Q&A with Shane Franklin, CFO at Stuck on You

A word from the Wiise: A chat about manufacturing and eCommerce with Shane Franklin, CFO at Stuck on You

As part of our Wiise Spotlight Series, we're catching up with customers to hear how they've been able to leverage clever tech to navigate the current climate. Check out our Q&A chat with Shane below.


Tell us a bit about Stuck on You  

Stuck on You is an e-commerce business set up by our General Manager Kerry Felton in 1995 when her son was going to childcare. She wanted to label his clothing and belongings, but no one would do a small print — she only wanted 15 labels. Finally, she found someone who would print her labels. And she realised this could be a thing.   

Part of our ethos today is to try to help families live a more organised life. We didn’t want to create another job for parents to think about, so labelling things helps. Childcare workers know which items belong to your child, and it ensures that families aren’t losing things often. 


How is business going at the moment?  

Our business is quite viable. We first set up an online store back in 2000, so we’ve always been an online business. Plus, we have our own websites around the world in different regions. Some markets have been affected more than others, and we’re a quite seasonal business as well. We’re pretty much a back to school business, and that’s when we’re most busy. So when COVID hit, we were already relatively quiet as expected.   

Typically 14% of our sales are from the U.S., which is slow at the moment due to COVID. It’s probably down to 10%, which is 50% down in revenue compared to last year.  

Interestingly, we’re up 20% across Australia and NZ, but we have taken a slight revenue hit. 


How has the business been able to navigate during COVID?  

We changed tactics, leveraged government incentives and turned our focus to developing better content. We started creating content to give back to kids and families in their time of need.

Many people are trying to work from home with their kids, and we wanted to come up with activities that parents can do with their kids. We focused on things like launching kids face masks which weren’t in the market at the time as well as content that kids could do while mum and dad are working.  

We also were approved for JobKeeper. We would’ve had to react differently if we didn’t have that.  


What are your operating processes?  

We’re an ecommerce business, so we manufacture, personalise products, and are a web to print business. We have a warehouse and warehouse storage, and we pick and pack.  

Our customers can personalise their labels which means our production is done out of the warehouse. We usually import our goods and then design everything for the customer based on their needs. And then we assembly everything here. 

Plus, we currently ship to several regions worldwide, so we do international delivery as well.   


What challenges was the business-facing before you started to look for a new solution?  

When I joined Stuck on You in 2014, the business was using RAMCO ERP. We also have an ecommerce platform and KeyPay. Back in 2014, we didn’t have anyone managing the finances, and the Business Owner was solely focused on growing the business.

The RAMCO version was coming to end-of-life. And to upgrade to the new version was too big of a cost. We would rather spend that money on building out our website as we’re solely an ecommerce business. So this is where I began looking for the right system.

The biggest issue was the financials. We’re good with understanding how much we need to sell things for, but we didn’t have the back-end systems to finish up the jobs. We need to budget. To track performance. We weren’t monitoring costs below the line. 

We didn’t know our OPEX and CAPEX, and this was extremely important. We needed to make sure we were making money after taking the operating costs into account. So we needed to get our financials in order.


What was it about Wiise that convinced you to go ahead? Was there something specific about the technology and your business model that made a good fit?  

We had to go with Wiise sooner rather than later. RAMCO was getting switched off. And we really liked the fact that Wiise had preconfigured functionality, so it suited our business. It’s a nice hybrid between a full-blown ERP suite and general ledger system. 

It has multi-currency, which was vital for us. And we could manage different stock, inventory and assembly while getting everything else we needed in a more advanced financial system.   

And now with Avery Group as our governing body, we’ll need to report more effectively which we’re now set up for with Wiise. 


Did Wiise system help the business implement remote working?  

Yes, we currently have staff working from home. However, we still have some staff that need to go into the warehouse to manage the assembly of products.  


How did Wiise compare to other products in the market?  

I had narrowed it down to NetSuite and Wiise. NetSuite didn’t feel user friendly and was a bit old-school-looking. We have a small team and wanted to make it as easy as possible. And as Wiise is built on a Microsoft platform, it was an easier user-interface.  


What capabilities are you using most in Wiise at the moment? 


What were some of the tangible outcomes of implementing Wiise?  

We recently sold Stuck on You to a larger group, Avery Group. And we wouldn’t have been able to do that if we didn’t know our OPEX and CAPEX. Wiise has brought in financial rigour. We can track our stock. And have everything in one central place. We’ve also been able to manage our inventory more effectively. 

During COVID, we realised that some of our roles were no longer needed as we were able to streamline a lot of the workload. COVID allowed us to evaluate this more effectively and understand how we could manage our costs.  

We can also now get granular insight into the business with dimensional reporting, which is crucial. We have our Chart of Accounts and can report on profit and loss across our dimensions. So, for example, one of our dimensions is region, and we can see the P&L for each country for each website we have. It shows us what’s working and what isn’t. And it helps us find the balance between price, maintaining competitiveness in market and so on. 

We’re also able to track the cost of sale accurately. We can understand our costs across everything, including things like freight. And we’ve been able to split up every transaction down to groups so we can look into the different areas of the business to see what’s making money. Whether it’s product or customer groups, independent distributors or larger chains like MYER, we look into web orders, marketplaces such as Amazon and Catch of the Day, and even down to clearance items. We have full visibility of products and our sales in Wiise so we can make informed decisions on the cost of sale and take cost-saving measures. 

Live reporting has given us the ability to see where we’re at any particular time. We haven’t benefited yet from budgeting and forecasting. But we’re preparing our financial plan for next year.  

Plus, it’s so easy to use. We’re exploring more and more every day.  


Would you recommend working with your partner to others?  

Yeah, Eagle 360 have been great. They work with us on a lot of integrations and offer ongoing support.  

What’s the most important thing for your business looking at the year ahead?   

We’ve been grateful enough to have had the opportunity to accept JobKeeper, which has helped out cash flow. So we’re hoping our costs keep to a low moving forward. 

We implemented Wiise back in September 2019, and we’re hoping to get a full years’ worth of transactions to look into so we can forecast accurately. As we’re a seasonal business, seeing exactly which months were our best, which products sold most and from which customers or regions is going to be so crucial to our decision-making in the year ahead. 


Interested in learning more about Stuck on You? You can check out their website here and check out other customer stories here.

And as always, if you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please don't hesitate to reach out to hello@wiise.com.