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Interview

Interview: People + Process + Tech: How KEEN is driving omnichannel success in a digital-first world, with Matt Krueger, Vice President, Global Marketplaces & Pure Play at KEEN

When Covid accelerated the importance of digital, hybrid footwear brand KEEN was ready. Not that it wasn’t hard, but they had already been making the investments in digital channels, digital and data teams, and the organization and processes to do it at a global scale, driving success both online and  in-store. Matt Krueger, Vice President, Global Marketplaces & Pure Play at KEEN, joins Peter and Rob to talk about the foundations they built, and where they expect those innovations to take their business in 2022. 

Peter (00:00):

Welcome to unpacking the digital shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.

Peter (00:16):

Hey everyone, Peter Crosby here with the digital shelf Institute, when Cove, it accelerated the importance of digital hybrid footwear brand keen was ready. Not that it wasn't hard, but they had already been making the investments in digital channels, digital and data teams and the organization and processes to do it a global scale driving success, both online and in store, Matt Krieger, vice president, global marketplaces and pure play at keen joined Rob and me to talk about the foundations they built and where they expect those innovations to take their business in 2022. So, Matt, thank you so much for joining on the podcast. We, we really appreciate you coming on.

Matt (00:59):

Absolutely. Thanks for having me it's so, uh, this is exciting. So looking forward to the conversation today.

Peter (01:05):

Well, I mean, it's exciting one for us because keen is such a great brand and, and I, and I know that during COVID, uh, the listeners didn't see this, but Rob just noded madly. So <laugh> right. Rob, you love their brand as well.

Rob (01:17):

I do. I do. I actually fun fact. My, my first job is it's teenagers. I was working construction and I had, uh, the keen steel toed boots, um, way, like way back in the day. So, so yeah, I'm a, I'm a big fan

Peter (01:32):

And now he threatens his children with them. <laugh>

Rob (01:37):

That's right,

Peter (01:39):

Kidding. I know that during COVID people wanted to be outdoors more than ever, uh, and Keen's digital business sort of sky rocked as a result and, and you and your team were in the center of that storm or maybe opportunity. We should look at it that way. Like what, you know, since that time and now what are the trends that, that you're seeing in your business and what do you think, you know, as you look into 2022 might be lasting.

Matt (02:05):

Yeah, it's a great question. And first off, Rob, you know, you don't often hear about customers of keen being on the work boots side of the business. We often hear about the sandals and hiking side. So it's exciting, um, to hear your story there, but, uh, from a trend perspective, I think COVID, yeah, that I think from March and through through August was a, a, a wild time for us, you know, working on weekends to try and transition our business into, um, to the digital spectrum, as much as we could. The good news is we were, we were set up, um, pretty well. That being said, we weren't set up to handle the type of mass influx as we saw. Um, so we, we transitioned as much as possible, but I give credit to our leadership that he, we, we are at least starting the foundation to go from there.

Matt (02:46):

But, uh, you know, obviously the outdoor trend skyrocketed, we had a lot of inventory within our hiking area, that we were quick to service that industry, you know, between our DTC wholesale and Amazon business specifically, um, we adapted as quickly as we can. Uh, I would say those outdoor trends are continuing. Um, the digital business is continuing, you know, it, I think it's shifting. One thing we saw is as people moved home and now we're 18, 18, 24 months into this, we're seeing, you know, that casual comfort trend. You know, we have some slippers and everything that we've all always sold on keen, but now that people are staying inside and can wear it, you know, seven days a week, 365 days a year, that business is starting to really accelerate for us too. So, um, we're gonna adapt, uh, as we can, but I think those trends are coming. One thing I'd like to note is, you know, the work with business, we saw major influxes, but that continued on constantly. And I think our, our work side of the business and a lot of infrastructure bills and everything that's gonna come through in the future, we, we see that business being extremely opportunistic in the future, both, you know, through all channels, but especially our digital channels have uptick, uh, have uptick very positively for us. So,

Peter (03:58):

