Sitka is lifestyle brand with an environmentally sound approach to business

  • Victoria, Canada
  • community
  • XCustomer

At a glance

Ability to easily compare labor costs and sales figure to reduce spending

Time saved on creating rosters and payroll with Deputy and Vend

End-of-week wage calculations are now a piece of cake

 

The Story

Founded in Victoria, Canada in 2002, Sitka is a lifestyle brand with a deep commitment to the environment. With its roots in surfing and conservation, Sitka’s vision is to create a world in balance.

For the company, this means engaging with their community through education, inspiration, conservation and the provision of purposeful goods for exploring the natural world. Indeed, much of Sitka’s success stems from embracing local manufacturing, minimizing waste, and giving back as much as possible to the environment through their in-house philanthropy.

Everything that Sitka makes or ships is done responsibly. To support local economies and to further reduce its environmental footprint, the company also aims to have only Canadian or domestically made products in the company’s flagship stores by 2016.

In line with its credo to look after the environment, Sitka’s apparel is built to last and is durable and timeless enough for customers to replace them less often. Available across the globe, Sitka merchandise is sold at more than 200 retailers who share the Sitka vision. The company also operates three flagship stores, two of which are located in Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia, and one in Auckland, New Zealand.

Sitka sees its flagship stores as community and education centers. Customers are attracted to the stores to purchase the merchandise, but it’s here where the company engages with its customers and the community on conservation and environmental issues.

In line with their credo to look after the environment, Sitka’s apparel is built to last and is durable and timeless enough for customers to replace them less often.
With just a handful of employees to manage, we used to do all our rostering and work scheduling with paper and ink...Even for a small handful of employees, this was quite an onerous task. Some weeks, it seemed to take forever.

The Challenge

Discussing the growth of the New Zealand-based business, Andrew Howson, head of Sitka’s New Zealand and Australia operations says that this community engagement and education is a cornerstone of the outdoor clothing company’s brand promise. “We sell a high-quality product in our stores,” comments Howson. “And we set the bar high on responsible manufacturing and supply. We are giving consumers ammunition via information. Product information, business information, and ultimately for us, education on environmental impacts of consumption. We’ve had a store in New Zealand since 2010 and the brand has proven successful, so much so that we’re now in the throes of launching a new Education Centre in Auckland which will open later this year with Sustainable Coastlines.”

“In the new space, we’ll have a rotating staff of between three and six employees, plus an additional team of two who look after marketing, wholesale, and manage our warehouse,” says Howson.

“With just a handful of employees to manage, we used to do all our rostering and work scheduling with paper and ink,” says Howson. “This meant we had to print out the schedules and pin them up in the staff room, wait for individual staff members to make changes, then key in those changes on the computer and then publish the schedules and email them to everyone each week. Even for a small handful of employees, this was quite an onerous task. Some weeks, it seemed to take forever.”

The Solution

“We heard about Deputy through business associates and our friends at Vend. It looked like a great platform and I especially liked the fact that it integrated with Vend. With integrated reporting, we’d easily be able to compare labour costs to sales figures and then control those labour costs accordingly.

“I also liked the ease and flexibility to find available staff through Deputy, and the ability to create and publish work schedules in minutes. Empowering my staff to be able to sign up for shifts or move shifts around to suit their own needs would be a great bonus.”

So Howson moved his rostering and work scheduling to Deputy and integrated with Vend from the get-go. “With Deputy, all our rostering is now done a week in advance and all of our staff members receive either push notifications or email updates about their shifts.

“From day one we spent a lot less time building and changing rosters and notifying our staff. It’s now such an easy task to perform all our rostering and work scheduling needs.”

“Really importantly for a retail business like ours, we can now closely monitor how our overall weekly wage hours are stacking up. And our end-of-week wage calculations are a piece of cake! “With Deputy, the onus is on the staff to sign-in and out of the system which keeps their hours in check. This in turn makes the end of the week tally up very simple and precise.

“As staff can access Deputy on their mobile devices, everyone always has access to their schedules at any time of the day. This is great. No more wondering about shifts or hounding shop managers for reminders.

“We also use the tasking feature to delegate jobs to staff on a daily basis. It’s super easy to check what’s been done and what’s coming up. It also gives staff a checklist which helps them proactively manage their time throughout their shift.”

With the Auckland roll out of Deputy a big success, Sitka stores in North America are next. “We’re in the process of moving onto Deputy in our Victoria and Vancouver Community Centres as we speak!”

Integration with Vend

“Deputy’s integration with Vend eliminates a lot of double-entry, which saves us time and reduces the headaches reconciling at the end of the day. It gives great data on staff performance, and busy periods of the day and week, so we can allocate staffing accordingly.”

From day one we spent a lot less time building and changing rosters and notifying our staff. It’s now such an easy task to perform all our rostering and work scheduling needs.
Vend

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