Gearing up for growth

Discover how online retailer Ecentria enhanced supply chain efficiency, customer experience and supplier collaboration by partnering with SPS Commerce.

Mountain Hiking

The challenge:

Better information and more automated business processes with suppliers to support growth.

The solution:


The result:

Increased operational efficiency, elevated customer service, enhanced supplier collaboration and improved employee experience.

The challenge

Ecentria is the parent company of several leading retailers and distributors, including Camp Saver and Optics Planet, whose customers “play, work, and serve with passion.” The company offers an unmatched selection of high-performance sporting goods and tactical gear backed by exceptional customer service.

With roots in online retail, Ecentria leverages sophisticated technology, including its own proprietary eBusiness platform. The company distinguishes itself from brick-and-mortar and online retailers with an expansive product assortment and an unparalleled customer experience. Unlike competitors, Ecentria offers every item from every supplier, including parts and accessories.

“Our success hinges on having a broad assortment, competitive pricing and readily available stock. Unlike many online competitors, we offer a high-touch experience and direct communication with gear experts who provide personalized advice to help customers make informed product purchases.”

– Alex Royzen, Managing Director, Head of Merchandising and Supply Chain Management

As Ecentria grew, the company managed more brands, SKUs and suppliers across their portfolio. The expansion translated into greater complexity in business processes and data. Leaders saw the importance of automating how they worked with suppliers to set the company up for future growth.

“Before partnering with SPS Commerce, we had direct integrations with some of our suppliers, but we didn’t have all the data needed to automate key supply chain processes. In addition, creating custom integrations for each supplier was time-consuming for our IT resources and took time away from more strategic tasks.”

– Alex Royzen, Managing Director, Head of Merchandising and Supply Chain Management

The solution

Ecentria teamed with SPS Commerce to broaden data acquisition from suppliers and drive greater operational efficiency. The collaboration aimed at automating data exchange throughout the order cycle, including inventory data, order data, order changes, shipping data and invoices.

As part of this effort, SPS facilitated the onboarding of over 250 suppliers, helping automate over 500,000 wholesale and drop-ship orders to foster efficiency and reliability in their supply chain operations.

“It was very easy for us to integrate with SPS, connect with all the suppliers already working with SPS and onboard new suppliers. The partnership allowed us to quickly expand the breadth of data we receive to gain better visibility into inventory, orders and shipments and better serve customers.”

– Alex Royzen, Managing Director, Head of Merchandising and Supply Chain Management

The results

The partnership with SPS Commerce yields significant efficiencies across the company’s operations, improving how they procure, allocate and manage inventory across the supply chain.

“The biggest value of working with SPS is efficiency. We fully leverage the data SPS provides to improve a range of business processes throughout the order cycle, including forecasting, warehouse labor planning, customer service and communication, and accounts payable. Automating how we work with suppliers through SPS speeds up our operations and reduces costs, improving our bottom line.”

– Alex Royzen, Managing Director, Head of Merchandising and Supply Chain Management

Data about product availability, orders and shipping status is essential to providing the communication and status updates customers expect. The increased visibility also allows the company to offer backorders, which is a unique capability in their industry. Plus, employees no longer manually input tracking numbers or manage communication from suppliers in different formats. Instead, there’s an automated, consistent process.

“Before integrating fully with our suppliers, we wouldn’t know what was in a shipment or when it was coming. With advance ship notices in place, we know exactly what to expect, which helps our warehouse forecast their receiving and labor needs. It also gives customer care associates on the phone accurate information to tell customers about when to expect their order.”

– Alex Royzen, Managing Director, Head of Merchandising and Supply Chain Management

Automation through SPS has also transformed the invoicing process by enabling more efficient processing, faster supplier payments and the ability to capitalize on early payment discounts. Without the integration, accounts payable would require as many as 40 people managing supplier invoices and manually identifying discrepancies.

The SPS partnership has not only improved operational efficiency but also enhanced the employee experience by eliminating manual tasks.

“Customer experience is critical to our business and so is employee experience. The data and automation we receive through the SPS partnership makes our team’s lives easier and takes low ROI tasks off their plates, so they can focus on high-impact initiatives.”

– Alex Royzen, Managing Director, Head of Merchandising and Supply Chain Management

Ultimately, the SPS partnership is a win-win for both Ecentria and its suppliers. Many suppliers who had never worked with a third-party software provider realize the significant advantages of automation.

We see incredible results from automating our data exchange with suppliers. And our suppliers see the benefit as well. They recognize that it’s not only more efficient to work with us, but also with their other retail partners. Suppliers only need to integrate once to SPS to automate across their entire retail network.

– Alex Royzen, Managing Director, Head of Merchandising and Supply Chain Management

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