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Going live with a new technology solution one week before Black Friday may put off some businesses, but with Brightpearl, fitness lifestyle brand Rep Fitness didn’t break a sweat.
Rep Fitness is a B2C fitness lifestyle brand from Denver, Colorado. They sell REP branded fitness equipment to home and commercial gym customers through an ecommerce store (repfitness.com), Amazon and eBay, as well as a walk-in brick and mortar store attached to their Denver warehouse.
The business was started in 2012 by two brothers who were driving business to an equipment company through affiliate marketing. They took a look at how the company was running its business and thought they could do it better, so they started out on their own and Rep Fitness was born.
Within six years, the brothers’ small business values/big business experience mantra, combined with their background in affiliate marketing, saw Rep Fitness explode to a $20m retail business with their own affiliate network of garage gym bloggers and home users.
An uphill climb
As successful as they were, Rep Fitness was hitting problems. Director of Technical Operations, Alida Sholl, explained what was slowing down their pace. “Our walk-in sales were very cumbersome. Our old system was slow and not easy to work with so we couldn’t use it during the point of sale. We were writing sales down on paper and entering them into the system manually at the end of the day – or sometimes, waiting until the end of the week. This meant that our inventory was often not up to date so our sales team didn’t know what was in or out of stock.”
“Dispatching our orders was really slow too,” Alida told us. “Our old system couldn’t group products together to create a consolidated pick list so we had to get someone to add up all the products by hand. When you had hundreds of orders, it was a very long process. We knew this wasn’t the way to run a successful business.”
So Rep Fitness made the decision to change their system, but that’s when they encountered a new problem to deal with. “We initially went with a different solution, but two weeks before we were supposed to go live, we realized it wasn’t going to work for us,” Alida explained. “It wasn’t user-friendly and we were finding that the software had some big limitations that had not been discussed during the sales process.”
This would be stressful enough, but with two months to go until Black Friday and the start of the holiday season, Rep Fitness was really under pressure.
Alida explains: “Time was running out. We went back to the drawing board and drew up a new shortlist of solution providers. Brightpearl’s scalability, in addition to its greater accounting and reporting functionality, made it a more all-in-one solution we could trust. So we opted for them.”
Working out against the clock
With seven weeks to Black Friday and a new system to set up and train on, Rep Fitness had a challenge for Brightpearl.
“We told Brightpearl we needed to go live in six weeks!”, says Alida. “We said, ‘these are all the things we need to be able to do on day one’ and Brightpearl built our plan around what we needed so we could be operational when we needed to be. They also sent someone down to be onsite with us for a whole week and together we powered through the training and setup.”
Fast forward six weeks and Rep Fitness went live with Brightpearl – one week before Black Friday, as planned.
“It went extremely well,” Alida told us, looking back at their Brightpearl launch. “From day one – all the functionality we needed was there. I guess it was a risky move, but it paid off and we had a very successful holiday season. Having the fantastic training and implementation that we did from Brightpearl meant that we were able to manage the holiday spike without breaking a sweat. If you can go live one week before Black Friday, you could do it at any time!“
With their highly successful Brightpearl-powered holiday season behind them, Rep Fitness could now take a deeper look at their new system and the gains it was bringing them.
Alida says: “Being able to enter our orders on the spot directly from one single system is so much better for keeping our inventory accurate and knowing how much we’re selling.”
“We know at any time how much we have of any product so we never have stock-outs or over-order. For the first time ever, we have real visibility into our inventory – we know what we’re carrying and also what we’re selling, so we can forecast accurately like we haven’t been able to do before. Previously, we had to pull our sales out of our various channels and merge that data together.”
As Alida told us, their dispatch issues were a thing of the past too. “Brightpearl has given us pick lists which we never had before. Being able to run them with a few clicks is so much smoother and quicker – and it’s all completely automated.”
“We’re also using Brightpearl Automation to allocate and fulfill orders automatically – we’re now processing them 30% faster! It’s put our business firmly back in control – while also leading to happier customers.”
A healthy future
Rep Fitness has now been with Brightpearl for 1.5 years and continues to invest in continually improving their processes. This past summer, REP decided to do a thorough review of their setup and processes surrounding Brightpearl with the help of their Technical Account Manager.
“Our TAM spent 2 full days with us onsite and helped us identify areas where our processes could be improved to speed up our order processing, avoid missed orders, and also helped with some follow-up training for some of our new employees,” says Alida. “We knew that our rushed implementation timeline had caused us to piece together some processes before we had a full understanding of the system. So as we have grown up with it, we’re finding new and better ways of doing things. We really appreciated that the Brightpearl team was willing to come back and make sure we were getting the full benefit of the system.”
Rep Fitness looks to be in great shape for the future. “We’re getting more on board with Brightpearl’s accounting functionality and learning more about what Brightpearl can do for us every day,” explains Alida.
With their operations now running more efficiently across the board, Rep Fitness can now set their sights on expanding their reach.
Alida says: “We are opening multiple third-party logistics (3PL) locations across the US this year to help support our growth, and have also started to distribute product in Canada and Europe.”
“The 3PL network is so much more achievable now that we have Brightpearl because we can use automation to allocate to any new warehouse locations automatically, wherever they are. It gives us the scope to flex our muscles on a global level.”