You know, my, my Halloween, one of my Halloween costumes this year or not, I had two and I hate Halloween, but I was forced to, uh, by the person I love. Um, <laugh> so, but one of the costumes before this year was I went out and had t-shirts printed that said supply chain issues on them. <laugh> like, we couldn't get our costume and time <laugh>. And I was wondering, uh, you, you know, I know this is sort of, uh, probably a sore spot and I shouldn't be making jokes about it, but everyone loved it. But, uh, what are you seeing there, you know, how have you been dealing with that ish, that issue and sort of, uh, what do you see coming

Matt (04:35):

Up? I'm laughing cuz that's in agen costume. I wish, I wish I would've thought about that. And I, I also dislike Halloween, but that's very clever. Um, you're right. It's a sensitive topic. Uh, but we have to address the reality of it. I think, you know, it, it was unpredictable and I think we, we stayed the course as much as possible. We did course correct. And we managed, um, our inventory needs as much as possible. The good news from keen is we are vertically integrated. We do own some of our facilities. Uh, so we were able to, I think control a little bit of our supply chain in a little bit better capacity than maybe some were able to. That said we were always on the forefront of being very careful and safe with our team. First and foremost, I think that's important, you know, regardless of the inventory that we need, we had to take care of our employees there.

Matt (05:25):

But, um, you know, moving forward once we got through that, we are shifting as much as everyone else is. I would say, as this catching up, you know, we had the hard time understanding how much we were gonna be able to manufacture. That was for X amount of timeframe. Then we were talking about, well, how are we gonna get it? It from the ports into the country. Now we're talking about how do we get it from the ports to our fulfillment centers in time for a holiday? Uh, I think we're, we're navigating that the lead times, I think change from anything from like 50 days on the ocean to now it's like 85 days, we're predicting based on poor congestion issues. Wow. Um, so our team, I would say hats off to our global logistics team, our manufacturing and ops teams. They have calls every day because dates are moving every day.

Matt (06:10):

And I would say that's probably one of the hardest jobs in the world right now. So we, I think we're getting through that and we're doing the best we can. What I'm a little bit, you know, interested to see what shakes out is we're gonna get through this and we've increased our inventory. Everyone's increased their inventory needs over the past, you know, six, nine months. And we're trying to deliver all that, but what's the future. How are we adapting? Because we're gonna have this massive influx of inventory over the next six months, but eventually you're gonna have a catch up. So how are you planning, you know, fall winter 22, spring 23 to really understand what is true demand so that we don't overcorrect, I think is the really the next segment of what we're gonna have to focus our tasks on. And, um, that's, that's what I can comment on supply chains right now. We're managing as best we can, but it'd be really interesting to see what the next six to 18 months, um, from a supply perspective is gonna kind of entail.

Rob (07:10):

Yeah, the neither here nor there for this conversation. But I do wonder big picture whether this entire pandemic and this supply chain issues that have been different across the whole pandemic, but persistent in, in that there seems to always be a supply chain issue is gonna cause home sourcing of more of the manufacturing sector by sector. Um, one of the one there's a company in Boston called desktop metal that, uh, IPO via stack during the, during COVID and what they do is they 3d print industrial scale stuff. Right. And it is, it's just not, not that you could 3d print a shoe, but it's interesting to think about what are the, what are the implications on the supply chain, big picture, um, companies coming out of this, I think in the shorter term, know one thing that you all do at keen, although I think a lot better than, than a lot of your peers is organization structure. So COVID hit, you just said that you were able to take advantage of it. There was massive spikes and demand across channels that I don't think people would've get us going into it. And you were able to, to live, to, to manage the demand and manage the shifts in channel purchasing behavior of consumers and all this type of stuff. I, I think a lot of it has to do with your org structure. So can you just give us a quick overview as to how digital is structured within keen and, and where you sit?

Matt (08:37):

Yeah, absolutely. And I, I think your spot on there and, uh, um, we started, I would say this journey started in 2019. Um, keen leadership came together and, you know, digital Omni channel, everyone working together in this brick and click kind of online fashion is important, but this marketplace pure play direct consumer website is really key for us for our strategic growth initiatives over the next three years. So we started on this journey, like how do we make this a vertical category, a digital vertical category inside so that we can leverage expertise, share insights, um, and kinda work together to make our digital go to market strategy, a unified approach. So, uh, I sit, uh, my team specifically sits on our direct, our global digital direct to consumer team, um, that entails our owned website, our own stores, uh, our marketplace business globally. So anything from Amazon across nine countries team, all in China, um, Zoso town in Japan, et cetera.

