What was the scope of their involvement?
Two years ago, I sold Equestrian Collections to Choice Brands Group. Once they had acquired us, they wanted to re-platform from Everest to their homegrown system, which they did but not successfully, especially on the organic search side. As they took our company in, they realized the different style of management and level of technical expertise that we had. That helped them with their decision to get off their homegrown system onto the system that we’re going to be implementing in a couple of months: Magento ERP/Acumatica/Savant/Salsify/Salesforce.
On the Magento side, it is the professional ERP version, not the community one. On the technical side of that, there is the actual testing and SEO that my company is doing with MARTEC360. They’re heavily involved in the day-to-day project management, and that’s been extremely helpful. The Acumatica side is a lot more data-focused, including setting up the accounting. They did the requirements for that and are technically involved to some degree, but I’m not as familiar with it since I tend to focus more on Magento.
With Savant, which is a warehouse system that they chose, they are involved with maintaining project availability, keeping the inventory correct multiple times a day, and making sure that the requirements are met. Also, they’ll be involved with some of the tests on that.
As they made that decision, they were looking for a similar company to come in and help them with that. They knew of Andrew and MARTEC360 (E2 Solutions at the time), so they selected his company to help with that particular transition, which they’re doing now.
I’m very much a part of Choice Brands Group. We consult with them and provide a lot of their personnel, so we’ve kept that relationship. A year ago, Andrew decided to change the name to MARTEC360 to reflect the broad range of services; the intersection of marketing and technology.
How did you come to work with MARTEC360?
We had a detailed requirements list for the platform. We chose the platform first and then asked the Everest company for companies that they had worked with to help us do the implementations. MARTEC360, who was E2 Solutions at the time, was one of those, and we interviewed probably half a dozen of those. I was looking for a company that had those technical smarts, and the only one that I could really find after interviewing a fair number was E2 Solutions.
We ended up choosing E2 Solutions after I interviewed Andrew Shelton, the founder, personally. He seemed to be a really good fit. I remember saying to him, “Why should we choose your company?” and he said, “Because you have to. To do all that you want to do, you need a company like mine to help you with those implementations.” He was correct. I don’t think any other company had the technical expertise to do what we did together.
How much have you invested with MARTEC360?
They signed a contract on a per-month basis for $60,000–$70,000. On the SEO project, they have a $100,000 run rate plus per-year costs while we’re involved with them. We have an ongoing commitment for technical help.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working with them 11 years ago [in 2006]. It’s an ongoing, day-to-day commitment on the SEO side as well. It’s fairly significant and will continue to grow as we add extra pieces. They’re becoming basically a part of our team, which they were for me with Equestrian Collections.