If you're an outdoorsy type in the market for a durable pair of pants, Mountain Khakis is your best bet. It's a company committed to outfitting and inspiring the outdoor enthusiast, and over the past 15 years, it's gotten very good at making solid, dependable clothing and selling that clothing to its target market.
But as e-commerce has emerged as a dominant force in retail, Mountain Khakis has had to adapt. It’s no longer enough to make and sell the clothes; you need software to bring those clothes to the masses.
So when it came time to create an e-commerce platform, Mountain Khakis hired someone to build a solution to a common problem — how does a predominately B2B retailer step up their B2C game?
What they got was a custom, complicated, buggy system that held Mountain Khakis back more than it pushed the company forward. So the company came to Dualboot Partners looking for a fix.
Instead, we offered a way out.
It didn’t have plans to invest in a full-time development team — and that wasn’t going to change any time soon. So the company needed another way to fix its existing e-commerce platform and bring it up to date with new iterations and features. We came on board to do just that.
The platform was originally built with Spree Commerce on the front end and Ruby on Rails on the back end, and it was infested with bad code and bugs. It wasn’t long before we realized that keeping the platform up and running was going to take several senior developers working on it, indefinitely.
We knew there was a better way — and it was going to involve moving forward without us.
After working on the platform, we approached Katie Spikes, senior e-commerce manager for Mountain Khakis, with three options: We could systematically clean up the code, get rid of all the bugs and try to get the system right. We could keep doing what we were doing, fixing bugs as they arose and iterating on a broken system. Or we could abandon the existing platform altogether, in favor of an out-of-the-box solution — in this case, Shopify.
We offered choices, but we also offered our advice: Continuing to work toward a functioning custom solution wasn’t good for business. And we’d rather lose a client than support a bad decision.
Katie and her team agreed.
Mountain Khakis is now in the process of transitioning over to Shopify, with a targeted launch date of early 2019.
When that happens, the company is poised to see a profound financial impact.
“It will make us more money in that we’ll be able to be more nimble and just plug and play as we go, instead of having to spend a month or two on a new functionality,” Katie said.
The company will need support throughout the process. Katie gave us first right of refusal, and once again, we declined. We aren’t the right team for the job — which means it wouldn’t be right to take it on.