28 December, 2022

Flexing its Muscles: Fitness Equipment Manufacturers Expands with NetSuite ERP


AlphaBOLD helps fitness equipment manufacturers extract maximum benefit from their investment in NetSuite Cloud ERP. Whether someone is working out from home in the corner of their living room or hitting a local fitness center for a weight-lifting session, there’s a good chance they’ll be using equipment made by Inspire Fitness. Based in Corona, Calif., the company has been making both home and commercial fitness equipment for customers around the world since 2003.

With a line of performance apparel, an 8,400-square-foot gym, and a mobile app that delivers live and on-demand workouts, Inspire Fitness takes a multifaceted approach to help individuals achieve their fitness goals. When people shifted to at-home workouts during the pandemic, for example, Inspire Fitness’ digital platform helped them maintain their exercise routines during a very difficult time.

A Growing Brand

With 45 employees, Inspire Fitness has traditionally categorized itself as a “small player” within its industry, although its profile is expanding as it adds more large retailers to its customer list. “We’re becoming a better-known brand due to our expanded distribution channels,” said Jeff Laborde, Owner, and President. “From 2019 to 2020, we nearly quadrupled our business.”

Up until 2019, Inspire Fitness was using QuickBooks to manage its financials. As the company grew, Laborde realized it needed a more robust, enterprise-wide platform to run on. “We shopped around and looked at Microsoft and a few other software programs,” Laborde said.

After talking to a few other companies in the fitness industry, Laborde learned that NetSuite Cloud ERP was a favorite choice among those entities. “We leaned on some people we knew and used that as a recommendation,” said Laborde, who also received early advice about the value of working with a NetSuite-recommended integration partner like AlphaBOLD.

As Inspire Fitness continued to grow, the company needed a flexible software platform that could scale along with it. It also wanted to integrate its e-commerce platform with its back-end functions, use its system to transact with trading partners, and better manage its physical inventory. “We needed barcoding, which QuickBooks wouldn’t allow,” said Laborde.

Finding the Right Partner

After an unsuccessful experience with its initial implementation team, Inspire Fitness began working with AlphaBOLD to complete its NetSuite Cloud ERP implementation. “AlphaBOLD helped us get the product to where we needed it to be,” said Laborde. “If we had to start the ERP implementation process all over again, I probably would’ve consulted with AlphaBOLD prior to selecting NetSuite.”

Today, Inspire Fitness uses most of NetSuite’s native functionalities plus several connectors built by AlphaBOLD, including one that allows orders to be fulfilled automatically without the need for manual steps. With multiple warehouse locations and a high volume of consignment inventory, the company uses NetSuite’s native warehouse management system (WMS) and additional connectors that enable communication flows to and from NetSuite (from other systems).
“We’re doing a lot of integration within NetSuite and with other plugins, and AlphaBOLD is helping with those,” said Laborde, who is beginning to see the benefits of Inspire Fitness’ ERP investment. “For us, it all boils down to allowing us to limit the amount of data inputs needed to manage our high order volume.”

For example, when a large retailer places an order for fitness products, every single container or product requires a separate purchase order (PO). “If they order 300 containers of product, we used to have to manually key in 300 purchase orders,” said Laborde. Today, that 300 POs now flow right into NetSuite ERP-a big improvement over the company’s previous system.

Inspire Fitness also benefits from its new platform’s inventory management capabilities, which include barcoding, serial numbers, and tracking. “The inventory management has allowed us to keep track of inventory better, scan it in, and do things that we just couldn’t do with QuickBooks,” Laborde added.

More to Come

As Inspire Fitness continues to push forward and expand its presence with other large retailers, it will be using NetSuite ERP and working with AlphaBOLD to explore even more of the system’s capabilities. “We just signed contracts with another large retailer,” said Laborde, “so AlphaBOLD is going to help us with the flows and integration with those customers, as well as continuing to help us gain even more benefits from our NetSuite ERP.” 

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