Jørgen Olav Amundsen started the company in 2010.
Jørgen Olav Amundsen needed a watch. So he made one himself. 15 years later, the bezel and spring housing have been replaced by anoraks and knickers, though timekeeping continues to be a major theme. With complex needs in retail – a market that is developing at record speed – Amundsen Sports is dependent on being ahead of the curve.
“We could never bet so hard on e-commerce without a solid system at the core.”
While studying industrial design, Jørgen Olav Amundsen produced an exclusive watch. Based on family history, it became popular and sold out quickly. Because, yes, he’s related to Roald Amundsen. The watch's success was established after a few years; Amundsen was bought by a Swiss watch company and took the operation to Geneva.
Perhaps the Swiss Alps made his mind wander, as the clock fairy tale was supposed to end there. After a few years, he switched gears to start Amundsen Sports. Soon, his childhood friend Erik Friis also got involved, and together they made "the world's first technical knickerbockers".
“We wondered why knickerbockers had disappeared from the market. Why did people use them in the old days? It wasn't because they couldn't make trousers, but because knickerbockers had several advantages that trousers don't have.”
High quality as a business model
Amundsen and Friis turned their attention to Antarctica. Because where else would they test a collection than in Roald Amundsen's footsteps? They concluded that knickerbockers are much more adaptable than a pair of pants.
“All the wet dirt is on the bottom part of the leg, so all you have to do is take off the gaiters when you enter the cabin. You don't have to strip down your underwear or change into a new outfit. It’s one of the basic things we are concerned with that the clothes should be versatile.”
“If you buy an anorak from us. You can use it on a boat, in the summer, on the ski track, on the slalom slope, or hunting in the autumn – if it also has a timeless design, so you don't feel like a jerk in it five years later, then you should in principle be able to have it for a long time. I think that’s the only way forward: quality. That is also what the younger customer group is concerned with.”
“In our plan for the next three years, 33% of our turnover will go through e-commerce. It’s only then that you realise how important your systems are!”
Automation from A to Z
The first four years was about building distribution. Since then, the arrows have pointed upwards. In 2019, the turnover was 4,660,000 euros – quite an increase from 200,000 in 2012. Soon, Amundsen Sports will have a turnover of 10 million euros.
They are impatient to automate processes. Now they’re working on their return process, i.e. when customers send back clothing for one reason or another. In that solution, the customer fills in a form online and sends the item in the mail. The return is on hold in the system, and all you have to do is retrieve it and approve it. The integration with the online shop WooCommerce means customers automatically get their money back.
“It’s easier for the customer, but also us. We don't have to plot anything. The customers do the work themselves.”
Found the tone with Cloud Connection
Finding the right Visma partner has proven to be beneficial. Amundsen Sports needed a complex setup. Cloud Connection, for its part, wanted to build expertise in e-commerce and logistics. Together they have tested, failed, developed and solved challenges.
Now the system runs by itself and handles transactions automatically – a prerequisite with so many per day. In addition to not having to plot data manually, they also have complete control over the various inventories.
“Before, we did this in Excel. We now have custom reports that measure development. Every day, I look at sales, margins and product levels. It is crucial to be able to measure week by week that we are in line with the budget. Especially when we have to turn over 25% of the entire year in the last two months before Christmas.”
Few of us perhaps think about how many operations are required from the time you confirm a purchase until the item is in your hands. After a customer has ordered new clothes, the order is automatically sent from the online store to the Visma system.
“There, it enters our logistics and accounting system before it goes to delivery, which the nearest warehouse again picks up. Once they have packed, shipped and registered the order, the system reports and invoices back to us. At the same time, the e-commerce system is notified that the order is complete and informs the customer that the package is on its way.”
It has made it possible to bet on e-commerce
The founder finds it difficult to quantify how much they have saved. He explains that e-commerce has exploded and developed in step with the systems.
“But at least I know that the solution has allowed us to invest in e-commerce. There is a completely different dynamic in retail that requires completely different systems. Without a solid system at the core, we could never bet so much on e-commerce. I think we have blazed the trail for others in the industry. My impression is that Visma develops its solutions together with its customers. As all the users out there have different needs, they develop solutions in lockstep with their customers.”