Matt (09:35):

And then we also have recently added in our pure play organization, uh, underneath that as well. So that's all the retailers that are native eCommerce or at least 99% native e-commerce focused, uh, and reason being is, you know, when you think about what starts up ticking on our direct consumer website usually is trending the same on Amazon, which can also usually be trending the same on Zappos. And a lot of, you know, when you add in the pure play, a lot of those pure play retailers sell in marketplaces, or we see native retailers becoming marketplaces. So it makes sense to, for us to leverage what we're seeing from a sales perspective, why is one working on this website versus that website? You know, we think about the advertising portion of the business. Uh, a lot of these retailers are starting to monetize their website using advertising, but we've been doing that on Amazon for 18 months.

Matt (10:25):

So how can we leverage that expertise to drive it on the pure play marketplaces? So we're not recreating the wheel and having to bring in new people all the time. We can just leverage the data now that we have and go to market faster. So we keep that vertical, um, you know, that said, we're very respect, respectable of, um, channel conflict. You know, we don't wanna overtake our brick and mortar partners. We wanna partner with them and kind of fuse together so that we can share insights, um, accordingly. So I think, uh, I think that summarizes at a high level of just how vertical we are within the, the digital sector. Yeah.

Rob (11:03):

I wanna hang on almost one of the last things you said there in terms of insights and sharing insights with, with brick and mortar. I mean, I, I've gotta imagine that one of the advantages to running a central team there instead, instead of the alternatives that a lot of other companies are set up, uh, is that you can take analytics on ad performance channel by channel and actually do an ROI comparison on where your next advertising dollar should go. What channel is the most efficient right now for your advertising dollar? Um, I all also have to imagine that in some channels where you've got own data, like such as your D C channel, you can you get a sense of what content works and what people are searching for. You can look at the search results, uh, so I can see those synergies within your company. Are you

Matt (11:53):

Actually taking any of that and applying it through your, through your brick partners and, and work and using those insights to, to work more effectively with them? That's a phenomenal question. Um, we're starting to, I would, I would hate to say that we're fully ingrained right now, but we're starting to take some of that know in leveraging it to say, Hey, how can we use this to adjust our future forecast at the brick and mortar level? Because we're getting that data so fast, you know, on a daily basis, we can start getting trends faster. Um, we aren't doing at, at the level that I know we can and we will in the future, but you know, just little things like, um, <affirmative>, you know, we get regional information from Amazon of like, Hey, this product is selling in these pockets around the globe. If we take that to our brick partners or our sales sales team and be like, Hey, these products are moving in your areas, but you haven't placed it. Why is that they can take that type of information and go to their, their brick partners and be like, Hey, this is selling in your, you might wanna pick it up and, and drive business that way. So that's just like one example where we can share some of that information, um, and where we see it kind of in the future going, um, I would say,

Peter (13:04):

And Matt, you're, you're running, um, you're running retailer media and more and more. And, uh, and I'd love to know a, how are you doing that? Are you doing that're self? Are you doing it with partners? How does that work? Cause it's I, and I'd love your point of view on sort of, it's like everyone's getting <laugh>, uh, you know, an ad platform these days, it feels like. And so 20, 22 is gonna be another year of crazy, like here, spend money with me. So one, how do you think about that? How do you manage that? And then also as particularly, you know, the, the big league ones are becoming that full funnel experience of both brand impressions and, and brand storytelling, as well as performance marketing. How do you think about that? Do you, how do you work? Do you have brand marketing, is that separate and you guys collaborate, how do you sort of manage that whole process to get the most value out of what you're doing

Matt (13:59):

There? Yeah, absolutely. I'll take the latter question first. So we do have separate brand marketing teams, um, that oversee kind of our social, and I would say direct performance marketing, um, to kind of create an overall global brand go to market plan. Um, but when we talk about marketplaces and kind of pure places specifically, so we, we used to, I would say pre 2019, we, we had an agency that ran a lot of our business. And then, um, when we really, we really decided to make marketplaces a key focus on it. We decided, Hey, we should bring in an expert. So, um, we brought it in house. Um, I have a phenomenal team of three people that manage our, our paid media spend on market marketplaces and pure play internally. Um, we've been able to scale accordingly. I think the, uh, I think there's a time in place when agencies are the best case, given the size of your business and the amount of resources you have and everything that you have.

