Fitness apparel and equipment maker, StrongerRX, was launched in 2005 when Omar Cordero, a certified United States Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach, had difficulty finding the perfect workout glove. Omar was cycling through many pairs as he had challenges finding one that met his comfort and durability needs. Through this frustration, he realized that the fitness market was lacking products that athletes can trust for performance, comfort and reliability.
Although employed full-time in the financial sector, Omar worked nights and weekends to work with manufacturers who could create performance fitness equipment that meet his strict requirements. Soon after receiving his first batch, Omar hit the streets and made his first sale out the trunk of his car, literally!
Omar set out to create superior performance wear, but also want to assist local communities to achieve a positive sports environment for all walks of life. From those humble beginnings, StrongerRX leveraged grassroots marketing and participated in fitness and wellness events across Florida to slowly promote the brand and mission.
Using ShipStation for Order Fulfillment
Having created a local presence in southern Florida (where StrongerRx is headquartered), Omar took the plunge and quit his full-time financial position to exclusively focus on StrongerRx. Omar set out to create a national brand by continuing to evangelize an active lifestyle, leveraging social media and selling his performance wear on his Magneto-powered storefront and subsequently, started selling on eBay and Amazon.
Initially, order volume was manageable, and Omar was able to keep up by manually copying and pasting addresses and shipping them through the post office. As orders continued ramping up, order fulfillment become a drain on his time. Even with additional staffing to assist with fulfillment, Omar realized the current fulfillment process was not scalable and needed a solution to assist with their order fulfillment.
In 2012, a friend referred Omar to ShipStation, and he saw immediate dividends with the shipping department. Omar and team could now easily get a snapshot of their orders on a single interface. ShipStation was able to consolidate their sales from the various channels into a single a location. They were able to reduce the complexity of their homegrown shipping processes and simply leverage ShipStation for packing, printing, and shipping.
“Having a software interface that allows me to process orders coming from multiple sources and ship through any number of shipping partners has been a godsend.”
Finding the perfect marriage: ShipStation and Finale Inventory
As orders continued to ramp, Omar moved his operations out of his house and to a new building. Omar initially used Excel to initially manage the inventory, but soon realized Excel was not a suitable solution for their growing company. The inventory stock levels were often inaccurate resulting in frequent physical stock takes conducted by frustrated shipping team members. With inaccurate inventory stock levels, managing inventory costs was equally challenging for the finance team.
With many team members frustrated with the inventory situation, Omar sought out to find a solution. He wanted an inventory management system that was cloud-based, easy to use, and integrated with ShipStation. ShipStation was invaluable to their shipping operations, and he was reluctant to migrate to another solution.
Late 2013, Omar found Finale Inventory. He liked that Finale connected through ShipStation APIs, and minimal configuration changes were required within his ShipStation account to get up and running with Finale. After importing a couple Excel tables (products, inventory stock levels, and product lookup tables), Finale Inventory was able to keep-up-to-the minute inventory stock levels resulting in a happy shipping department, a happy finance team, and ultimately happy customers.
“Our business has been grown dramatically over the past few months, and we quickly realized we needed an inventory management solution to get control of our inventory. We leverage ShipStation for order fulfillment and found the Finale Inventory to be a perfect complement to keeping accurate stock counts.”
Leveraging a POS system for retail operations
With the backend operations (order fulfillment and inventory management) running smoothly, Omar could now focus on the strategic aspects of the business and continue attending community events in the Miami-area to evangelize an active lifestyle and educate fitness enthusiast the benefits of StrongerRX performance wear.
Attending shows events also gave StrongerRX an opportunity to sell their performance wear. Omar wanted an easy way for his company to be able to keep track of retail sales and subsequently accurate inventory stock levels.
He discovered a 3rd party Magneto POS system that connected to his Magneto account that synced retail orders down to ShipStation and Finale Inventory. With an iPad and credit card reader, Omar was able to quickly process credit card orders, but also keep his inventory stock level updated with each transaction.
What’s next for StrongerRX?
StrongerRX was recently named the #1 CrossFit clothing brand of 2014 from a leading fitness online authority. They are rapidly continuing to develop and add new products to better serve their customers.
With their back office operation running smoothly by leveraging ShipStation and Finale, StrongerRX is able to focus on expanding their marketing presence both domestic and internationally. In the next couple years, Stronger RX is planning to open a retail flagship store and open another warehouse in the West Coast to decrease delivery time for their customers.
“Finale and ShipStation will be a big part of the future of the business. The athletic apparel and equipment is humongous and is only to going to get larger. We plan on becoming a larger player and will continue to leverage ShipStation and Finale as we grow because it fits us so perfectly. It’s all very exciting.”