Reduction in picking errors
Mad4Tools.com specializes in power tools, workwear, lighting and electrical equipment for DIY enthusiasts and tradespeople across the world.
A DIY approach
Mad4Tools.com is an online retailer that specializes in delivering thousands of products, from power tools and workwear, to lighting and electrical equipment to DIY enthusiasts and tradespeople all over the world.
The business was founded seven years ago when a group of friends spotted an opportunity to improve on current offerings in the tool and hardware industry. An ecommerce website was launched in 2012 on the Magento platform and immediately saw great traction; with growth doubling every year. Today, Mad4Tools.com operates across three main channels; its webstore, Amazon and eBay and stocks over 30,000 products.
However, the rapid growth of the business proved to be a double-edged sword. “Larger volumes of orders are great but they quickly become a nightmare from an inventory perspective when you’re trying to do everything manually across separate channels,” says Paul Swain, Director at Mad4Tools.com.
“We were very much a spreadsheet organization, and as a result, were always playing catch up. This would result in delays and mistakes,” continues Paul. “It got to the point where we didn’t want to list certain products on marketplaces because we weren’t sure they could be processed in the right way. We became so conscious of our limitations that we began to manage our offering to mitigate mistakes and avoid disappointing customers. It really held us back.”
Clamping down on pain points
Mad4Tools.com identified a number of areas where the business needed to improve. Paul explains: “We were manually processing every order across channels; a very slow and painful way of doing things that opened up too many opportunities for human error.”
The commercial team would often find themselves pulled away from their day jobs to firefight overflow. “We’d often spend hours in the warehouse rather than developing new products or focusing on growth initiatives,” comments Paul.
“When it came to shipping – we just marked orders as shipped – and that was it!” Paul adds. “There was no communication with customers to let them know what stage an order was at, which would leave them in the dark.”
Mad4Tools.com also struggled to keep track of inventory, meaning the business would sometimes need to get in touch with a customer after purchase to let them know they couldn’t get an item to them after all; primarily because of overselling or running out of inventory.
Paul expands: “Things had become so inaccurate with our inventory that we were seeing delays, mistakes and canceled orders, which was beginning to result in negative feedback.”
Laying the foundation for change
Mad4Tools.com needed a technology solution that would resolve the operational pain points and support the firm’s rapid multichannel expansion, while also improving upon its existing reputation for stellar customer service.
The brand first turned to solutions such as Linnworks and ChannelGrabber, but they proved to be disappointments. “They ended up being a waste of money,” said Paul. “The systems were complicated and lacked the features we needed. We also had no support with implementation or training.”
However, the experience did refine the must-haves from any new solution provider. Paul explains: “We needed an all-in-one retail solution that was user-friendly, scalable and future-proof so it could support our business as we grew.”
The right tool for the job
The tool brand first encountered Brightpearl at a popular ecommerce trade event and quickly came to see the retail operations platform, with its full suite of retail functionality, as the perfect fit for the business. Paul says: “The platform is really user-friendly and everything is so intuitive. New starters are able to spend just 15-30 minutes training – and then they’re off and away!”
After implementation, Brightpearl made an immediate impact on the business. “We gained full visibility into our inventory with instant updates across our channels and marketplaces – meaning we had a much firmer handle on our stock levels,” said Paul. “The barcode scanning functionality of Brightpearl’s warehouse management system also allowed us to eradicate picking errors by taking human error out of the equation.”
The firm also benefited from the platform’s centralized functionality. “Orders from all of our channels could now be managed in one place which made things so much easier to track,” comments Paul. “Additionally, Brightpearl quickened up order processing and delivery times by removing our manual workflows. The warehouse is now self-sufficient and double-duty is, thankfully, a thing of the past.”
Post-purchase, customers of Mad4Tools.com are continually updated on order progress, as part of an improved end-to-end experience. “We’re also now able to keep the customer in the loop; from informing them when an order is received, to dispatch and real-time updates on expected delivery times. It’s a vast improvement that’s helped to build further trust with our customers,” adds Paul.
Building better experiences
Since switching from a DIY approach, Mad4Tools.com has closed the gaps in the customer journey. Paul explains: “As the entire order process is automated, from inventory updates, to automatically generated shipping labels and tracking references, to fulfillment – we’ve eliminated the opportunity for human error and improved the overall experience for our customers.”
Paul continues: “We pride ourselves on an excellent end-to-end journey. If a customer has a positive experience with our brand, they’re more likely to buy from us again, to tell their friends and leave positive feedback on sites like Trustpilot, which gives other shoppers more confidence to buy.”
Mad4Tools.com views its sector as extremely price competitive so delivery of excellent buying experiences has become a key differentiator. “We recognize that the decision to buy from Mad4Tools.com will be influenced, to a large degree, by our ratings and reviews,” says Paul. “We win business because of our positive feedback and high ratings and we retain business because of the experience we provide – from meeting fulfillment expectations, to orders being delivered as expected. Brightpearl supports this by making our operations as slick and automated as possible.”
The improvements to the customer experience have translated into an uptick in positive ratings on Trustpilot. But that doesn’t tell the whole story, as Paul explains: “What’s really impressive is that Brightpearl has helped us to expand and deliver a more competitive offering while still keeping customers happy.”
“We’ve drastically increased our order volumes and product range since implementation and we’re committing more from a fulfillment perspective – all the while still maintaining our excellent standards of customer service. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without Brightpearl.”
The nuts and bolts of the business
With an eye on the future, the business is utilizing Brightpearl to remain lean. Paul says: “To expand at the scale we were aiming for would have required us to hire three more people – just to manually process orders! Brightpearl has saved us so much time that we were able to focus our resources elsewhere.”
With Brightpearl in the brand’s toolbox, continued success is on the horizon. Paul adds: “Our revenue has doubled every year and we don’t want to stand still now. Brightpearl is essential for helping us grow at the rate we want, to remain future-proofed and to continue delighting our customers.”