JB Autosports continue to double their growth with Brightpearl and ShipStation
JB Autosports, Inc. sell and market aftermarket car parts for various car models to both B2C and B2B markets. Since the launch of their Subispeed website, their growth has been exponential.
JB Autosports was launched 5 years ago, based on an incredible passion and enthusiasm for cars and the automotive industry.
Since the introduction of their Subispeed website 2 years ago, the company’s growth has been exponential. This has resulted in the company now having 20 employees - a huge change from the two original Founders they started with, who are now CEO and Vice President.
Based in Des Moines, Iowa, the team at JB Autosports sell and market aftermarket car parts for various car models via their 5 Magento websites. JB Autosports sell across the world, but they are particularly well known in the US and Canada; and whilst their Subispeed and FT86 Speed Factory webstores are their most popular, the team like to ensure they put in a similar amount of effort across all of their websites.
David explains, “We have one platform, which is good and we market our products similarly for all brands. But when one brand is much larger than the other, you don’t want to short change the other one. This can sometimes be a challenge.”
JB Autosports primarily sell within the retail automotive market, but they also have some wholesale customers, distribute products for manufacturers and manufacture their own products as well. “We’re mainly retail, but we dabble in everything,” David tells us.
Before Brightpearl, the JB Autosports team were experiencing a catch-22 situation that so many retailers face within business.
They knew they needed an ERP system to help them manage inventory, accounting and order processing in one place, but were so busy with their growth in sales, that they were unable to actually spend the time on finding a system to help them.
“We were using Google Docs before to manually update our inventory when shipping and receiving goods. Every step of the way, we had to manually update inventory and we were bound to make mistakes,” David says. “We definitely had our eyes on an ERP for a very long time, but we didn’t have the time to find one. It can sometimes be hard for us to focus because of our growth rate.”
- Separate and archaic systems
- Training new staff on workflows took 6 months
- No automation or scalability
ShipStation used to be connected directly to their Magento platform and inventory management was done in Google Docs. David explains that their “Order processing, inventory and accounting were all very manual. There was no scalability.” They knew an ERP system was needed and also knew that a system that would fully integrate with ShipStation was crucial.
In their searches for an ERP, two other systems besides Brightpearl were being tested by the team. These particular systems were ones that you could store locally on computers. But in the end, it was Brightpearl’s powerful ShipStation integration, its mature and well documented API and the fact that it was SaaS cloud software that won the team’s full attention.
“A complete ShipStation integration was mission critical to us at this point. And the mature and well documented API was a good sign to us. Most ERPs have closed and inflexible systems, but the Brightpearl API showed us that the system could be extended if we wanted it to be,” David explains.
JB Autosports launched with Brightpearl at the beginning of 2017, and are fully appreciative of the automation that Brightpearl has helped to bring to their business.
“We were using archaic systems beforehand with Google Docs. But since moving to Brightpearl, we have automated so many of our processes,” David explains. “The true sign of how much Brightpearl has helped us is when we go on holiday or have a big sales day, our warehouse team don’t need to worry. Before, they would all sigh and wonder how they would deal with these periods, and there would be a bunch of crunch time needed. This doesn’t happen anymore. Things definitely seem to be more relaxed since implementing Brightpearl.”
JB Autosports have worked hard to ensure their revenue growth doubles every year, but since implementing Brightpearl, this is the first time that the company haven’t felt the strain that can come with fast growth. “This is one of the first times we’ve not felt it, but in a good way. We don’t need to go hire 10 more people, but business is still growing,” David explains.
With the introduction of Brightpearl, David tells us that the team now also have more time to focus on their customers. “Once we started using Brightpearl this year, we’ve had a lot more time to focus on Zendesk and answering customer queries. We weren’t able to spend as much time on things like that before Brightpearl as we were just so busy.”
And when asked about the transition to Brightpearl? David only had good things to say about their experience. “Moving to Brightpearl was easy - it was a smooth transition. We had a great experience with the Professional Services team, with plenty of time for User Acceptance Training (UAT). Although the training was online, each session was recorded so that everyone could watch them afterwards,” David tells us.
- Fully integrated with ShipStation
- Cloud software ready to be accessed at any time, from anywhere
- Mature and well documented flexible API
- A complete inventory management system
David advises that, “It used to take us 6 months to train new starters on our workflows, but we can now get people up and running in less than a month. The good thing about Brightpearl is how modular it is - we just need to show them one piece of the puzzle.”
Looking ahead to what success will look like in 5 years for the JB Autosports team, David tells us that they “Want to expand globally. We want to be a well known brand across the world, not just in North America.”
Brightpearl fits into this plan by offering them the resilience and scalability that they so desperately needed. “In the last year or two, we’ve been focusing on scalability. Brightpearl was definitely the final piece to that.” David also tells us that they’re in the process of acquiring a new warehouse, which will be triple the size of their current one. “Everything’s getting ready for that international growth. We need to be resilient and scalable, so we’re preparing for that.”
For other retailers looking to move to a system like Brightpearl, David has this advice, “If you’re going to move to a system like Brightpearl, use the Professional Services team. I don’t know why anyone would waste time trying to do it themselves.”
David also advises that businesses should take the time to implement the right systems in a timely manner. “For us, we always knew we needed an ERP system but we weren’t spending the time on getting the right tools in place. But we’ve done it now and we’re reaping the benefits. If there’s something you need, take the time now to put the right systems in place - before growth starts.”
And when asked whether the team have any plans to expand into more sales channels in the future, David answered with, “That’s the great thing about the growth we’re experiencing - you never know what may happen.”