Four major global brands, representing six manufacturing vertical segments of footwear, cycling, lifestyle, surf, skate and snowboarding, are all expanding their use of the Elastic wholesale eCommerce platform from PlumRiver Technologies. New Balance, Shimano, Vans and Burton are all more fully utilizing Elastic’s industry leading B2B digital merchandising technology to achieve varying goals, including expanding global reach, eliminating printed product catalogs and further integrating the technology with their retail partners.
“As these brand leaders optimize their use of the Elastic platform it illustrates the collaborative nature of our brand relationships and the trust our clients have in our technology and our team. By focusing on the uniqueness of each brand we serve, we’ve become a valued partner to help address the points of chaos our customers face while together solving the challenges within their B2B sales and merchandising processes. We take great pride in being three parts technology provider and one part business consultancy, which is the key to delivering both best-in-class digital solutions and client service.”
-Josh Reddin, CEO, PlumRiver Technologies.
How each of these brands is expanding their use of the Elastic platform to optimize their approach to B2B sales and merchandising is described below.
With a focus on creating higher levels of internal B2B process efficiency and standardizing sales data reporting, New Balance set aggressive goals for a global rollout of the Elastic platform. The program was initially piloted in Australia and New Zealand. Based on that success, this leading footwear and lifestyle brand is now expanding use of the platform to all of their global markets. The scope of the rollout includes the additional global regions of North America, Europe, Scandinavia and South Africa. Core markets served in the EU region currently include Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the UK, with five more major EU markets soon to follow.
As a result of this expansion, brand merchandisers will be utilizing Elastic’s robust product line planner. This valuable feature gives internal teams the ability to collaborate and ultimately create a fully integrated product line plan aligned with the needs and preferences of retail partners across global regions. While benefitting New Balance globally, the Elastic line planner also helps individual regions share knowledge and data, ultimately leading to greater efficiencies at all levels.
Key takeaway: New Balance is expanding their use of Elastic to the global regions of North America, Europe, Scandinavia and South Africa while enhancing B2B sales process efficiency, sales data reporting and global product line planning.
As the global leader in bicycle components, technology, apparel and accessories, Shimano launched their use of Elastic in North America with their subsidiary Pearl iZUMi brand. The aim of the initial rollout was to enhance virtual capability with digital product workbooks and pre-book B2B sales presentations. The company has now expanded their use of Elastic to include Shimano branded apparel, accessories and components as well as their Lazer helmet subsidiary brand.
Digital catalog creation, commercial sales rep merchandising tools, assortment planning and enhanced B2B sales process efficiency are now integral components across multiple product lines, categories, languages and currencies. The expansion of Elastic has brought a broad user base onto the platform, including sales reps, retailers, dealers and distributors. Shimano is also expanding the use of Elastic to additional global regions, including key markets in Europe and Asia.
“As an indispensable and trusted partner, Elastic truly understands our business and has worked closely with Shimano every step of way to optimize the technology for the benefit of our brands and our retailers. As we’ve built upon our initial success with Pearl iZUMi, we now have the most collaborative and innovative digital sales and merchandising solution to better manage our diverse and growing product lines across our entire brand portfolio.”
-Ryan Miller, Shimano Senior Sales Manager
Key takeaway: Shimano has built upon their success utilizing Elastic for Pearl iZUMi to now include multiple Shimano brands, product lines and user groups across the globe.
This iconic brand serving the surf, skate and lifestyle vertical segments has become part of the movement led by parent company VF Corporation and the surf industry to eliminate printed B2B sales and marketing materials through the adoption of Elastic’s wholesale ecommerce platform. Vans has long prided itself on its strong one-on-one relationships between sales reps and specialty retail accounts, thus making the move to a more virtual digital merchandising process a major leap for the company.
