Virtually Simple


When the call arises for branded gear, clients want their merch and they want it on time. OrderMyGear is a business services company that’s about immediacy and filling a niche, which is underscored by modernization and fulfilling clients’ needs. The Dallas, Texas-based company, founded in 2008, is based around a software platform that functions as a tool for distributors, who use it to work with clients to create a tailored experience for end users.

Using the platform, distributors or consultants can create ecommerce stores for their clients, which are opened for a specified time, feature custom selected and branded merch, and are accessible by end users. If a distributor/consultant contacts OrderMyGear to launch an online store on behalf of a client—who may include a PTA parent or a high school coach—it can be set up in 20 minutes or less, and then built by an OrderMyGear employee. "Our platform fuels meaningful growth for distributors by simplifying the group ordering process," says Mitch Hammer, OrderMyGear's director of marketing. "Our company was founded on the simple idea that people love representing their group with branded gear, but it's a cumbersome process for a human resources manager, sports coach or whomever is selecting gear for the company or group; not to mention, the distributor dealing with everything, from ordering product to decorating it."

When setting up the store, the client works with the distributor/consultant to select the products to offer. This process is also simple, as OrderMyGear has 70,000 products uploaded into its database from suppliers and brands like SanMar, Under Armour, adidas and alphabroder. If a client wants to offer 20 products in their store, Hammer explains, the distributor would just type in the sku information to bring up the product, which they can drag and drop into their store using the platform. “We partner with all of these brands, so there’s a whole power around all of the partnerships we have in terms of inventory and product information,” she says. Once the products are selected, clients can choose the desired colors available—such as red and blue to represent school colors—and the sizes needed. A logo or brand message can be uploaded to the platform as a jpg file showing where its color, size and location on the apparel can be adjusted. Once approved, OrderMyGear steps in and handles the rest—it virtually couldn’t get any easier.

After the store is launched, the distributor/consultant receives a custom link, which they can share with their client, who can share it with their group, or the end users. The store is not open indefinitely, but typically for 10 to 14 days, requiring customers to make purchases within this period. The end users can then access the store and purchase what they want, and all of the merchandise is received on an as-ordered basis. “The whole idea is that you’re giving the end user the ultimate buying power or choice around what particular product or size they want,” says Hammer. “It’s all about empowering our distributors’ clients and their end users.” It’s a win-win for all. The end users benefit because they can order precisely what they want, while the client avoids handling excess inventory, as the orders are made according to the end users’ purchases. “You’re removing the guessing game,” she says.

The distributor also benefits, as after the store is closed, OrderMyGear provides analytics and backend support to help them grow their clients’ businesses, such as the most sizes ordered, the types of apparel ordered, the specific style and color ordered, etc. This can help distributors to better gauge the branded products that end users are seeking, as well as reach a greater number of clients. Normally, it would take distributors a certain amount of time to build a store, Hammer explains, which would likely result in only a few stores per year. “With OrderMyGear, you can open a store in 20 minutes and work with so many new clients, opening many new stores,” she says. OrderMyGear frequently hears from distributors that they only set up online stores for their larger customers, because of the time and expense required. But through OrderMyGear's platform, distributors can offer this service to more of their clients, no matter their size.

OrderMyGear makes order processing easier because it was purposely created to do so. Actually, when Kent McKeaigg founded the company, he did so in search of a solution for his father, Ronnie McKeaigg—to help him move towards using technology. Ronnie sold team gear for more than 35 years, but he did so the traditional way: by collecting paper orders from parents of children on teams, along with cash and checks, which proved time-consuming. The solution, Kent found, was to develop an online platform for his dad, which allowed the opening of virtual stores to serve these individual teams. The idea not only took off, but it was a hit, and Kent became CEO in 2015. In 2019, Dave Dutch joined the company as CEO, and with experience in private equity and growing companies, he’s dedicated his skillset to expanding by building a solid team of professionals. Since its start, OrderMyGear has grown to more than 100 employees with 3,000 accounts serving 6,000 reps and 3.6 million consumers—all without paper orders. The company has sold more than $1 billion in product through its platform, and by the end of 2019, they expect to have opened more than 160,000 stores.

 
Above, left: Since its inception in 2008, OrderMyGear has grown to more than 100 employees and near-tripled its occupied office space,
spanning four floors, including a terrace. 
Above, right: The headquarters is housed in an industrial-style building that honors its traditional
look and feel, combined with minimalistic and sleek décor that offers modern refresh.

But aside from the business aspect, the experience of buying team apparel and receiving it together, as a team, leaves an imprint in recipients’ minds. “In high school and middle school sports, there’s something about the fraternity and that bonding. If you’re with 15 kids buying [team merch] as a team, buying it through the [virtual] shop, there’s something more to that than saying, 'Hey, I saw a t-shirt we should all get at the store,'” says Matt Kaplan, vice president of customer success. “It’s also putting individuals, groups and organizations in touch with the ability to share their message, who otherwise may not have access, or may be unaware, of how to do so.”

Aligned with bridging old methods with newer and easier processes, OrderMyGear is housed in a historic, remodeled building in downtown Dallas. Built in 1908, it bears the bones of its former life as Dallas’s first Cadillac dealer; the crest still preserved on the lobby floor. The building spans three floors of open concept work space with a minimalistic design and maintains an industrial look—true to its roots—with exposed brick and piping, and weathered hardwood floors. And to connect old with new, the facility includes games for employees and a rooftop terrace overlooking the Dallas skyline. 

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Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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