KeraStraight prove David can
sleekly slay Goliath with Brightpearl CRM

London-based hair care company KeraStraight capitalised on Brightpearl’s platform to help turn their lean
operation into the largest straightening brand in the UK

kerastraight main manufacturer
I can login, and from an accounting point of view, check if our profits are where they need to be. We can react a lot faster. We can make choices on spending a lot quicker, which as a small company, is essential to do.
— John Hubbard, Co-founder

Key facts

23.4%

growth since 2012

£25,000

saved per year

2,000

hours saved annually

19

countries exported to

 

Size does matter. In the case of KeraStraight, being a small, nimble, savvy hair care company based in London allowed them to jump ahead of their $100 million+ a year competitors, capturing market share and the hearts of many a woman, particularly those with damaged, unruly, curly and difficult to manage hair.

In 2009 founder Jez Barnett and co-founder John Hubbard saw a gap in the market for a hair straightening treatment that would repair and rebuild hair at the same time. In 2011 when health and safety regulations came down on their bigger competitors, KeraStraight was already ahead of the game, with fully compliant health and safety and used this market position to leap ahead of the now floundering competitors. “As a smaller company, we can afford to react quickly to market requirements and this gives us flexibility with product development,” said John.

KeraStraight now have distribution in the U.K. and export into 19 countries, with over 1,300 partner salons in the UK.

The problem

KeraStraight established their company as a UK brand and soon were considered the biggest in the country, overtaking many competitors. “We grew very, very quickly,” John continued, “and achieved this with a very small team based in the UK.”

As a manufacturer, keeping track of both raw goods and finished good was essential to meeting orders and managing cash flow. Daily operations -- accounting, orders, both coming and going, and the sales division between direct-to-salon sales and distribution -- proved to be time consuming. As a small company they were always looking to enhance efficiency.

Access to and management of information was not as easy as it could be. “If anyone needed any information about the business they needed to interpret the massive CSV files, or compare separate CRM, accountancy and payment systems.”

With many annual overseas business trips each year, they also needed the ability to manage the business from anywhere in the world. A cloud-based platform to bring it all together.

The cloud solution

In 2012 KeraStraight turned to Brightpearl, which brought all that data into one place. It allowed all members of the company to get a clear snapshot of any aspect of the business at any time, from stock levels to sporadic order cycles from their distributors. The small team, which were typically resistant to change in technology and management systems, were on board. Immediately everyone said, "I love it, its so intuitive!’

John explained, “I can login, and from an accounting point of view, check if our profits are where they need to be. We can react a lot faster. We can make choices on spending a lot quicker, which as a small company, is essential to do.”

He appreciates the continual upgrades and improvements to the Brightpearl platform, “With each release the stability is improving. I get excited about new releases. I’m always checking to see what you’re up to next.”

The future

Each year of KeraStraight’s operation has seen big changes; 2015 will be no different. They’ve expanded their retail range since working with Brightpearl and linked a deal with one of the largest, multi-website online retailers, The Hut Group, which owns over 20 websites and extends sales internationally.

The team continues to develop their U.K. brand while building on their strength in American and Chinese markets. This coincides with product development, including their world leading KS Ultimate treatment, “which is our strongest, easiest treatment for all hair types,” along with a new style range and Ultimate Oil.

KeraStraight has enjoyed sales growth of over 23% since they deployed the Brightpearl platform two years ago, while also saving thousands of staff hours and associated costs. This also enabled them to budget for a bookkeeping service that specializes in Brightpearl, adding to the continual improvement of their operation as it scales.

“Brightpearl enables us to not worry about all the internal stuff that’s going on. We can segment the business easily. I’m certain that if we weren’t using Brightpearl, many business processes wouldn’t be so easy.”