Matt (14:49):

But if you can really find, find a team, leverage a assess tool and you have the expertise to do it, I think it's the way to go because you, you own that data and you can really see what's, what's turning, what's not turning. How is it, um, how is it moving to your actual strategy? I would say, um, one thing we gained when that was we automation and artificial intelligence was key for us because we leveraged the tool that, um, uh, Perpetua and, um, at Soso were, were two of the key partners that we, that we worked with during this. And the, the ability to scale globally was key for us. And a lot of those partners are bringing in multiple marketplaces, whether that's Walmart or target or eBay, whatever, but when you can merge all of that together, own the data in house, and then start sharing the insights like Rob was talking about beforehand. You can leverage where your money's going, and you can turn on the dime at any point with respect to budgets and pacing and everything like that. So, uh, for right now, we, we own all the media spend in house and I see continue in the future, especially with the returns that we're seeing right now.

Rob (15:55):

Yeah. I, I wonder actually, and this is a conversation among a lot of, um, executives in the digital shelf Institute executive forum right now is the real time budget balancing across channels is, is becoming more and more a thing just like you're talking about. And Peter's question on the brand advertising is one that, that we're kind of digging into a lot more often recently, simply because a lot of the traditional brand channels are adding shopping carts. You know, you can do checkout on Instagram right now. You can, you can do checkout on TikTok. Uh, soon, uh, P interest has been working on it. Um, Google shopping actions, you can add, add checkout on YouTube. There's Facebook marketplaces, blowing up, especially in Europe. And so that line between direct response, um, and you know, where the actual transaction takes place is becoming is becoming really, really fuzzy. And especially if you're already in real time trading budgets across platforms based on ROI, you know, it, it just seems like at some point that the, the two teams would have to be even, I dunno, merged or, or collaborating in more real time or, or whatnot, right.

Matt (17:09):

It's spot on. And, um, we, so we have IG checkout and face workshops activated in our team. I work and some of that rolls up through me. Some of it rolls up through the brand team depends on kind of the tech stack and partnership that we use to develop that. I think the, I think the biggest question there is the biggest question, biggest challenge is how do you aggregate all of the data into a centralized area so that you can make pivots very quickly? And I think it seems really simple, right? We're talking about this, like, yeah, it makes sense completely. But when the data comes in at different parameters, you have to connect to your own product information. It's really hard to make those decisions in a very short timeframe until you build that central data repository. So that's why that's also why you can leverage agencies because they built a lot of those, those areas of merging all that data together.

Matt (17:59):

Um, but when you own it internally, I think it's just stronger. So we're working on how do you, how do you centralize all that so that you can move money from, you know, your brand budgets to marketplaces or take budget from marketplaces to your brand budget, because you're starting to monetize, you know, or commercialize revenue through those brand channels. Um, and I think that's important in the future. So I see our, our social commerce is slowly growing. I think there's a tremendous amount of opportunity. And I think the, where that grows, the better opportunity brand marketers have to ask for more spend because they're able to commercialize it. And I think that's important.

Rob (18:38):

Yeah. It's like the brand marketing, the old, old joke was, uh, I know 50% of my marketing spend works. I just couldn't tell you which 50% <laugh>. And so we're getting, we're getting more, more and more closer to, to the actual truth. Um, there, this actually brings another topic, which I think is really interesting in particular with, regarding keen, which is that in the last 10 years, I mean, you can't swing a cat around without hitting a new direct to consumer outdoor business right there. It's just, there just seems to be a ton of them. It's, it's, it's just one of those spaces where, um, a, a bunch of emerging brands have, have come out and yet keen has done really well. And I, I have to imagine when you're looking across channels and you're looking at, and where do you invest your next marginal dollar to, to maintain market share, earned, to grow, um, that the competition looks a lot different channel by channel and, and year by year. And so, to, to what extent are you tracking competition in a different way now than you were a couple years ago, and then to, and then to what extent does the data focus that you've got across all these channels, give you an advantage over, over brands that have less of an omnichannel, uh, view of the way that the world is operating.

