Monica + Andy Goes Ga-Ga for Brightpearl’s Spreadsheet-Busting Solution
Without Brightpearl’s Automation Engine, it would be very difficult to run our business and we definitely would’ve had to hire extra members of staff. – Brian Bloom, Co-Founder at Monica + Andy
When Chicago-based babywear brand Monica + Andy started to scale rapidly they did what many brands do and turned to spreadsheets to plug the gaps in their back office operations.
There were spreadsheets for inventory, spreadsheets for invoices, spreadsheets for accounting — spreadsheets for pretty much everything.
The trouble with spreadsheets, however, is that they are incredibly time-consuming to manage and completely impractical when volumes begin to soar – which is what Monica + Andy soon experienced.
“I love a spreadsheet, but they can only get you so far,” says the company’s co-founder Brian Bloom.
“We’ve always had ambitious growth plans and I knew it would be hard to keep our data ‘clean’ in the long term using spreadsheets, so it made sense to find a partner that could scale with us sooner rather than later.”
A bump in the road
Established in 2014 by mum-on-a-mission Monica Royer, the Shopify-Plus powered business specializes in organic babywear, kidswear, maternity wear and kid-related accessories which is mainly sold DTC online and via stores in NYC and Chicago, but is also stocked at big-name stores including Target and Buybuy BABY.
The brand’s supersoft range of newborn ‘coming home’ outfits, made with GOTS-certified organic fabrics in limited-edition prints, are typically the first thing expectant parents buy – but they often end up coming back time and again for quality, stylish clothes as their bump, and then child, grows.
After deciding to look for a back office solution, Monica + Andy did what lots of fast-growing start-ups do and considered bringing in a traditional ERP.
But with implementation taking an average of 420 days and often costing up to four times the initial price – and then still failing in up to 75% of cases – ERPs simply aren’t the smart choice for modern brands.
“To scale successfully, we needed an operations system that could integrate seamlessly and act as a single source of truth for all our data,” Brian says.
“We looked at Netsuite and other ERPs but they didn’t seem like a good fit, and they were hugely expensive. It was a bump in the road for us, but then we heard about Brightpearl, and it was instantly clear that it was the right option.”
As a flexible, scalable Retail Operations Platform, Brightpearl was implemented for Monica + Andy by a team of retail experts in less than 120 days, with seamless integration to the existing tech stack and minimal disruption to day-to-day business.
The business has since been able to benefit from Brightpearl’s powerful Automation Engine, best-in-class Inventory Planner, real-time reporting, warehouse management and access to a huge library of Plug & Play integrations, including to the brand’s Shopify Plus website and 3PL suppliers, such as wholesale selling tool SPS Commerce and various dropship providers.
Turning complex ops into child’s play
According to Brian, Brightpearl is ideal for firms on Shopify Plus that are experiencing exceptional growth and dealing with the fallout of increased operational complexity as a result.
Brian says: “Automation has been amazing for managing demand as our business has grown. Our growth rates have doubled in the past year alone. We use automation for splitting orders, invoicing, all sorts! It’s a massive time saver. Without Brightpearl’s Automation Engine, it would be very difficult to run our business and we definitely would’ve had to hire extra members of staff.
“It’s also proved absolutely critical to have our entire business on one central platform, as a single source of truth. There’s simply no way we could go back to running the business without Brightpearl – all those spreadsheets would be a disaster!
“I also love how intuitive the platform is – as our team expands, I value how easy it is for new starters to get up to speed.”
There’s simply no way we could go back to running the business without Brightpearl – all those spreadsheets would be a disaster! – Brian Bloom, Co-Founder at Monica + Andy
Having proved to be the perfect partner for a scaling business, Brightpearl is now integral to Monica + Andy’s future plans, which include expanding its wholesale and dropship reach, and continuing to attract new parents looking for innovative, organic items for the newborn days – and beyond.
“We’ve been a Brightpearl customer since 2015 and the reason we’ve stayed is because Brightpearl moves with the times. It has grown as we have, continually adding cutting-edge retail functionality that enables us to grow and do business better,” Brian says.
“We’ve recently expanded our wholesale horizons and adopted a dropship arm to our business so that we can sell items like cribs and stroller from third parties – Brightpearl’s features have been instrumental to making that a success and I see it as a big part of our business in the future.”
The year the multichannel baby and kidswear retailer was established
100% YOY Growth
Incredible growth - managed seamlessly with automation
The Rapid Go-Live on Brightpearl