Automation is the name of the game for surf specialty brand Captain Fin. Since its founding in 2007, the team has been moving from strength to strength, growing to be an international business. Now that Captain Fin is using ApparelMagic and its wide variety of powerful integrations, they’re able to spend less time on data entry and more time on what’s really important: surfing.
The brand started with one simple idea: introduce art into the world of surfboard fins.
“Traditionally surf board fins that go on the bottom of your board were just a solid color,” Captain Fin CEO Danny Gillis remembers. “We grew up skateboarding and snowboarding. Growing up, you always had your favorite snowboard that had artwork on it.”
The Big Idea
But like the extreme sports motto, Captain Fin wasn’t content with just any designs to decorate the line: they went big.
“We were the first company in the surf industry to collaborate with professional surfers, artists, and musicians to put artwork on high performance surf board fins and products,” Gillis says.
The concept has been a hit, growing the brand over time to include men’s and boys’ apparel. Now they’re stocked online, in brick-and-mortar stores, across the US, and in about 40 countries around the world. So how does a brand scale that fast without feeling the pinch?
“We’ve expanded online, and that business is really growing,” Gillis says. “ApparelMagic has helped us in a lot of ways to grow the business and have visibility into the business. What we can do with Shopify and ApparelMagic and systems like this in the cloud is incredible.”
It wasn’t always this easy for the brand. They’ve ran their business using multiple systems and found that their old software overcomplicated their data and workflow, to the detriment of the whole team.
“It wasn’t a system that if you hired a new employee they could get on and figure it out. It was highly customizable—too customizable—and it didn’t integrate with anything. It was an antiquated technology.”
The team learned quickly that when a piece of software is integrated, that doesn’t mean it’s optimized.
“It was integrated, but you had to manually push things through,” Gillis says. “You had to go in and look at your orders everyday, and there was some manual entry.”
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Switching to ApparelMagic
When enough was enough, they looked for something that could save the business time and money, and they found ApparelMagic.
“We needed something that was more scalable, that integrated, and that anyone could get onto and figure it out pretty quickly,” Gillis says. “We couldn’t be happier, honestly. It’s a really good system for that.”
What works for Captain Fin is using ApparelMagic as the central hub of their business, linking it with integrations to Shopify, CartRover, and 3PL Central to round out their workflow.
“We’ve got it all set up now so it’s all relatively automatic and seamless,” Gillis says. “An ecommerce order comes through Shopify into ApparelMagic, pushes over into our warehouse, they ship the goods, and then it pushes back into ApparelMagic with tracking information and shipping. It’s really great. It’s saved us a lot of time, and it saves us on the manual side for processing orders. A ton of time.”
When it comes to ERP and fashion business software, getting started is a pain point for many businesses, and that’s why ApparelMagic’s development has always put the user and their experience first.
“One thing that attracted me, of many, to ApparelMagic was that I didn’t have to customize it. Out of the box, it worked for us,” Gillis says. “It had all the features that you would need, whether you’re a large company or a small company. It had everything I needed.”
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Captain Fin’s Favorite Features
- Invoicing – “We’re able to invoice directly through ApparelMagic. It’s hooked up to our email system. We can send invoices, and we can track it all through ApparelMagic.”
- Multi-Currency – “We do a lot of international business so we’re able to send invoices or estimates or quotes in the currency in the country that we’re dealing with, which is really powerful.”
- Available to Sell Inventory Reports – “We use the automated ATS reports out of ApparelMagic that [customers] get on a recurring basis so they are able to see inventory and reorder when they need to.”
- Commission Tracking – “Our sales reps are able to log in and see just the accounts that they deal with. We’re able to see in real time who has been paid, when they have been paid, and what they’ve been paid on.”