Matt (19:58):

It's it's a good question. I think, uh, one thing I think is really important is understanding what, uh, what products you play in what commercialization area you play in, because it's really easily, you know, I get asked questions all the time, like, how is our, how's the category doing on Amazon, or how's our competition doing on Amazon? And we can say one way or the other, but Amazon is so massive that the category may be up tremendously, but that could be done by players that we don't play in price points. It could be done by like $80 or less. We don't have a product that sits there. So it's not really to apples, to apples. I think that's one of the biggest challenges about, um, analyzing your competition in this space is really understanding how much business is done in each kind of product sector.

Matt (20:41):

Um, but to that point from like a, from a keen perspective, it, the leveraging the data for us is how do we leverage it to design products that meet our consumers demands and the quality they need? I think one thing keen has done very well is control their quality. Um, and then we, you know, we started looking at how do we service our customers and listen to them. The next stage for us is we've collected all this data, whether it's reviews or questions, et cetera, how do we leverage that to get it to our product teams to say like, Hey, we're missing the boat here. Maybe we're having quality issues, or maybe like, Hey, they would love this boot and waterproof, and we don't only have it in non waterproof. We have to take that data and then build that to the next product that we have so we can service that customer in the future. Sure. So it's one thing to collect all the data. It's the next thing to use into create your next product opportunity?

Peter (21:34):

Yeah, that's, that's, I love hearing that, that the ability to be able to turn that into action from the very beginning of product ideation all the way through how you write your product description, things like that. That's, to me, that's like the, the real juice out of this whole thing is to be able to, to drive that impact wherever in the business it can be had, which I, so I think it's pretty, pretty impressive that that you're able to be on the track of achieving that kind of stuff. And I'd love to focus in if you don't mind, like zoom in, on, on the big gorilla on Amazon, if you don't mind, like sure. Um, I was, I, what you're talking about, the breadth of what you're talking about, all the channels that you work in, it's so complex, but I was wondering if you could maybe walk me through, you know, to the degree that you can share, um, what, how you do your work to day on how you manage that business and, and what sort of drives it, cuz it must be a fascinating B exhausting say <laugh>,

Matt (22:37):

That's, that's a good point. I mean, I, I think, I think you hit the hit nail on the head. They're exhausting. I, I think one, one base thing, obviously everything rolls with sales. So we, we look at sales on a daily basis, but, um, one thing that was crucial for us and when I started building the team was finding people who were maniacally obsessed with marketplaces because it changes so fast. And if you don't have a passion and obsession with this, it can really task you by, I will say everyone on our team reads, it is constantly like we'll stay up at night and try and figure like why this happened or why it didn't, or what's, you know, what's changing. Um, but for us, I would say the biggest complexity is so we, we sell in nine countries around the globe. Um, we have teams that sit in each sub, you know, sub area to handle the day to day business.

Matt (23:24):

But my job is really to fuel those teams to come to, uh, a global strategy. And, um, as big as Amazon is in some areas from a global perspective, they, they lack a little bit there. And I don't think that's for lack of trying. I just think there's, you know, Amazon us is much further along with the data and everything that they build their website in comparison to Japan. So we're deploying strategies in us that we can't quite do in the other regions, which makes it hard to scale and leverage resources accordingly. But to get back to kind of the bare bones, I would say I have, I look at our business, our organization, like 10 different sectors from sales to inventory planning to paid media, spend to organic content, to price monitoring and three piece seller management, um, to legal and, uh, business intelligence, analytics, extraction, predictive, um, analytics, like we have sectors or people that are working in all those areas.

Matt (24:20):

Cuz I would say if one of those pillars falls short, we're going to, we're going to suffer. You know, three P management is crucial to us. Um, you know, if we have sellers that are selling $50 under our, our MSRP, it doesn't matter what we do on advertising. It doesn't matter the inventory that we have planned, cuz we're not gonna move it because of that type of, you know, bad situation. So we all have to be hand in hand and I think that's why we, we built this, this kind of digital vertical because it's important that every sector works together. Otherwise one piece falls apart, the other nine don't don't work together. So, um, at a high level, I would say that's, that's where we're at

Peter (25:00):

Matt. One of the things you keep mentioning and it's really been throughout this, this conversation is just the, of the people that you have on your team. I mean, when you talk about people are willing to stay up nights and maniacally pull through data, like why didn't this work? Uh, how are you keeping, how are you attracting and keeping your digital talent?

