B2B and B2C company, Growers House shares how technology has helped them grow their business and fuel their incredible success in their innovative hydroponic supplies business.
The business was built from years of experience in the retail industry. One of the owners, Paul Lipton, has over 45 years worth of experience in mail-order companies, primarily selling consumer electronics, and David Keith adds another 25 years of experience to the talented team at Growers House.
David shared, referencing previous ecommerce companies they had built together, “We took the same successful business model and plan that we used to build those companies and applied it to the new and young industry of hydroponic supplies.”
Growers House started out in 2011 with a small team and has continued to expand the team as they’ve grown. They’re now up to a headcount of 37 employees and at the rate they’re growing, the team is likely to get even bigger!
In 2016, Growers House was named as Inc. 5000’s 313th fastest growing privately held company in America, and in the retail segment, they were ranked the 20th fastest company. In Arizona, they took the place of 6th fastest growing company with a 3-year growth rate of 1,233%. David says: “Brightpearl has helped us achieve that growth. It’s pretty impressive but we’re still a bit behind where we should be in my mind. Not that I’m complaining!”
With very ambitious business goals, Growers House realized in 2015 that it needed to implement a scalable system to accelerate its growth. “Before Brightpearl, we were using Quickbooks and Stone Edge, which were not as capable as we needed them to be, so we were hitting our scalability limits with technology,” David explains.
“We needed a system that was accounting based that would handle inventory, customers, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and vendors. A system that tied everything together, all based around our inventory and transactions.”
- Lack of features and connectivity
- Inventory control was difficult
- No integrated accounting
- Scalability and training was tough
Growers House was keen to find a retail management system which delivered multichannel connectivity and offered integrations to other platforms such as Authorize.net, Magento, eBay, and Amazon. The business was additionally looking to improve its inventory management and make managing its finances easier with integrated accounting.
Growers House conducted a very thorough consideration phase by looking at around 40 different software packages before narrowing their choice down to three front runners.
“Brightpearl was actually the only software that met all of our requirements. We needed software immediately, as fast as we could get something in. Brightpearl was the easiest to setup and configure. I could tell it had the best flexibility for us and it was scalable for us to get to the next level and beyond,” David Keith shares.
- They can trust the integrity of their data because the accounting is integrated
- The SQL database infrastructure gives them room to scale
- It’s easy to use and train people on
- The user interface is very clean and consistent
Now that they’ve found a retail management system that is compatible with their technology stack, allowing them to stay in control of their inventory, and access real-time and trustworthy accounting data, Growers House can comfortably scale their retail and wholesale business.
The team at Growers House has found that Brightpearl has improved the connectivity of information between departments. David says: “Every employee in our company is using Brightpearl. The consistency and simplicity of the way the interface works, makes it easy for everyone to see and have access to all the information they need. Everyone knows how to look and see how many of an item is in stock or on order, they can go look up the purchase order, or see when it was placed etc.”
David adds: “Brightpearl has helped us overcome our problems with training and scalability as it was tough with our previous software. We know that if we employ new members of staff, it’s not going to be a huge ordeal to train everyone.”
Growers House has also become more efficient in the warehouse. “With Brightpearl and ShipStation, there’s been a big efficiency gain with the fulfillment process of assigning orders to the warehouse to then pick, pack and ship out.”
Brightpearl has helped Growers House with the visibility of information when it comes to customer activity and status of the orders. David explains: “The customer service side has improved as we’re able to see across customer accounts and orders. Brightpearl helps when customers call and ask about products, pricing, timing, delivery, their previous orders etc. That’s visibility that we didn’t previously have and our customer experience has therefore improved because the information is all there, we don’t have to call back or keep the customer waiting.”
It’s not just the software that helps Growers House but also the 24/7 customer support. David says: “Customer support at Brightpearl is excellent; I’ve worked with hundreds of software companies over the years, and these guys are among the best. The customer support is one of the reasons we chose Brightpearl. They react quickly, the response is always there, and they’re always trying to assist and better understand what the problem is.”
David Keith describes Brightpearl as “an all-encompassing software package that integrates all aspects of our business.”
When asked about what David loves about building the business, he shared: “It’s a fast-paced and fast-growing environment. It’s a relatively new industry, so for us, it’s fun and not stagnant like selling furniture or electronics. We’re a very knowledge-based company and we offer product reviews and comparisons for our customers so that’s fun too.”
David added his favorite thing about the company is: “The fact that we’re growing at the rate we are and we can’t keep up with ourselves. It’s a good problem to have!”
With a 3-year growth rate of 1,233%, Growers House has been fortunate to not make too many big mistakes, but David does share that they: “Did make the mistake of not integrating software fast enough. For example a newer version of the website or software like Brightpearl. The error has been not getting these things done sooner as it helps us grow even faster!”
3-year growth rate