Our story begins nearly twenty years ago with the Colorado Boarder snowboard shop in Crested Butte, Colorado, where Solution54 Founder/CEO Kyle O’Dea watched sales but not revenue grow year after year. This was attributed to inventory control. There was just no way to stock everything people wanted, or to predict with 100% accuracy what people would buy. Back then Kyle thought the solution was to have shops work together to swap or share inventory, which would help everyone increase sales. He just didn’t have an effective way to connect multiple shops, until now.
Technology has advanced to the point where we are now able to connect separately-owned retail “competitors” in order to share inventory and customers. We launched a Beta version of this service in 2015, and spent nearly two years fine tuning it with the help of retailers around the country. During this time and with their assistance we were able to determine the best method for implementing a peer-to-peer transaction concept that didn’t violate the vendor/retailer dealer agreement; that kept sales inside the walls of brick-and-mortar stores; and that gave retailers a viable way to compete with online sales.
Today the Solution54 inventory-sharing network is live and processing transactions. Additional site features and functionality that were requested in the Beta phase have been added, and we’re branching into multiple retail markets. Our goal is to facilitate as many transactions as possible for shops that otherwise would be sitting on excess inventory they can’t sell, or too little inventory to serve the customers they have. We’re also exploring services and benefits beyond peer-to-peer transactions that can save retailers time and money.