Growing a great fashion brand isn’t easy. But with Cin7, Sidelife was able to scale its business with all-in-one inventory, a built-in POS and native EDI.
He’s expanded his company far beyond its first Mr Simple store, but Sidelife founder David Fraser still finds time to surf in Byron Bay at lunchtime.
It was the chase of lifestyle that drove David to move to the popular spot from Melbourne, where he first set up Sidelife, a men’s clothing and distribution company, in 2003.
The Australian company’s product range includes men’s casual wear, bags, travel gear, headwear, and watches, stocked in its own stores and in big retail chains. It sells its own Mr Simple and Simple Watch Co brands, as well as the Canadian brand Herschel Supply Co.
Significant growth in Herschel sales began in 2011 when Sidelife signed up to Cin7 to facilitate the growth, Sidelife logistics manager Ross Bird says.
“Herschel has experienced considerable growth in Australia and New Zealand. Our shipping volume has increased significantly year after year, and that’s all processed through Cin7,” Ross says. “Cin7’s allowed us to manage that growth quite easily and efficiently.”
Sidelife distributes products in Australia, New Zealand, UK and Europe, with 12 of its own retail stores in Australia, two in New Zealand, and two online channels. It also trades through other retailers such as David Jones, The Iconic, Glue Store, Myer, Universal Store, SurfStitch, General Pants and many independent retailers.
Global reach was possible with Cin7’s EDI integrations. Key EDI benefits for Sidelife include fewer emails and less human error. “Instead of [retailers] sending through orders and attachments and asking us to confirm what’s available, it’s all done through Cin7,” Ross explains.
Sidelife’s ordering process is more streamlined with Cin7. EDI simplifies the whole process, freeing up staff time for other things. “It’s awesome, it just cuts out hours and hours of data entry.”
Big retail chains have strict requirements for EDI compliance, but with Cin7, Sidelife had no difficulty. “It can be challenging meeting the EDI compliance standards of large companies like The Iconic and David Jones. Thankfully, we didn’t have to do much—the Cin7 team took care of that and hit the deadline.”
As Sidelife outsources some of their shipping and warehousing, Cin7’s 3PL integrations were also crucial, enabling better quality control and pre-packing some orders remotely. The warehousing team used to find receiving bulk airfreight and random vessels from all over the place difficult. “Some of the issues you can have with that are meeting delivery windows and stock discrepancies from multiple suppliers.”
Overseas, Sidelife has several clothing factories and a consolidation warehouse. All Sidelife’s factories send stock to one warehouse, where orders are pre-packed and updated in Cin7. “By picking orders remotely we save time and money.”
Cin7’s integration with wholesale ordering platform Joor has shaved a huge amount of time from Sidelife’s operations. Large Herschel indent orders might take days to enter manually, but the company anticipates “the Joor platform will cut out that time and provide more transparency to our reps and wholesale customers”.
Retailers can place orders directly into the Joor platform so staff can focus on priorities such as sales and operational support, inventory management and managing. “There’s no shortage of tasks when you are growing.”
Sidelife also uses ecommerce tool Shopify to run its online store and accounting platform Xero for finances, so Cin7’s syncing of its Inventory Management system with these tools reduces data entry. “Having everything on one platform, communicating with Shopify and Xero is working great for us.”
The company’s already grown a lot, and Ross is confident plans to open many more stores, won’t be a challenge. “We are able to set up a store and have the POS running in two minutes with Cin7.”