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Case Study:
Peak Design

Brief
Peak Design, the maker of innovative camera-carrying accessories, was faced with time-consuming manual processes, inaccurate data, and no way to efficiently manage their inventory. They quickly realized their disjointed systems consisting of QuickBooks and Stitch Labs were the bottleneck to their success. Finding a consolidated system thus became a top priority.

Overview

Who is Peak Design?

The San Francisco design company, Peak Design, was started in a true startup style–with one man and a vision to create the best carry solutions for the on-the-go-photographer. Being a photographer at heart first and a mechanical engineer second, founder Peter Dering, started Peak Design with the intent of creating the best quality everyday bags, travel bags, and camera accessories.
Peak Design rose to fame on the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, where their first product, the Capture camera clip, helped them claim the title of the world’s most crowdfunded active company​. While their startup team consisted of a few close friends and family members, today it has grown to a team of 59 full-time employees, 15 contractors, as well as 300+ manufacturing contractors. Combined with this massive success they experienced mounting business demands and quickly realized their legacy operating systems were holding back their growth.

“When you have so many different systems doing different things, it makes it hard as you scale, the potential data alignment gets messed up.”

The Problems

The Initial Challenge

A disconnected system

When Peak Design was a ten-person team they could pick, pack, and ship orders in their own offices. With minimal initial needs, they were able to scrape by with disjointed systems like QuickBooks, Stitch Labs, and Shipwire. “When you have so many different systems doing different things, it makes it hard as you scale, the potential data alignment gets messed up,” said Mark Wang, Chief Technology Officer of Peak Design. Now that they have hundreds of products and global warehouses to run, those same disorganized and cut-off systems just wouldn’t cut it.

“We were using StitchLabs and Shipwire for the shipping and inventory and accounting data we used QuickBooks Online. When you have so many different systems doing different things, it makes it hard as you scale, the potential data alignment gets messed up. We had a few people working on operations that changed something in the warehouse or changed something in the shipping area but they don’t reflect in our financial data. It causes financial disruptions and fees and a lot more work for our finance team to reconcile and to figure out what changed and what happened. Having fragmented data was one of the biggest drivers from our old systems to our current systems today,” said Mark Wang Chief Technology Officer of Peak Design.

Peak Design's B2B transactions jumped from 30% to 55% in volume and they found it increasingly difficult to keep up with demand.

With no inventory oversight, it became nearly impossible to handle simple routing logic like predict shipping times for orders, accurately split orders, or keep the customer informed.

The Rise of B2B Customers

When mounting business demands meet inadequate infrastructure
“In the past 2-3 years, our B2B business has grown quite a lot with the addition of our sales headcount, our distribution networks, and our mom and pop shops camera stores began working with us directly. Because these big camera stores tend to have more complex requirements we needed to figure out how to do it.”
Working with these larger companies required specific labeling and a rigid set of rules in order to follow compliance. With their older system still in place, they were restricted in the ability to fulfill these requirements. In addition, business logic was performed by a human being and simple processes could drag on for days as things needed to be verified manually across various platforms.
Not to mention, the system did not accommodate a growing B2B business model. Their B2B transactions jumped from 30% to 55% in volume and they found it increasingly difficult to keep up with demand. With no inventory oversight, it became nearly impossible to handle simple routing logic like predict shipping times for orders, accurately split orders, or keep the customer informed. This intensified the need for streamlined logistics to fulfill such large and demanding orders.

“Kodella was instrumental in helping us navigate the many complexities of Netsuite. Their team was highly knowledgeable and very communicative during the entire implementation project."

The Solution

How Kodella Came to the Rescue

The importance of hiring the right team

After researching their ERP options and settling on two, SAP and NetSuite, Peak Design favored NetSuite’s robust cloud features as well as the ability to customize nearly every facet. The customizability and flexibility of NetSuite would work well to accommodate their growing B2B business model. Plus, with NetSuite’s cloud software Peak Design’s previously disjointed warehouses and blind inventory insight would become unified and visible.

When Peak Design finally knew with certainty they would be using NetSuite as their ERP solution when it came down to deciding what partner to implement, their decision was easy. As a NetSuite partner with over a hundred clients and more than 35 years of combined experience, Kodella was their top choice and highly recommended by NetSuite representatives. Kodella crafted the perfect solution, using NetSuite ERP with an Advanced Order Management module as their starting point to give them the unified system they desperately needed as well as in-depth tools for order management to suit their growing B2B demand. With a roadmap prepared and a go-live scheduled, Kodella dedicated an entire team to deliver a NetSuite solution Peak Design could use to confidently run their business.
“Kodella was instrumental in helping us navigate the many complexities of Netsuite. Their team was highly knowledgeable and very communicative during the entire implementation project.”

Further Analysis

The Perfect NetSuite Solution

How NetSuite exceeded Peak Design’s business goals
With old systems like StitchLabs, Shipwire, and QuickBooks the Peak Design team had little to no insight into their order management and were slowed down by manual processes and disjointed data. Fast forward to today and Peak Design is running at top efficiency with their NetSuite solution from Kodella.
“The three main drivers NetSuite resolved were data fragmentation between our financial and order data, the ability to customize routing logic, and the ability to better serve our B2B customers. As well as better financial reporting, being able to customize pretty much any and every aspect of our ERP is pretty awesome. We’ve been able to do all sorts of reporting with all sorts of logic that our old systems would not have easily been able to do.”

So now the operations team no longer has to go to three different systems to check inventory, instead, they can use just one system.

And within that one system, they’re able to adjust shipping, shipping speeds, and all sorts of stuff in one area. And when they’re adjusting it also corresponds with our financial data so it streamlines processes internally and externally as well.
When it comes to staying competitive Peak Design is more thoroughly prepared to handle their growing B2B business demand and deliver a more seamless experience for their customers. With demanding customers hungry for the quickest delivery time, Peak Design can now adjust shipping speeds, split orders, and handle routing logic to get the fastest delivery time while keeping the customer up-to-date on the slightest change.
“We’re all accustomed to Amazon Prime where you can click a button and have it next-day delivered to your door. And it’s really hard for a company like us to compete with Amazon. We do what we can to streamline that experience by having inventory, knowing if something is back-ordered, or having a centralized inventory. So now the operations team no longer has to go to three different systems to check inventory, instead, they can use just one system. And within that one system, they’re able to adjust shipping, shipping speeds, and all sorts of stuff in one area. And when they’re adjusting it also corresponds with our financial data so it streamlines processes internally and externally as well.”

Wrap Up

Peak Design is now able to manage their increased B2B business demands with tools to customize their order management needs and a unified system to make data more easily accessible and connected. This improved insight help Peak Design’s team accurately focus on what’s most important and help them get back to basics–delivering an amazing product to their customers.