“Brightpearl’s platform gives us a single source of truth – a real-time view over our entire business, whether that’s online or offline, for all inventory, reporting and sales. That’s a game changer as it allows us to be on top of every order, regardless of what channel they come in from and ensure each is managed quickly and accurately.”
– Joe Xuereb, Director, Honour
All pain, no pleasure
Founded in 1988, Honour began selling lingerie and gothic clothing from its Waterloo-based store in London, before moving into more strictly fetish-based clothing, toys and accessories.
Today, the flagship store in Waterloo is still going strong, and, as its customer base has grown rapidly over the years – so has the brand. Specializing in the fetish community, Honour now trades across several direct-to-consumer and wholesale websites, as well as several marketplaces, including Amazon, and stocks more than 10,000 products for its sexually adventurous customer base.
As an early adopter of ecommerce, Honour had built its technology stack around a legacy provider, rather than a cloud-based and integratable system, and this was becoming a major issue for the business as it grew.
“Our previous software provider had been causing us extensive issues from an integration and reporting perspective”, said Joe Xuereb, Director of Honour.
“We used to have programs to tweak the back end system to make things run smoother, and yet it still required so much manual work in order to update, including transferring whole data streams which often took hours to complete. Instead of focusing on growing the business, we became software developers! We were writing our own scripts and bringing in external contractors and two full time developers in order to get the system to work as we wanted it to. As you can imagine, that was a really costly and time consuming exercise.”
Further concerns over a lack of a plug-in warehouse management solution, time-consuming workflows alongside a growing range of products and multiple channels to serve meant that Honour needed to address its pain points urgently in order to continue on its strong growth trajectory.
Strapping Up for Success
After considering other single solution providers, like Orderwise, Honour selected Brightpearl’s all-in-one digital operations platform (DOP).
With its extensibility to a wide range of built-in integrations, including to 3PL softwares such as Shipstation, real-time reporting functionality, and robust scalability, the Honour team saw Brightpearl as an obvious choice to address its growing pains.
“We run a complex operation”, said Joe, “So we were looking for a solution that would support multi-channel selling across online ecommerce, marketplaces, wholesale and physical retail locations and could easily integrate to our other apps.
“I liked the fact that Brightpearl was cloud based and that it’s so flexible. Brightpearl seemed to tick all the boxes, but after our last experience we were dubious about whether the platform could live up to expectations.”
The team needn’t have worried, as almost immediately after going live the business started seeing the benefits of Brightpearl’s purpose built DOP.
Commenting on the impact of the platform, Joe said: “Brightpearl’s platform gives us a single source of truth – a real-time view over our entire business, whether that’s online or offline, for all inventory, reporting and sales. That’s a game changer as it allows us to be on top of every order, regardless of what channel they come in from, and ensure each is managed quickly and accurately.
“Customers don’t care about your problems. You need to be as slick as Amazon, offering the same level of world class service and convenience if you hope to compete. In that regard, Brightpearl has made a huge difference to our ability to eliminate delays and mistakes and optimize the experience our customers receive, which is already resulting in much more positive feedback.”
Brightpearl’s extensibility with the other 3rd party apps and services the team uses has proven to be a real winner for the Honour team: “Being able to integrate with our shipping provider via Brightpearl’s open source API technology is unbelievably rewarding”, says Joe. “It connects our inventory availability and sales channels, and everything operates in real-time, allowing us to get back to focusing on the areas of the business that supports growth.
“We now have a much firmer grasp over our operations. Where order management used to be a much more time intensive task, we’ve streamlined that dramatically by having Brightpearl in place, whether that’s with purchasing, inventory management and order processing, through to enhanced customer Service and improved data management services.”
Honour is also reaping the rewards of Brightpearl’s automation functionality. As the only Digital Operations platform capable of automating the entire ecommerce workstream, Brightpearl customers typically save two months a year on average as a direct result of automation.
“We use as much automation as we can, and it’s a huge benefit of the Brightpearl platform”, says Joe. “We automate all of our invoices, orders and shipping processes and we’ve seen a major impact on the speed and efficiency of our operation, while transforming our customer service. This has resulted in more streamlined day-to-day activities for the company and hence reduced overheads and costs.”
“We used to have a full time employee whose remit was solely managing returns, and we had a team dedicated to customer support, which often meant pulling in other team members to help with the data entry. Brightpearl has streamlined this entire process, saving us 28 hours each week.
Future Growth – No Longer a Fantasy
With Brightpearl now automating its entire retail operation and saving the team 112 hours a month on cumbersome manual tasks, the team can instead focus on serving its customers faster and more seamlessly, across channels.
“Brightpearl has integrated well into our complex operations and adopting the platform has been a great move. We’re pleased, actually, we’re really, really pleased with it!”, said Joe.
“As we grow and expand our channels we’ll rely even more on integrated, quicker information flows. Brightpearl’s real time insight will support the type of rapid decision making and communications which will be pivotal for our long-term success, whether that’s making adjustments to purchasing or the channels we are operating in, to keeping customers in the loop; from informing them when an order is received, to real-time updates on expected delivery times.
“Brightpearl will be an integral part of our future expansion strategy; allowing us to scale while delivering exceptional speed, convenience and outstanding customer service.”
Established in the '80s
The wide range of products sold
Time saved each week via automation