5 Smart Things We Learned from the CEO of an Innovative Fashion Brand

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." This couldn’t be more true for today’s business leaders. As brands place their future success in the hands of the c-suite, chief executives need to be able to lead, inspire, motivate, and get their employees vested in the future of the company. After sitting down with James Rhee, the CEO of fashion brand Ashley Stewart, to chat about building a successful eCommerce business, we gathered some incredible insights, many of which can easily be replicated no matter the industry.

 Sitting down with James Rhee, the CEO of fashion brand Ashley Stewart, to chat about building a successful eCommerce business, we gathered some incredible insights.

Here are five key takeaways that any brand can incorporate and use to position their team – and employees – for success.

Establish a Culture Based on Merit and Teaching
If your employees aren’t dedicated to seeing the brand succeed, you’re going to have a hard time achieving it. Today’s leaders must foster a culture that’s deeply rooted in hard work, excellence and teaching. They must be inspired and encouraged to come together to face business challenges head-on and work diligently to maintain and protect competitive advantages their brands have worked hard to achieve. A culture based on merit will help develop better employees and attract better talent.

Understand Your Brand’s Core DNA
Look at everything you do through the lens of your brand’s DNA. Every aspect of your organization, from marketing, to creative, and even back-end operations, must be developed with this in mind.  If your strategies and tactics are not aligned with or don’t amplify the core DNA and values of your brand, failure is surely going to be on the horizon. Use your brand’s DNA and voice to inspire your employees and strategy, just as it surely has your customers.

Run the “Return on Capital” Test
The “return on capital” test is quite simple - every expense should have a return and eventually make its way back to the business. This is true for many things, whether it be mundane marketing expenses or even payroll. Switch gears and start looking at expenses from an investment perspective. If you’re struggling to see justify an “investment” because it offers little to no return, it may be one to table for now and reconsider for another time.

Rethink Strategic Inventory Management
When it comes to your inventory, try thinking in terms of bonds.  In the simplest of terms, your inventory is essentially a portfolio of bonds, where your margin represents the yield.  Instead of sitting on inventory, keep units tight and apply strategy-based tactics to move it fast. In other words, keep your bond durations short so that you can maximize the velocity of cash and replenish the investment quicker.

Choose Your Logistics Partner Wisely
For an eCommerce brand, logistics is a significant investment and in many cases, is the final touchpoint before your products reaches your customers’ hands.  Fair pricing is critical as is your logistics partner’s dedication to seeing you succeed. Find the right partner that will ensure that your brand’s DNA and voice is reflected in the fulfillment experience so that there’s an unboxing experience that’s unique to your brand. The right partner will work closely with you to build out the right logistics program for your brand’s needs and guarantee consistency and accuracy so that you can deliver on your brand promise to your customers, each and every time.

To learn more and to hear other great insights from James Rhee, check out our full chat in our emerge series here.

If you’d like to find out more about what Dotcom Distribution can offer and how we can help transform your back-end operations to positively impact your overall bottom line, drop us a note here.