In Hot Water
Founded in 2008 as a distributor of bathroom appliances and accessories, Bathroom 4 Less has quickly grown to become one of the UK’s best loved bathroom businesses.
As the brand has pursued its mantra of providing high quality bathroom products at competitive prices, it has seen skyrocketing growth across all channels, reaching the coveted target of a £1 million worth of sales in 2013.
Initially, like many small businesses, Bathroom 4 Less was reliant on numerous manual processes across different aspects of their operations. But, as its sales volume increased, the manual tasks became too time consuming and the rate of error, too high.
A Numbers Game
Bathroom 4 Less quickly realized that it was in need of a centralized operations platform that could reduce the time spent processing orders and monitoring stock and accounts across disparate systems, as well as improving its overall accuracy.
“Brightpearl has helped improve accuracy no end, and it also integrates seamlessly with our shipping provider, so although we have a much higher volume of orders, we’re processing them at a faster rate than ever before.”
Purchasing and forecasting was also a challenging aspect of the business. Initially the data was downloaded manually and collated across multiple spreadsheets; the task became so vast and complex that the purchasing manager would not delegate it to anyone else. However, since adding Brightpearl’s Demand Planning functionality, much of the manual work has been automated, and the process is now so simple and quick that anyone in the team can manage it.
“With Demand Planner up and running , purchasing and forecasting tasks can be managed easily by other members of staff, freeing up our purchase manager to focus on the bigger things, like further expansion.” says Longani.
Becoming the go to Bathroom Brand
Over the past few years the West Bromwich based business has averaged close to £6 million in sales per annum, and is forecasting £10 million for 2021. But it isn’t stopping there, having started with a 6,000 foot warehouse, it is now in the process of moving to a 60,000 foot warehouse as it expands its product lines and customer base.
However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the bathroom brand, who, like many other businesses were hit hard by the effects of Brexit as the value of the Great British Pound took a significant downturn.
Longani says “Due to a substantial devaluation in the value of sterling, the containers that we had on water became nearly 25% more expensive overnight. The challenge that we had was that we had massive overheads on the business and this could have been a big financial hit. Brightpearl gave us the confidence to pivot the business, bringing fulfilment back in house and helping us weather the storm.”
Speaking to the future of the company, Longani says “Within the bathroom industry, we want to be what Aldi and Lidl are to the supermarket industry, your one stop shop for top quality bathroom furniture, appliances and accessories at the best price possible.”
“Overall, Brightpearl has been a key component of our growth so far, from £1 million in sales when we began, to projecting £10 million for 2021. As we look to the future, it is this software that enables us to think big, giving us the confidence to operate to the best of our abilities across all of our different channels.”