Sunday, November 07, 2021

How Manila Athletica and LOCAD are delivering fitness and business goals

Many individuals resort to hobbies to pass the time, stay creative, and become more active while staying at home to stay safe. This ongoing trend prompted Aencille Santos, a fitness fanatic, to launch Manila Athletica, a brand that encourages Filipinos to begin their fitness journey at home. Manila Athletica is eager to help more consumers reach their fitness objectives now that LOCAD is assisting them in fulfilling their expanding number of orders.

As Manila Athletic expands, Santos reflects on her brand's path, the operational issues she encountered, and how end-to-end fulfillment was the appropriate match for her business, allowing her to grow and succeed.

First business steps
Santos' decision to form Manila Athletica was a crucial one. She worked in the hotel sector before beginning her company, which was severely impacted and put on hold by the pandemic.

Aencille Santos, Founder and Owner of Manila Athletica

“While the world was put to a halt, my bills and obligations were still going. The problem was clear: If I can’t figure out a way to create an opportunity to grow my income, I will lose all my remaining savings to just paying off my bills,” Santos shares. The unforeseen situation got her asking herself how she can generate income using what she already has and if her passions can turn into a business. In both these questions, fitness seemed to be the clear answer.

CrossFit has been part of Santos’ life for years and with the pandemic closing down gyms, she bought a barbell set and plates for a make-shift gym at home last April. She realized that just like her, many Filipinos staying safe at home are investing in quality fitness equipment to stay healthy and safe. Santos also did her research and discovered that fitness equipment is part of the top ten things people bought during the pandemic, which fueled her excitement even more. Armed with her passion for fitness and market knowledge, Santos built Manila Athletica — a fitness brand that encourages Filipinos to start and enjoy their fitness journey.

Jump ropes, resistance bands, and workout mats are among Manila Athletica's best-selling items, and they've proven to be indispensable in their customers' fitness journeys. However, when more orders came in, Santos found it difficult to choose, pack, and ship out orders on her alone. She selected a fulfillment partner for her e-Commerce firm to guarantee she was keeping up with both client orders and logistics.

The LOCAD Control Tower is an online platform that gives company owners a better view of their businesses.  With real-time visibility in data and analytics, it allows them to track orders online, monitor inventory levels, and generate reports in just a few clicks.

"Upon assessing a shortlist of players, LOCAD topped the list with their impressive system, organized processes, and quality customer service," says Santos.

Faster fulfillment orders
Before LOCAD, Santos was able to handle the business as a one-woman team. With its explosive growth, however, she started struggling to fulfill orders and maintain good customer service in the face of a very demanding market.

“As someone who transitioned from being an employee to a business owner, it’s difficult to shake off the habit of doing everything yourself. However, a shift in mindset is necessary: no one can do this alone. It’s necessary to move from DIY-ing everything to delegating to team members, in order to further scale up the company," she explains.

LOCAD Warehouse where Manila Athletica’s products are now stored, cared for, and packed for fulfillment

With LOCAD as Manila Athletica’s e-Commerce fulfillment partner, Santos shared how she’s able to ensure the timeliness and quality of order fulfillment with reasonable rates and impressive efficiency.

“I took the jump and I believe I made a good decision. Now, I have more time to focus on business development, marketing, and research,” Santos says. “The LOCAD dashboard enables me to check the status of my sales targets and inventory health any time of the day. Not to mention, the team assigned to me [is] responsive, helpful, and addresses my concerns as a solo business owner.”

With LOCAD in the picture, Manila Athletica has had a 40% increase in positive consumer comments and two to three times faster deliveries. Santos also anticipates increasing their inventory by almost triple since fulfillment by LOCAD enables her to sell more items.

Manila Athletica is expecting to peak during the holiday season, especially after the New Year, with more people motivated to start or resume their fitness journey. But Santos is not concerned about the surge of orders, “My team and I can focus on branding and marketing, and we have zero worries about the order fulfillment because LOCAD has it covered.”

With the brand now growing at a steady pace, Manila Athletica is looking to broaden its inventory by offering new equipment and accessories that will further help its customers achieve their fitness goals. Product innovation and the creation of an athleisure line are in the pipeline. According to Santos, "We will still focus mainly on e-Commerce but will eventually expand to other Asian markets."

To know more about the products of Manila Athletica, visit the official  website, Shopee, and Lazada online stores. For more information on end-to-end fulfillment services, check out LOCAD and how they help Filipino entrepreneurs grow their e-Commerce businesses.

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