Matt (25:20):

It's it's uh, it's a very speaking exhausting.

Peter (25:24):

<laugh>

Matt (25:25):

It's a very, it's very timely question. I think, um, you know, it's never been, uh, I, well, one, I will say parents, parents have had the hardest time during COVID, um, because of just, you know, managing work and being at home. Number two, I will say that first and foremost, but I think managers have had a really hard time too, because it's, it's hard to keep people engaged when you literally can't sit face to face or, you know, go grab a drink after work or take them to lunch or I onboard them with an entire group gathering. So you have to find ways to, uh, to keep them engaged. I think, you know, we try every month we try to have a happy hour. I've been guilty that I haven't been able to get to everyone, but we do have a happy hour and we just take time to just like completely shut our minds off.

Matt (26:02):

Um, number two is I, I try to get as much visibility to our team members to our, your leadership as possible. I think it's really important that, you know, I lead the team, but I, I lead the team. I'm fortunate to lead team, but they're the ones doing a lot of the hard work and they should get rewarded for that. So a simple presentation for executives sit in for 45 minutes to see all the work that they're doing really keeps them engaged and feels valued about the work that they're doing for just, you know yep. We, we beat sales this week. Um, I'm doing my job appropriately, so that, and I think, um, I'm fortunate enough in our team. We started this team from scratch and because we've scaled so quickly, there's been a good amount of leveling up opportunities. So the company has supported us in giving promotions where it's due and continuing to add, I should say, expand people's scope who those that want it.

Matt (26:52):

And, um, they've been open to that. So I would say those are the really the three key components that I think, you know, we've done to try and keep our talent engaged, uh, enjoy their roles, say physical, healthy, and you're always gonna have competition coming in and, you know, challenging that we, that they want the talent. Um, it's, it's my job as a manager, it's our job as leaders to make them not wanna leave, make them enjoy their jobs for everything that they, that they enjoy doing each day and you find different ways to do that. So

Peter (27:22):

I think it's a really hard problem right now. You know, everyone's talking about the great resignation and you know, all this stuff that's happening, but you are in the, the most dynamic part of the most dynamic industries right now. And, uh, and, and so, uh, the demand for talent is so much, but what you talked about is, is, you know, the value of finding out, you know, I just ran a survey on my team of, you know, how do people want to be recognized like each individual and the, the array of answers was, was wild. Like you really, can't just one cookie cutter size, uh, what, you know, how you motivate somebody, uh, and excite them about their job. And, and also, as you said, we are in such a dynamic industry, you're working across so many different Chan, like the, the opportunity to like soak up stuff like a sponge, if this is where you wanna put your career. And, and just from having worked with the digital shelf Institute, executive forum and, and talk to a bunch of people, these jobs, I feel like if they want to be, can be the future, like certainly CMOs or chief revenue officers, or chief executive officers of, of these brands. And, and, uh, and so it, I just, it's really cool to hear you talk about how you think about your, your team.

Matt (28:38):

Yeah. It's um, uh, I think you'd hit it nail ahead. I think also one thing that's important is let let, um, you don't, as a leader, you don't have to know everything. You don't have to do everything. And I think one thing I've tried to do is let our team members, if they have an idea, let them run with it. If it fails, it fails. Uh, but at least we try and, you know, don't be afraid of missing a step. And I, I've tried to instill that, you know, you can, the sky's the limit. If you wanna take ideas and go for it, I'll I'll hear anything out. So, um, that was another idea it's like, you should be, you should be willing and able to test any idea that you have, you know, as long as it's fiscally responsible and ethically responsible, obviously.

Peter (29:20):

But, well, there goes that idea that I had. I also want, before we, um, before we close out, I wanted to make sure just, we were talking about supply chain earlier and, and kind of the future, when you, when you, cuz supply chain logistics, fulfillment, they're all really important parts of, of both how your consumers experience it, particularly cuz you are a retailer as well as a, a manufacturer and it's critical to profitability these days. So when you think about your 22, 20 22 plan, do, do you know, do you have a sense of how your, you approaching these areas are gonna evolve?

