn Winter] drops to establishing our own development timeline. This lets us speed up the launches and adapt to new trends, while at the same time securing our product innovation 100% before releasing them. Now we are balancing limited editions, innovations and our base line products.’’
Marketing is a cornerstone of Douchebags success, creating an edgy but authentic brand that has proved extremely popular across all their markets.
‘’Our focus from the beginning has been to involve our followers and create material that they want to engage with and make them a part of our journey. We listen to our audience and try to be quick on upcoming trends and constantly make new material instead of long lasting campaigns.’’
The combination of innovative products and engaging marketing has certainly proven successful…possibly even too successful!
‘’We launched our limited ‘Friends and Family’ edition as a tribute to all the people who have been part of our journey from the start, from mum and dad, to all our followers. The demand was so great and traffic to our website so high that our webshop briefly went down! Luckily our awesome customer service team was on hand and everyone pitched in to get things running again quickly, and when it did reopen, within the first hour the backpacks had sold out in Europe.’’
Though they are a proudly Norwegian company, Douchebags set their eye on overseas markets very early. This expansion has been enabled through a combination of technology and the people who make up the company.
‘’We have a digital and global mindset, and we’re quick to adopt new technologies. We have combined experienced senior resources with young talents in the company, which lets us bring together deep experience and fresh, creative ideas.’’