#247 - Adii Pienaar, Cogsy: Acing Commerce Ops & Optimizing Inventory

December 9, 2022
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Guest Name:
Adii Pienaar
Founder & CEO
Company Name:
Revenue Stage:
Guest Bio
Adii Pienaar is the Founder & CEO of Cogsy, the operations & inventory optimization platform for e-commerce. Prior to starting Cogsy, he was the Co-founder & CEO of WooCommerce - the e-commerce solution for WordPress, and CM Commerce, both of which resulted in multi-million dollar exits.

Episode Summary

Adii Pienaar is the Founder & CEO of Cogsy, the operations & inventory optimization platform for e-commerce. Prior to starting Cogsy, he was the Co-founder & CEO of WooCommerce - the e-commerce solution for WordPress, and CM Commerce, both of which resulted in multi-million dollar exits.

Episode Notes

On this episode of DTC Pod, Adii joins Blaine & Ramon to chat about getting your inventory and operations right from the get go, brands going multi-channel, optimizing across all your sales channels, the importance of data, how to match inventory to demand, automating manual processes away from spreadsheets, building the modern day ERP with ops in mind, major brands winning on Cogsy, the evolution of e-commerce tech, how WooCommerce took off during the WordPress era, founder experience from building several successful companies, thoughts about life, fatherhood, and fulfillment as an entrepreneur.

Episode Highlights

5:30 - Simple Solution = Big Business

And they kept asking us, hey guys, how do I add a shopping cart to this? And at the time, it just wasn't, there were other plugins for WordPress available, but none of them could essentially meet our very high standards for what we would want to do on the design side of things. So we effectively kind of went, I think we went through three different projects to try and build this ourselves. outsource it multiple configurations before we ultimately, launched WooCommerce.

6:00 - On When Woo Took Off!

So the context there is that we were already doing multiple millions in revenue by, the time WooCommerce launched. We were a significant business. I think we were about 15, 16, 17 people on the team at the time. And then WooCommerce became 90% of our revenue within a single year thereafter. So that's a longwinded answer, I hope what everyone hears here is oftentimes the idea or the project or the business that's really successful is not something that was perfectly planned to the end degree from the start.

14:00 - On Why Cogsy, Why Now?

Anything from inventory to logistics, to kind of your accounting rate of things, like anything your back office wasn't as sexy. All the money went into email and SMS marketing and marketing attribution, et cetera. So I figured that ecommerce, I'm bullish on ecommerce, and just broadly digital commerce. So what's opportunity there and I figured this was blue ocean.

21:30 - On Over/Understocking As A Business Killer

We help you understand, hey, if shopify is your main warehouse attached to shopify, this is the cadence at which you need to replenish to Amazon to not sell out. The thesis there is that you are to optimally sell. You need to ensure that you've got inventory on both those locations. And again, you can't just like, no one has all the capital to make sure that you just stock millions of units in every single location. That's not it, right? So we try and help you figure out that optimal inventory level for every location already.

26:00 - On Surprising Retail Trends

One of the most interesting learnings there, Blaine, is that, we're definitely seeing your brands trying to sell in multiple channels much sooner, including retail, right? That's probably one of the biggest surprises beyond that fragmented tech stack, I always thought you would need multiple millions of dollars to even think about selling into, even nationwide chains retail, not just independent retailers. So that's something happening sooner.

45:00 - On *LIFE* Profitability

But the idea was, how can I structure my life so that it creates energy, it creates things like that I can reinvest into other things. So, the way I now talk about that is I think about a, life portfolio in the same way that you think about a stock portfolio, and in the same way that you balance investments in different stocks to get to whatever outcome you want, that's what you should be doing for life. For me, for example, my life portfolio definitely includes my work, but it also includes my family. It includes, my thirst for learning, which is kind of a soft skill. If I'm not learning enough, within any time period, I know I'm not happy. Right. it includes exercising. I know if I don't exercise mostly every day, like, I'm probably going to be grumpy. Right. it includes being able to kind of geek out about wine every now and again.

46:00 - On Life

There's a quote from Henry Thoreau that says, the cost of anything we do in life is just life itself. And I think that's often what we kind of neglect when we think about our daily lives. And we maybe don't go through it with some kind of element of mindfulness, but anything we do in life has a cost, even if it's just an opportunity cost.


Past guests & brands on DTC Pod include Gilt, PopSugar, Glossier, MadeIN, Prose, Bala, P.volve, Ritual, Bite, Oura, Levels, General Mills, Mid Day Squares, Prose, Arrae, Olipop, Ghia, Rosaluna, Form, Uncle Studios & many more.

Additional episodes you might like:

• #175 Ariel Vaisbort - How OLIPOP Runs Influencer, Community, & Affiliate Growth

• #184 Jake Karls, Midday Squares - Turning Your Brand Into The Influencer With Content

• #205 Kasey Stewart: Suckerz- - Powering Your Launch With 300 Million Organic Views

• #219 JT Barnett: The TikTok Masterclass For Brands

• #223 Lauren Kleinman: The PR & Affiliate Marketing Playbook

• ​​​​#243 Kian Golzari - Source & Develop Products Like The World's Best Brands


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Adii Pienaar - Founder & CEO of Cogsy
Ramon Berrios - CEO of
Blaine Bolus - Co-Founder of Seated

Episode Transcript

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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Ramon Berrios
Founder and CEO at Trend
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Ramon has Co-Founded Trend. It is a curated marketplace of creators and brands. We help brands source high quality custom content. We love working with new, innovative companies that are changing the game.

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Co-Founded Seated,COO at Omnipanel
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Blaine Bolus is the Co-Founder of OmniPanel, the first software platform connecting CX & Internal teams.OmniPanel, backed by top Silicon Valley VCs, is building software infrastructure that powers cross-functional work, in an industry projected to be a $641 Billion Market in 2022.