Matt (29:59):

Yeah, I think it's, it's a really important question. Uh, I have some, I have a theory that, you know, we're, as, as manufacturers, we are going to get more pressure to get put on us, to fulfill accordingly. Um, you know, there, uh, especially, you know, Amazon, you know, FBA inventory, how much are we doing through that? Um, are drop shipping through Amazon, et cetera, multiple warehouses. I, I think, you know, it's a little bit different right now. The trends we were seeing pre pandemic with our wholesale partners was, you know, we had all these future orders and then we kind of went more to an at once model. And now we're getting back to future orders to secure inventory. I think that at once model's gonna come back and both retailers and partners and brick and mortar partners are gonna carry less inventory because they never wanna get caught kind of what happened with the pandemic.

Matt (30:49):

So because of that, we're gonna have to invest in technology, invest in our own fulfillment centers to basically, you know, fulfill and partner with those people, uh, or with those partners to help service their and through our own fulfillment channels. So I think the biggest investment we can make is within the technology data flowing and warehousing fulfillments to invest in doing it ourselves or partnering with a three PL whatever that may be. But I, I would say if you think you're making enough investment in fulfillment networks and operations, I would say you probably need to even rethink cuz I think there's gonna be more demand on that area because it's, it's going to become, it's going to become really reliant on the vendors and manufacturers to do that type of, uh, fulfillment versus the retailers doing it through their channels. Yeah. I, I

Peter (31:38):

Agree with that. Be

Matt (31:40):

That that makes a ton of sense.

Peter (31:42):

It's all piling on, isn't it? I mean your business is just continues to get more and more complex. It's uh, uh, it's uh, the, the opportunity continues to get bigger, I think, but it's you, you need to get good at more and more things to be able to, to continue to grow and win market share.

Matt (32:03):

Well said. I, I think, uh, you know, I'll start at, data's at the centralized part of that. If you have the data and you're starting to collect it, you can start making those decisions from there. Um, but I, the logistics and fulfillment network, what that comes to be in the future, both getting it to the customer and returning it from back to is going to be a very, very wild ride. I think over the next, you know, three to 10 years would say maybe even faster,

Peter (32:27):

Well, most importantly, uh, to close what's the keen product that Rob and I should be looking at <laugh> to get us out of the house, this winter comfortably, uh, I, this is so critical cuz I hate the snow. I am a total was and I have a puppy that I'm going to have to walk. So, uh, I can't let you go without a couple of product recommendations. Rob you'll have to chime in with what's important to you cuz I, I have no idea. I, you know, your feet are important, sore good. As long as I'm happy. All right, I'm putting you on the spot. It's a good

Matt (33:01):

Question. I was gonna ask you if you had predictions about how much snow we're gonna get, but I would say, um, from a key perspective, I'll give you two options. So like if you're, if you're an adult, I would say we have, uh, what's called the revel or the Anchorage that are two seller, winter products for adults. And then in kids, you know, our business there is exploding and we, and we love server that the kids, um, it would be the winter port or the Greta. So those would be kind of the four products depending on who you're buying for that are, that are what I would recommend.

Peter (33:28):

All right. I I'm opening up my Google machine as we speak. Would you prefer that? I buy from keen.com. Would you prefer, I won't, I won't make you at choose children. No. Put in that. That's fine. That's fine. Well, uh, I've gotta say Matt, it has been so keen to have you on the podcast. I thought you'd enjoy that podcast. Oh, it was fine actually. Yeah, no, I know, I know this is podcast subscriber analytics down to listener. Just doing so well. No, but seriously. Um, you know, it's, it's such a gift for, uh, for people like you that are figuring this stuff out to come on the podcast and, and share what you, what your day is like. And Rob and I are both really grateful for you for doing that. Thank you so much.

Matt (34:19):

I really appreciate it. Um, you know, the D the DSI I've listened to a lot, you guys are putting on a ton of great content and I'm just happy and thankful for the opportunity. Um, Peter Rob, you's been great. So it's been, it's been awesome having this time today.

Peter (34:32):

Thanks again to Matt Krieger for being so keen to come on the pod <laugh> upon so bad. I used it twice. Please share this. So with your colleagues and reach out to us on LinkedIn with any comments or questions, thanks for being part of our community.