Facing the music: this Montana-based business reveals why opting for the cheapest and most recognizable tech can be costly in the long-term

“Brightpearl is a night and day difference from what we had before; all our ecommerce and shipping integrations just work out-of-the-box, support is included, and the solution is more cost effective too.”

— Jon, Founder, My Music Folders

Jon and Robbin Rose started www.mymusicfolders.com in 2002 as a way to help fund the Missoula Community Chorus. As selling music folders blossomed into a full time endeavor, they had the opportunity to develop choir robes which they sell on the sister website www.mychoirrobes.com.

The couple have been passionate about music all of their adult lives. They were always musicians; Jon was in a punk band that traveled the Northwest U.S. in the mid-80’s while wife Robbin sang light opera and musicals in summer theaters for several seasons.

Tuning up the service offer

The Montana-based businesses was originally set up to help fund the Missoula Community Chorus but Jon and Robbin soon realised they had inadvertently stumbled upon a niche market, resulting in steady growth across the past 17 years. Today, the two businesses operate across multiple channels and stock or drop ship over 800 SKUs.

With such rapid growth, Jon and Robbin needed a technology solution that would support the firm’s multichannel expansion, while removing errors that were creeping into the operations of the business. They also required a platform that could enhance the couple’s existing reputation for stellar customer service.

The brand first turned to NetSuite as a solution. “When we were looking for an all-in-one solution to remove data entry errors, NetSuite looked like one we could grow with,” said Jon Rose, Co-Owner of MyMusicFolders and MyChoirRobes. “They set us up with everything we would need for multiple websites and at a low entry cost.”

Hitting a bum note

A fairy tale ending then? Unfortunately not. Like many retailers considering their first major technology investment they opted for the most recognizable brand name and a low entry price point over scalable and future-proof solutions that can support long-term business growth.

“Within three years, we were paying four times as much for the platform alongside an eye-watering subscription for their ‘Silver Support’ package. Everything we wanted to do came at a cost and a hassle. This is representative of NetSuite’s bureaucracy and lack of ability to respond to our needs as we’re not a $100 million company.”

— Jon, Founder, My Music Folders

This is a common pitfall, as recent Brightpearl research shows that In the face of a wide array of technology choice, the majority of retailers (66%) will opt for the most familiar brand name. whilst more than a third of buyers (37%) would invest in the cheapest available software.

However, these strategies carry a great deal of risk, as Jon expands upon: “My advice for other merchants in a similar position is to keep in mind that the software they opt for is mission critical. It is important to research all options and invest with a technology partner that is fit to scale with your business. While cheap and familiar might seem like a good short-term fix, you really need a solution that can support you over the long-term. We got to the point where we couldn’t afford to fix NetSuite anymore; we had so many failing workarounds and customers started seeing issues. It was a nightmare.”

Staccato-ing away from NetSuite

The brand first came across Brightpearl by searching online, and, after a deep dive, comparison and thorough study of available vendors came to see the popular digital operating platform as a perfect fit due to its baked in demand flexibility and full suite of retail functionality and integrations.

Jon says: “Brightpearl is a night and day difference from what we had before; all our ecommerce and shipping integrations just work out-of-the-box, support is included, and the solution is more cost effective too.”

Perfect harmony

With Brightpearl in place, the specialty music businesses now aims to improve the delivery speed of music folders and choir robes to schools, religious organizations, choirs, bands and orchestras across the world via its two websites: MyMusicFolders.com and MyChoirRobes.com.

In addition, the business’ multiple sales channels will now benefit from Brightpearl’s out-of-the-box solution without the need for custom coding or large costs.

“We finally have the time and flexibility to grow our business across more channels, and we’re really benefiting from Brightpearl’s real-time data insights and centralized inventory and order management. The platform has given us the confidence and ambition to launch additional sales channels, digital download products and a subscription-based website. This means we can continue supporting our local choir, schools and community with greater peace of mind – and you can’t put a price on that.”

— Jon, Founder, My Music Folders

Key Facts

17 years





Previously used platform