Customer Story

Henchman Climbs To New Heights After Joining the Brightpearl Family

 “Brightpearl gives us the breathing room to step back from the influx of orders and focus on growth” – Owen Simpson, Commercial Director, Henchman

There are some brands that stand out from the crowd because their pioneering products offer an ingenious solution to a surprisingly common problem — Henchman is one of those brands. 

The Wiltshire-based business, in the heart of the English countryside, was started back in 1994 when it launched an innovative wheeled scaffold platform that was designed as an alternative to wobbly stepladders and allowed homeowners and tradespeople to work safely at height. 

In the years since, Henchman has grown from a small business to become a leading ladder design specialist, providing a range of quality tripod ladders, safe working platforms and gardening accessories to businesses, organisations (like RHS gardens and the National Trust) and green-fingered DIYers. 

The sky’s the limit

Like many brands in the gardening and DIY sector, Henchman experienced a massive surge in demand during the pandemic. Luckily, the brand already had Brightpearl in place as its purpose-built Retail Operating System (ROS) — so it was able to handle a sustained spike in orders without breaking a sweat. 

The boost in business resulted in an impressive 199% increase in revenue in 2019/20, which resulted in the business winning a place on Brightpearl’s Lightning 50 league table of the UK’s fastest growing businesses. 

“We were incredibly pleased to feature in 31st place on the Lightning 50,” said the company’s Marketing Manager, Clare Lenaghan-Balmer. 

“We’re a fast growing company but we’re still a family-run firm based in the countryside, and in the horticulture sector, so to see our name listed alongside the major players in the Lightning 50 was amazing.”

Scaling to success

So what’s been the secret of Henchman’s rise to success over the last 28 years, culminating in a prized spot on the Lightning 50

“It has been very much a team effort with everyone pulling together to meet the huge volume of orders we received in 2020.” Said the company’s Commercial Director, Owen Simpson. “There are lots of factors which have helped, such as a strong company culture and a dedication to great customer service — and fantastic, quality products.”

“However, without a good retail operating system at the heart of our business, there’s no way we could have achieved what we have, especially in the last couple of years.”

With a huge library of Plug & Play integrations, Brightpearl’s retail operating system connects seamlessly with Henchman’s Magento-powered website for real-time data transfer. The system offers a range of dedicated retail functionality, including a powerful Automation Engine, which saves the average customer two months every year, cuts labor costs in half and reduces errors by 65%.

Brightpearl also features a market-leading Inventory Planner plus intuitive analytics, order management, accounting and CRM — all created to help modern business thrive in the Hyper-Scalable Era

Totting up time savings 

“We operate a dropshipping model so being able to integrate Brightpearl with our shipping suppliers and automate much of the process saves us a lot of manpower,” Owen added. 

“Brightpearl also helps us process orders much more efficiently. We’ve been able to automate lots of the manual tasks involved and save a couple of minutes per order, which quickly mounts up into a significant time saving. 

“We also really value how easy to use the platform is — all our team members can have access to Brightpearl, at no extra cost, and when new people join us, they get up to speed on how to use it really quickly.”

Riding high on their recent success, there are plans in place for Henchman to expand into new industries, as part of a wider mission to make working from a height safer. 

Owen said: “It’s been a challenging but exciting couple of years and we’re now looking to the future, with Brightpearl as a key part of our operation. 

“Our advice to anyone considering applying for the Lightning 50 is 2022 would be to go for it! We’re so glad we had the confidence to put ourselves up against the major players — it can pay off for you, too!”

Register your interest for the Lightning 50 2022 now

Key Facts


Leading specialist ladder supplier, established in the mid-90s


Ranked highly on the Lightning 50's list of fastest growing online brands


Huge growth rate in 2019/20