Bikebug is a cycling lifestyle brand based in New South Wales, Australia.
Embarking on a sweet ride
In 2002, FRF Sports started as a wholesale cycling business. It quickly grew and was successful in becoming the sole distributor for the high-end Italian bike brand, Colnago.
In 2005, FRF Sports made the journey from wholesale to direct-to-consumer (DTC) and began to sell their bikes and cycle gear through various new consumer channels as Bikebug. Initially opening with one physical store, Bikebug now has six across Australia, alongside an ecommerce website and an eBay store.
However, they found that as Bikebug grew, their current system wasn’t growing with them.
“Before Brightpearl, we were using a system that didn’t have any shipping integrations. This meant we had to go back into our orders and enter tracking information every time,” David Walsh, Customer Service Manager, told us.
“The system didn’t have any warehouse management capabilities either which resulted in a very labor intensive and manual process. For example, we had to print out picking notes one by one, bring them into the warehouse, and then locate the goods – it really delayed our whole operation.”
The problems didn’t stop there. David adds: “When our Bikebug customers chose in-store pickup, I had to see if the store they chose had that product in stock and if it didn’t, I then had to arrange for it to be sent there. Or, if they wanted delivery, I had to work out the nearest store to their address and communicate with them to get the order out. It was all very time consuming from an administrative perspective.”
The road to something better
Bikebug knew they had outgrown their current system. “It was fine for when we were getting small numbers of orders a day,” says David. “But, as we grew, it just wasn’t scalable. We knew we needed to upgrade our whole warehousing process from start to finish.”
So, they did their research and had a look at what the market had to offer. David explains: “We considered other systems, but with its automation capabilities, including orders, inventory, and warehouse management, plus how it easily integrated with our existing systems, Brightpearl was the one for us.”
“Now we have shipping integrations which automatically add manifests to the orders and update our customers as orders go through to our warehouse.”
Brightpearl completely revamped how Bikebug managed its warehouse putting the brand into high gear for the first time.
“In Brightpearl’s platform we have each of our stores as a separate warehouse,” explains David. “This means that if the customer wants an in-store pickup, Brightpearl does the work for us by assessing whether the warehouse for that store has the inventory, and, if so, it allows the customer to choose it.”
“Brightpearl automatically allocates the inventory for that order in real-time and the customer can collect within a couple of hours. If the customer chooses it to be sent to their address, that’s no problem either. Because of Brightpearl, we save on shipping costs, and, most importantly, the customer gets their item much faster!”
David estimates that Brightpearl now saves the brand a significant amount of time and resource which can be dedicated to growing other areas of the business. David says: “Brightpearl’s automation feature saves me 25% of my order processing time every day – and we’ve only really just scratched the surface! That time back means I can focus on running other areas of the business rather than processing orders.”
As they look to the future, Bikebug can feel safe with Brightpearl. “Brightpearl is scalable and it’s growing with us, so as we increase in sales and the number of our stores, it’s able to accommodate our growth,” David told us.
“We’ve grown 4x since we started using Brightpearl and we’re carrying 10x more products. As we grow further, we know we can handle it without increasing our headcount. If anything does limit our growth, we know that it won’t be the tools we have.”
Time saved daily
Brick & mortar stores
Retail & wholesale business