Chick Boss featured in the June 2013 NetSuite.Org Grantee Newsletter
Chick Boss Empowers Families in Guatemala
The NetSuite.org Team sat down with CEO Pat Pannell and Customer Service Manager Brittan Stockert from Chick Boss to talk about their aspirations to make a difference in the lives of families living in Guatemala. NetSuite.org is proud to do our small part to support their mission.
In 2001, a trip to Guatemala to learn Spanish turned into a life changing experience for Pat Pannell. Not only did she learn Spanish, but she got the idea for her business, Chick Boss and was inspired to make a difference for the lives of many Guatamalans.
Chick Boss’ objective is to reach out to Guatamalans, particularly women, to help them flourish by providing them with new opportunities to thrive that were otherwise not available.
Chick Boss hires community members and trains them in traditional and modern artisan craftsmanship. A core tenant of Chick Boss’ business is to give more compensation to their employees than is required by law in order to maximize their social impact.
“We aim to provide at least two times the minimum wage,” Pat said.
Their unique jewelry and accessories have already been featured at trade shows in New York at the New York International Gift Fair, in Antiqua at the New World Craft Fair and on displays at the GBK 2013 Oscars Gift Lounge.
Pat aspires to grow the company even more. “Think big!” is her new mantra. To reach her goals, she turned to NetSuite.org for help.
She knew it was critical for Chick Boss to have accounting software that supports Guatemalan taxes and reports, CRM to track existing and potential customers and integrated inventory and retail management.
Chick Boss now uses NetSuite to support their entire business. First, they purchase high-quality beads and materials in the U.S. to send to Guatemala for the artisans to use in their crafts. NetSuite allows them to track every bead, the exact amount of labor put in to produce the artisan accessories and the pricing for each product. The products are then sent to the United States for sale.
Chick Bosses, female entrepreneurs in the United States, host events and parties to sell the jewelry and accessories to customers across the country. The company is now ramping up their sales efforts and use of NetSuite’s CRM, Sales Force Automation and Ecommerce capabilities to accelerate their growth.
On a day-to-day basis, Pat uses NetSuite for financial analysis and inputting prices for their products. Brittan uses NetSuite for sales, billing, fulfilling, shipping and customer service.
“I use it for everything,” she said, “I really like the one-stop shop where I can track the status’ of all customer sales transactions.”
Carmencita Luna, Chick Boss’ General Manager in Guatemala, does her bookeeping, reconciles bank accounts and tracks inventory on NetSuite every day.
At the 2012 SuiteWorld Conference, Pat met Matthew Ledford, CEO and President of Fast Pivot. Fast Pivot was able to revamp and improve the look of the Chick Boss website and web store allowing the company to optimize online retail operations and increase sales.
“Get the right partners, organizations with multiple strengths in multiple disciplines,” Pat advises, “This will help make the most out of your system from the beginning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
Chick Boss was Pat’s first shot at building her own company and she has learned many critical lessons in entrepreneurship along the way. She hopes to share her lessons with other aspiring nonprofits and social enterprises. Her advice is to create an effective plan for software and infrastructure and seek help from partners like NetSuite.org.
Pat emphasizes the need to recognize as early as possible when a course correction is needed. Having been so close to the community in Guatemala, it was easy to get caught up in the mission and lose sight of the business aspects of the company. However, we see challenges as opportunities to look in the mirror and reinvent ourselves as invididuals and as a company.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to make this go!” Pat said.