"If we hadn’t gone with Brightpearl before the pandemic, we wouldn’t even have an online presence today."
The founder of Big Green Egg was stationed overseas in the Air Force and was cooking a steak on a small clay pot. He loved the way the clay pot cooked the steak. He brought a few of these pots back to the U.S. to sell and started painting them green. Customers began to refer to the pots as “that egg thing,” and the name Big Green Egg was born.
The outdoor cooker is popular in the U.S. and is gaining more fans worldwide, like in the United Kingdom. Loyal fans, or the “Egghead community” as they’re known, love the product so much that some have even tattooed the cooker on their arms.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated sales of the Big Green Egg outdoor cookers because people were spending more time at home.
“People got thrown into their homes, and they couldn’t go out to restaurants,” said Dan Callender, Head of E-Commerce and Digital Strategy at Big Green Egg. “We had gigantic sales here, to the point where we are in a backorder status.”
Thankfully, the company had started working with Brightpearl months before the pandemic. Their unique BOPIS model would have been impossible to manage during this sales surge if they hadn’t. Dan says that without Brightpearl’s functionality, 2020 would have been a complete disaster for them.
“If we had not opted for Brightpearl before the pandemic, we wouldn’t even have an online presence today,” said Dan.
A Unique Sales Recipe
The company has a unique, complex distribution model that’s now supported by Brightpearl’s software.
“We are a two-step distribution model,” said Dan. “We sell the eggs down through our partners. So whether our partners are selling online directly, whether they are selling in-store, or whether you buy at our website, the cooker will end up at a dealer. We’re not in big box, we’re not an online marketplace, and you won’t see us on Amazon, Walmart, or at some of the larger chains.”
They do this because they believe it offers the customer a better experience.
“If you have the local dealer show up, open the Big Green Egg, set it up in your backyard, and teach you how to cook a steak, that’s a better experience than you wrestling it up the driveway and figuring it out yourself,” said Dan.
Cooking Up A New OMS
When Dan joined the Big Green Egg team in 2018, they didn’t have an e-commerce plug-in on their website.
“WordPress was being used just to manage product pages, but nothing was for sale,” said Dan. “The way I got to Brightpearl is through BigCommerce. I researched systems for the first six months because our delivery model is so unorthodox.”
“Usually, if you have a ‘buy online, pick up in the store’ or ‘buy online, deliver from store’ model, you see the store’s inventory, and you know what’s in stock. Not only is Big Green Egg one step down, but we’re also two steps down. We can’t see the distributor’s inventory, and the distributor can’t see his dealer’s inventory.”
BigCommerce’s software helped Big Green Egg process orders, but the outdoor cooker company needed a technology partner that could help them use a zip code to find a local store and use automation rules to automatically send a cooker to that region without the need for manual interference, which would be incredibly time consuming.
“No system would really integrate the way I wanted it to,” said Dan. “That includes some of the big ERP players that felt the project was too complex and would require extensive development time – which we didn’t have. After a couple of months of trial and error and failure, BigCommerce mentioned Brightpearl.”
An Egg-Excellent Solution
Big Green Egg opted for Brightpearl’s retail focused Digital Operations Platform, due to its fantastic scalability and extensibility with a host of out of the box integrations, including to its BigCommerce powered website. “We needed a system that offered smoother integration with our webstore, and had a suite of pre-built ‘Plug and Play’ integrations”, says Dan.
“Brightpearl’s set up allows us to decide what works for our unique business rather than needing third parties to build connectors – often with long timescales and at significant cost. We now have a much more agile tech stack that better supports our business as it grows.”
With Brightpearl in place, the Big Green Egg team immediately saw the benefits of a Digital Operations Solution that can power compex order management models.
“The Brightpearl team was able to provide much more visibility into our inventory, even with our unique dealer distribution strategy,” said Dan “No other provider could do individual order routing and order management like this, especially combined with BOPIS functionality.
“The dealer management and the order management features are now the pieces of Brightpearl’s functionality that benefit our team the most,” said Dan.
Brightpearl also helped the company with another big problem they were having before implementing our system.
Serving Up A Pandemic Proof Solution
With Brightpearl, it only took 90-days to create and implement a solution that worked for Big Green Egg, which completely surpassed the company’s expectations. They were planning on the project taking more than a year because of their complex dealer-distribution operation.
“We signed on with Brightpearl in Summer 2019, and my goal was to go live by July 2020. But by Thanksgiving 2019, we were up and running across the nation. It only took three months to get it right, which is remarkable,” said Dan.
If Big Green Egg had gone live in July 2020 as initially planned, it would have been right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without Brightpearl, the pandemic would have been catastrophic for the outdoor cooker company as they wouldn’t have been able to sell online.
“We wouldn’t be online now if we didn’t go with Brightpearl,” said Dan. “On March 17, 2020, we shut down our office. Thankfully hardware stores were considered essential businesses and stayed open. Can you imagine if we had not built a delivery model for the stores before that? There was no other solution that could do this for us. If we hadn’t met the team from Brightpearl and gotten through the initial troubleshooting and creative problem solving, we just wouldn’t be alive today.”
Big Green Egg has seen a 40% year-over-year increase with just two SKUs compared to the 12 SKUs they had before the shutdown, and Dan credits Brightpearl’s role in the success the company has experienced in the past year.
“With Brightpearl, we were able to launch our new website right before COVID,” said Dan. “By June, we were doing half a million orders a week, and demand got so high that we actually ran out of Big Green Eggs for a bit.”
Dan estimates that Brightpearl helped the company save over “eight figures” because the team were able to get them set up before the pandemic began and sales started to take off as people were ordered to stay at home.
In the future, Big Green Egg may expand its use of Brightpearl’s features, especially around inventory management and accounting.
“That’s what our future looks like,” said Dan. “We’re going to get a little deeper into the program and everything it has to offer.”
Saved with Brightpearl