Luxury footwear retailer Fairfax & Favor gives warehousing inefficiency the boot with Brightpearl WMS
Fairfax & Favor is a British fashion brand selling luxury leather goods across the UK and internationally.
Time spent on inventory counts
Fairfax & Favor is a British fashion brand selling luxury leather goods across the UK and internationally, bridging the gap between city and countryside lifestyles. They are based in Norfolk, England where they have their main warehouse. They have a second warehouse in Portugal where they manufacture all their products. They sell to their retail customers through their Shopify store and also direct to wholesalers who stock their products in 65 stores across the UK. They can also be found trading at 40 shows throughout the year.
Fairfax & Favor began in 2013 where childhood friends Marcus Fairfax Fountaine and Felix Favor Parker saw a gap in the market between city and country lifestyles. So using their expertise in the market, they set about to find and design their own products they could use to bridge that gap. Marcus and Felix christened their new venture with their middle names; Fairfax & Favor was born.
Fast forward to today and Fairfax & Favor is an established award winning luxury brand. “In 2017, we won the Shooting Industry Awards in the Best Footwear Item category for our Imperial Explorer boot,” Rob Cooper, General Manager told us. “We’re very proud, and we’re looking to improve the product constantly and win more awards with it!”
“As a business grows, there are different difficulties you come across,” Rob told us. “We were having big problems with inventory integrity and time efficiency in the warehouse. We were updating the inventory manually to our Shopify store, which was very time-consuming and left lots of room for inaccuracy.”
“Warehousing was such an issue!” Melissa MacTaggart, Operations Executive added. “We didn’t know what inventory we had in. All the orders and stocktaking were done manually. It was a very time consuming process.” Stuart Harvey, Warehouse Manager, agreed by saying: “Dispatch was very difficult. We were making a lot of mistakes which cost us money to fix.”
“We needed a new system to provide power to both purchasing and selling,” Rob told us. “Being able to track all our orders from the moment they’re ordered online to when they’re delivered to the customer; those were essential.”
Inventory accuracy in the warehouse
Order tracking across the customer journey
Fairfax & Favor found what they were looking for in Brightpearl. “We chose Brightpearl because of its accurate inventory control, being able to manage orders throughout our whole business, and the ability to make informed purchasing,” Rob told us.
“We used a different omnichannel platform before Brightpearl, but due to where they were based, our working hours fell under their night shift so we were competing with the rest of Europe for their time. It had to go wrong between 9-5 their time to get something resolved quickly!” Rob recalled. “One of Brightpearl’s strengths is that our consultant was able to come over and visit us to get everything set up onsite.”
“Moving our warehousing to Brightpearl was very easy,“ Rob told us. “We had a lot of dedicated one-on-one time spent with our consultant. He was really nice and made sure that we were moved over quickly and smoothly.” Stuart added: “It was really straightforward. The whole team were really helpful and made us understand how it all worked before we went live.”
Melissa explained the impact of moving their warehousing to Brightpearl. “Now that we’re doing our warehousing with Brightpearl, we’re scanning orders out instead of doing them manually; it’s meant that our accuracy has really improved. Our customers always get the right product straightaway first time round.”
Stuart agreed: “It’s so much quicker for us to pick now. We used to have orders written on the back of a paper ticket and it was easy for them to get lost or knocked out of order. Brightpearl cuts all of that drama out. It’s absolutely perfect.”
“Brightpearl has made our dispatch process 100 times easier. Beforehand, a lot of orders were going out incorrectly because we were rushing,” Melissa explained. “Now we’re a lot more accurate, a lot more streamlined, and we’re a lot more efficient. Our error rates have dramatically decreased since we’ve been using Brightpearl. We hardly ever get customers contacting us to say they’ve received an incorrect product. It’s a massive success for us.”
Inventory counts have also dramatically improved for Fairfax & Favor. “Stocktaking was done by pen and paper before. We had to plan it the day before. It took twice as long as it does now. Because we hold so much inventory it was crucial that we moved over to a better system,” Stuart explained. “We’re now scanning every product which is on the shelf,” Melissa told us. “It’s meant that we now know exactly what we have in inventory so we’re quick to spot and correct errors. It’s easier, smoother, and we’re a lot more accurate. Our stocktakes take half as much time as they did before!”
Fairfax & Favor are now saving so much time that they can offer more to their customers. “We’re now able to offer a next day delivery service,” Melissa told us. “Because all the orders are automatically pushed through to Brightpearl as soon as they’re placed, we now have a later cut-off time so we can get a lot more out every day.” Stuart explained further: “They say ‘can you do more’, and we always say ‘yes’! It’s a massive improvement.”
Simple, straightforward, dedicated training
High inventory integrity through scanning barcoded products
Time taken for inventory counts has halved
“Now that we can track inventory better, we can manage inventory better. We can offer better promotions to our customers as we know we have the inventory to fulfill them. There’s no way we could have done that before Brightpearl,” Rob told us. “Our customer reviews are higher than they’ve ever been before. Brightpearl has helped us deliver a far better service to our customers.”
“Since using Brightpearl, we’ve seen our back office costs reduced so it’s changed our hiring plans,” Rob explains. “Before we had plans to bring in more people, but we’ve been able to invest that money back into the business to provide better customer service.”
“We’ve found that you can implement a lot of different systems which do a lot of different things. But if you can find one software that can do it all, it makes it far more cost effective than to implement different systems that each deliver different things which you can’t integrate together,” Rob told us. Stuart agreed: “Having an all-in-one system is really great. Everyone knows what’s happening across the business now. We used to use different systems, now we’re all using it as a team together.”
Over the next five years, Fairfax & Favor plans to expand further into European and international markets, whilst continuing to deliver great customer service, and to grow its product range. “Now that we have more accurate control over our inventory, we can fully utilize our Portuguese location as our second warehouse which will be key as we expand into international markets,” explains Rob. “We can accurately predict order volumes with Brightpearl and now that we have a tighter control over our inventory, we know we’ll have the inventory ready to fulfill the demand.”
“Brightpearl has been fantastic for Fairfax & Favor. It’s made my life really easy. It’s getting better all the time. It’s such a good system!” Stuart told us. “Brightpearl is the saving grace of the business. Without it, we wouldn’t get our customer orders out on time; we know exactly what inventory we’ve got and we’re able to control every aspect of the business,” Melissa added. “We love Brightpearl!”