Without Brightpearl, I would have had to double our warehouse and ops staff to cope with demand – it’s saved us tens of hires – Trevor Martin, Vice President Operations, Snow
For most brands, winning endorsement from Kim Kardashian, with her 290 million Instagram followers, is the stuff dreams are made of.
For oral cosmetics brand Snow, the Kardashian seal of approval is one in a long line of celebrity recommendations, including from film stars such as Chris Pratt, TV legends such as Ellen DeGeneres and a host of NFL football players.
Needless to say, being backed by A-listers catapulted Snow, best known for its transformative teeth whitening kits, into the mainstream and cemented its status as a mid-market retailer and a household name in America, with sales tipping $100M a year.
But, even without its celeb fans, the multichannel, Shopify Plus-powered brand was destined for phenomenal success. It was launched by Josh Snow in 2017 with just one SKU and a powerful vision to innovate and disrupt the stagnant oral cosmetics industry.
It quickly secured retail placements at America’s biggest stores, including BestBuy, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Walgreens and expanded its product line to include toothpaste, wireless whitening systems and charcoal floss — earning millions of loyal customers in the process.
However, behind the brand’s pearly white exterior and 90% year-on-year growth, there was operational chaos.
“When the pandemic hit and dental offices were forced to close, consumers went online to look for oral health products they could trust — and our DTC demand went through the roof,” said Trevor Martin, Snow’s Vice President of Operations.
“Our systems were siloed, we had no automation in place and there were spreadsheets plugging lots of gaps.
“We were frequently running out of stock and upsetting our customers, who sometimes had to wait up to eight weeks for items to arrive.
“It was at that point that I was brought in to come up with a solution.”
With tons of operational experience under his belt, Trevor’s top priority was to implement a cutting-edge Retail Operations System (ROS).
Trevor said: “I needed an ERP-like system that could consolidate all the aspects of our business into a single source of truth on a much more stable platform. I wanted visualization at our fingertips and more control over the business in general.
“I carefully analyzed 22 different solutions before deciding on the right option for us – and Brightpearl came out on top.
“As a fast-growing DTC brand that is constantly innovating and pushing forward, I was determined to partner with a provider that had the same values – and Brightpearl could deliver on that front, too.”
There were three stand-out Brightpearl features that, for Trevor, confirmed Brightpearl was the right operational solution for Snow…
- Our powerful Automation Engine, which saves the average customer two months every year and reduces errors by 65%
- Our market-leading Inventory Planner Premium, which factors in peak periods and promotions to accurately forecast stock requirements. Snow was desperate for a solution to its frequent stockouts that were annoying its customers. Brightpearl’s Inventory Planner has successfully eliminated all stock-related issues by providing clear, consistent forecasting, which has also boosted customer experience.
- Our huge library of Plug & Play integrations, which offers instant connectivity to a range of apps and tools, including Shopify Plus, which powers Snow’s DTC website
Like pulling teeth
Trevor did weigh up the option of using a traditional ERP like Netsuite, but found there were unnecessary layers of complexity. Meanwhile, lower-end solutions like Order Management Systems (OMS) were unable to offer the functionality and handle the volume of orders Snow was dealing with.
Trevor said: “I know from experience that implementing classic ERPs can take 18 months, cost £200,000 and still ultimately fail. And self-guided implementation that comes with cheaper options is far too risky – I wouldn’t recommend going that route. Brightpearl sat somewhere in between both options, with all the functionality we needed plus expert-managed implementation.
“I decided on Brightpearl at the start of Q3 and I was determined that it would be up and running before the start of Q4 which is our peak season – so I needed a turnaround time of less than three months.
“The worst thing you can do as a growing retailer is get into an implementation that fails. The pre-peak season deadline was a risk for us, but we trusted the Brightpearl team and they stepped up to make it happen. Despite being under significant time pressures, we felt fully supported from start to finish. Implementation with Brightpearl is handled by experts, and it shows. We consequently had our best Q4 ever!”
Something to smile about
Since having Brightpearl in place, Snow has been able to consolidate its systems and multiple channels, including Shopify Plus and Amazon, into one central system.
Like all Brightpearl customers, Snow has benefited from advanced, real-time reporting, which makes it easier and faster to make data-driven decisions.
The Automation Engine has dramatically sped up workflows which meant that even during Snow’s peak season, the brand could maintain same-day dispatch. It’s had a profound impact on customer experience, too, with customer ticket wait times cut from 14 days to just 12 minutes.
“Brightpearl’s Automation Engine transformed how we manage peak – it was incredible how it sped up our time to ship. Without the Automation Engine, I would have had to double our warehouse and operations staff – it would have been a nightmare. Brightpearl saved us tens of hires,” Trevor added.
“The Inventory Planner has also been phenomenal for us. It factors in seasonality so that we can look at the data and instantly say ‘ok, we need to order 100,000 of that item, not 10,000 – otherwise we’re going to run out in two months’.
“The Plug & Play integrations with apps, tools and 3PL providers have helped us make key savings on shipping and iron out issues with our supply chain. And Brightpearl has quickly set up some custom integrations for us, too. You just don’t see that level of integrations at the mid-market level. These are all things you can’t get from traditional ERPs or low-end solutions like an OMS.
“The real bang for your buck with Brightpearl is in the connectivity, in my opinion. Having a central source of truth for all your data, across all your channels, is simply invaluable as you scale.”
In-built accounting functionality, as well as the ability to connect ‘out of the box’ with accounting providers like QuickBooks, and complete warehouse management software have also been game-changing features for Snow.
“SPS is key for us to be able to scale and reach new big player retailers and being able to connect it to Brightpearl takes away the risk of errors and improves operational efficiency even further,” Trevor added.
“It’s always been important to us to partner with a brand that’s constantly innovating and looking to the future, as we are. The recent announcement that Sage, with all its scale and financial expertise, has acquired Brightpearl was music to my ears.”
I analyzed 22 ERP, OMS and other operations systems before making a decision on the right option for us – and Brightpearl came out on top. – Trevor Martin, Vice President Operations, Snow
With Brightpearl on its side, Snow is now looking to scale even further, with its sights set on acquisitions and an expanded international reach (currently up to eight per cent of its sales are to international customers).
Trevor said: “Brightpearl’s mantra is to help brands Grow Fearlessly and our mantra is to help people Smile Fearlessly, so we’re completely aligned. Brightpearl is a great fit for DTC brands in a high scale mode because they have a similar growth mindset and are attuned to their needs.”
On the future for Snow, Trevor adds: “There are 7 billion people in the world with teeth and we’re on a mission to reach as many of them as we can, and to continue to innovate as we do so.”
Leading mid-market DTC brand
A rapid go-live time, readying the brand for peak season
Tens of hires saved
Huge cost, time and efficiency savings with Brightpearl in place