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High pressure at StylingAgenten requires automation

E-commerce has not lost momentum during the pandemic. On the contrary! We had a chat with Emanuel Dagemark from Swedish firm, StylingAgenten, to see how they have solved the increase in demand.

Emanuel Dagemark is co-owner and CEO of StylingAgenten. When he’s not working, he likes to pack his fishing gear and head out fishing on lakes or at sea. Family and friends are other important ingredients in his life.

Emanuel, can you tell us about how your journey at StylingAgenten began and how it has developed?

“My journey began some time in 2007-2008. Andreas and I, who are partners in the company, decided to invest SEK 1,000 each in some form of entrepreneurial endeavour. We wanted to write a book on how to get capital to sky rocket. We chose to focus on beauty because we thought the development potential was promising. Initially, we built the e-commerce site ourselves and we only offered a few products. It was a form of learning by doing where we quickly concluded that supply is vital for e-commerce.

If we fast-forward, we went on to form a limited company in 2009. By then, we had raised substantial share capital, and were able to employ one person part-time. Eventually, we moved to larger premises, increased annual sales and hired more staff in line with our growth. Today we are on all the important e-marketplaces in Sweden and Europe. We are 12 people and sales have increased from SEK 35 million (2019) to almost 75 (2021). As a stamp of proof that we’re working in the right direction, we were presented the prestigious e-Trader of the Year award in 2020, which made us both proud and happy.”

What’s the best thing about your job?
“The best thing about my job is that there’s always something happening. E-commerce is seeing really strong growth. This makes the work an exciting challenge where we basically live with constant growing pains. Building successful teams under these conditions is probably the very best thing we can do.”

Why did you choose to invest in an automation solution?
“Basically, it was about managing Black Friday and Christmas shopping in a better way than we had done historically. We wanted to find a solution that suited our needs, while at the same time alleviating the problems that arose during order-intensive periods.”

Now that we’re on the subject of suppliers, how did you get in touch with Weland Solutions?
“We Googled various logistics solutions and tapped our network to see what others had done. Weland Solutions was one of several players we looked at. We chose them based on the good contact we felt. The seller understood our need and was keen to solve our problem. He really wanted it to work and showed great commitment.”

Can you tell us more about the collaboration? How has Weland Solutions helped you?
“The most difficult issue for us (and Weland Solutions) was probably the fact that we don’t use a traditional WMS (Warehouse Management System). It turned out that our own business system, through an API interface, could be connected to Weland’s proprietary software, Compact Store, and in no time we had a WMS light.

That system, together with the initial investment in two Compact Twin lifts, resulted in us being able to handle Christmas shopping in 2020. We would not have been able to do so without this solution.

In the first tests that Weland Solutions ran, the picking and sorting speed increased significantly. For Black Friday in 2020, this meant that we could handle 40 percent more orders with the same number of staff compared to the previous year. That makes a big difference in the work when, like us, you handle 30,000 order rows during Black Week 2020.

We introduced another Compact Twin in 2021, and we will continue to develop our business with Weland Solutions. The vertical storage lifts give us good capacity, with few errors. What’s more, the storage capacity is very large even though the floor space used is minimal.

Another aspect we appreciate and that may not always come to mind, is safety. The storage lifts make the stock items invisible, and thus don’t invite smash-and-grab thefts.”

If we ask you for some trendspotting – what do you think e-commerce will look like in 10 years?
“I believe automation will increase and e-commerce will continue to both expand and grow rapidly. I think we’ll see increased drop shipping, markets merging and more businesses that act as e-marketplaces.”

The book you mentioned at the beginning – what happened?
“The plan to write a book on how to get small, invested capital to sky rocket remains. Our journey has just begun. But of course, the fact that we started with a total of SEK 2,000 in invested capital, and today, 14 years later, have a turnover of almost SEK 75 million – is a journey in itself of course. A journey that we are extremely proud of.”

Thank you, Emanuel, and good luck with the business!

Facts StylingAgenten

Founded: 2007
Number of employees: 12
Turnover: SEK 54.4 million (12-2020).
Estimated turnover for 2021, almost SEK 75 million
Headquarters: Landvetter
Business concept: The company conducts sales of beauty products and other care products to companies and private individuals.
Storage lifts from Weland Solutions: Compact Twin 3660s. 5.5 meters tall with a total storage capacity of 450 m2 distributed over 37 m2 of floor space. Each lift offers 18 cubic metres of storage space, x 3 = 54 cubic meters.
Integration and management: Compact Store
Website: www.stylingagenten.se



Compact Twin