4 min read

It's In The Bag-Saddleback Leather Raises Income With a New Tech Stack


About Saddleback Leather

Dave Munson began his journey to create Saddleback Leather in Southern Mexico, teaching English to the children there. During his time there, he realized he didn’t have a tough, durable bag to hold his books in. So, with the help of a local artisan, he drew out a design, and the leather worker started creating the bag to Dave’s standards. From then on, his bag went everywhere with him.

Once Dave got back to the U.S., people began complimenting his bag. They liked its look and feel, often asking where he bought it. After explaining that he and a local leather worker created it, Dave realized that this was a perfect opportunity to make bags for people that lasted a lifetime and could handle anything the owner threw at it. With a 100-year warranty, Saddleback Leather is built on the commitment to creating quality products that last a lifetime.

Location: Texas, USA.
Industry: Manufacturers



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Saddleback Leather’s first ecommerce website was built on NetSuite’s ecommerce and ERP platform. However, after moving off NetSuite ecommerce and ERP, the leather goods retailer grew conversion rates, average order value, and overall sales while reducing technology costs and gaining exceptional functionality.

By 2017, Saddleback Leather was growing rapidly and had expanded to women’s handbags with Love41. But the company’s ecommerce operation was holding it back. “With NetSuite, page loads took 9 to 12 seconds, which was a problem,” says Dave. “Plus, we had to customize everything, even basic functionality that might come standard on another platform. Because it was expensive and complex, there were many marketing ideas we didn’t even attempt.”


On the back-office side, things weren’t much better. They had turned to NetSuite for their ERP, but the system required constant maintenance and new implementations. Finally, after seven years of frustration with NetSuite’s limited functionality, Munson had had enough.

"Nothing worked fresh out of the box," Munson explained. "It took 14 developers just to make it work. It was proprietary, so anything you wanted to be changed took 10 times longer than necessary to implement." The NetSuite ERP was also having trouble working with the NetSuite ecommerce platform, despite being created by the same company. Saddleback experienced slow load times, causing Google to penalize them for the slow load times and causing organic traffic to drop.

The company knew it could do better. So together with Kensium, Saddleback Leather looked to launch a new Magento ecommerce website that would deliver a meaningful and engaging shopping experience to consumers and launch a new ERP system that could connect and sync with the Magento site. His other requirements for the ERP included efficient inventory management and a cloud-based solution to avoid the need for onsite technology infrastructure.

A fellow CEO suggested Acumatica, which fit all his requirements. "Everyone kept pointing us to Acumatica because of its pricing, aggressive development, and how user-friendly it was," Munson said. On top of that, his partnership with Kensium allowed him access to the Acumatica-Magento Connector. This product bi-directionally syncs Acumatica and Magento in real-time, facilitating seamless product, customer, and fulfillment data communication.

With Magento Commerce hosted in the cloud, Saddleback Leather gained many ecommerce functionalities it previously lacked, helping to fix performance problems, improve SEO, simplify and expedite content updates, and boost conversion rates through A/B testing. One of the brand's first features was a shared shopping cart between Saddleback Leather and its sister brand, Love41, making it easier for customers to buy across both sites and checkout faster.


After Saddleback had its Magento website up and running, the company commissioned Kensium for its Acumatica implementation. The project began in April, and Kensium had the platform live by October 1st that same year. Since Munson was already running Magento, Kensium implemented their Acumatica-Magento Connector, linking the online storefront to the new ERP.

Saddleback is thriving thanks to the powerful combination of Magento ecommerce and Acumatica ERP. Magento has enabled Saddleback Leather to get much more sophisticated with its marketing. For example, the retailer now offers monogramming on select designs—a great way to increase brand loyalty, boost profit margins and reduce returns. It also started offering product bundles to increase average order value.

The Acumatica-Magento Connector has also made the company’s inventory more accurate than ever before, which has resulted in reliable financial data. As a result, executives have access to the same version of the company’s financial truth for the first time in many years and can make decisions faster.

"With NetSuite, we tried for years to get a unified dashboard for executives," Munson says. "No one at NetSuite could tell us how to get the same numbers which made it very difficult to understand our business and make decisions." Now Saddleback Leather always has a single source of truth, thanks to Kensium's Acumatica-Magento Connector.

As Saddleback Leather looks at the road ahead, they’re exploring ways to better serve the needs of the growing numbers of cross-border buyers. The company is also excited about adding social validation through product reviews and integrating user-generated content from Facebook and other social platforms.

The company’s use of both platforms is paying off. On the ecommerce side, Magento has provided them with performance improvements and the ability to push more engaging content. As a result, new ecommerce website users jumped 57%, and visitors spent 50% more time on the site. In addition, conversion rates are up 17.5%, the average order value is up 8%, and overall sales are up. Best of all, its technology no longer limits Saddleback Leather’s storytelling and performance.

Acumatica has also helped the company grow sales; the user-friendly, connected platform allows Saddleback Leather to capture increased online sales at a lower operating cost, making the company more profitable. Saddleback Leather’s IT development team shrunk from 14 to 2, reducing the company’s costs by some $750,000 annually.

"Our technology costs are now 33 percent cheaper, and we have 10 times the functionality," Munson says. "Our organic traffic is up 45 percent, and we are selling more because we are off NetSuite and on Acumatica."

Internally, Acumatica has been a hit. Saddleback employees have voiced their acceptance of the user-friendly software. "I find more people are using Acumatica because it’s intuitive, makes sense, and is so easy to use," he says. "We don’t have spreadsheets flying around, and people have access to the same data all the time."

Because both platforms are so easy to use, Dave sees a broad new horizon for the company, saying, "now, anything is possible." Marketing and IT teams can launch new functionality, build new landing pages, and update content much faster. That makes an enormous difference as Saddleback Leather looks to make the most of its resources.


"We've gotten more done since April than we have over almost 10 years," Munson says, adding one employee approached him and said the progress was incredible. "He told me how he noticed we had done more recently than in all the years he had worked at Saddleback." "Our culture and atmosphere are much more positive, and people are in a good mood. Everything is coming together, and our company is growing quickly. It’s fantastic."


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