The transition has been made seamless by Elastic’s flexible and consultative approach to integrate the technology in support of the company culture and Vans’ way of doing business. This is leading the company to evaluate new sources of process efficiency and cost savings by giving retailers greater access to the platform and further streamlining the wholesale purchasing process. Enhanced ERP integration with Vans’ upgrade to SAP’s S/4 HANA platform, combined with a rebuild of the Elastic SAP Adapter, is further boosting process efficiencies. Vans is also achieving a higher level of sustainability in its business through the elimination of printed B2B sale catalogs in line with the values shared by the company, retailers and consumers.
Key takeaway: Vans has joined the movement to eliminate printed B2B sales materials and is making the transition to more efficient digital merchandising processes for greater sustainability and to benefit their retailers.
Perhaps the most innovative and progressive winter sports brand to pursue B2B sales technology, Burton was a pioneer in developing a strong in-house solution that was used for years before adopting Elastic. When recognizing Elastic’s ability to more efficiently provide digital sales workbooks, custom catalogs, assortment planning and other features, while accommodating multiple languages and currencies across the globe, Burton made the switch.
The company has never looked back and has now deployed a full and robust B2B sales and merchandising capability that extends from North America to Europe, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. As a result of the expansion on Elastic, Burton has deepened its relationship with retailers through a much more sustainable, immersive and collaborative sales process that includes fully digital sales assets, enhanced preseason planning, high-resolution product viewing, a more intuitive ordering process, real-time inventory tracking and enhanced data reporting.
“Our sustainability goals here at Burton are what brought us together with Elastic in the first place. Today, that sustainable mindset is just baked directly into everything we do, so our focus has shifted to becoming an even more customer-centric, digital brand. Reducing print waste with virtual selling tools is a great start but falls a bit short if it’s anything less than a premium customer experience. Going all-in with Elastic for digital catalogs and B2B operations was the logical next move to give our retailers a one-stop-shop for sell-in, sell-through, and all the steps in between.”
-Fletcher Rood, Burton Applications Analyst
Key takeaway: As a pioneer in adopting B2B sales technology, Burton is utilizing Elastic to strengthen the brand’s commitment to sustainability and customer experience while building a more robust global digital merchandising platform.
About PlumRiver Technologies
Founded in 2003, PlumRiver Technologies is a leading provider of B2B ecommerce SaaS solutions. Easy-to-use, web-based applications are tailored to the needs of manufacturers and wholesalers of footwear, apparel, outdoor, surf, sporting goods and other segments of the specialty retail market. In early 2016 PlumRiver acquired Elastic Suite Inc. the leading provider of B2B digital merchandising and sales enhancement technologies serving category-leading clients from a variety of manufacturing verticals. PlumRiver acquired CenterStone Technologies in 2018, bringing together the combined experience of a strong technology team behind the company’s Elastic platform as the industry standard wholesale purchasing interface between manufacturers and retailers. Some of the world’s biggest brands utilize the company’s Elastic technology platform that quickly bridges the gap between order processing systems, sales reps, retailers and consumers. Clients benefit further from Elastic features designed to quickly and easily integrate with existing IT infrastructure and ERP systems.
PlumRiver’s B2B platforms serve clients representing some of the world’s largest and most iconic brands in the outdoor, surf, cycling, sporting goods, apparel and footwear industries. In addition to Devold, Montane, Klättermusen and Original Buff, selected brands include: The North Face, Patagonia, Rip Curl, Active Brands, Timberland, Volcom, Shimano, Gordini, Kuhl, Houdini, Ortovox, Trespass, Dainese, Outdoor Research, Pearl iZUMi, Rawlings, Stanley-PMI, TYR, Fjällräven, New Balance, 2XU, Boardriders, Crocs, Puma, Reebok/CCM, Klättermusen, Kidiliz, O’Neill, Original Buff, Havaianas, Odlo, Orvis, Haggar, Lazer, Bauer Hockey, Easton, Burton, Hurley, Icebreaker, Nidecker, Black Diamond, Osprey, Smith Optics, Bushnell, Fox River, Lowe Alpine, Rab, Carhartt, Dickies, Helly Hansen, Ariat, Marmot, Simms Fishing, Lole, Carter’s, Smartwool, Golfino, Hi-Tec, Bell, OshKosh, Vans and CamelBak.