Lush Longboards: staying ahead of the
game with omnichannel technology
Lush Longboards is one of the world’s leading longboard brands, priding themselves on great
craftsmanship and exceptional customer service.
The retail background
Lush Longboards is one of the world's leading brands of long skateboards; headquartered in Bristol, UK, they work with distributors and retailers selling their products all across the globe. It all started when the team at Lush saw it was really difficult for skaters to get hold of a longboard. Lush came to life in 2001 once they seized the opportunity to manufacture and sell high quality boards, becoming a predominant brand within the longboarding community.
Lush pride themselves on cutting edge innovation and great craftsmanship coupled with exceptional customer service. A true omnichannel retailer and wholesaler, they reach their customers in a number of different ways, selling through Shopify for their multiple ecommerce sites, via eBay for seconds and clear out products, and through their brick-and-mortar store. They also sell through a number of distributors and retailers as well as sponsoring a team of riders.
The omnichannel challenge
For 6 years Lush did their accounting on Sage, CRM in ACT!, and inventory control was handled in Excel due to the intricacies of the products that they sold. Too much of their valuable time was spent copying information back and forth between systems with limited visibility of key information across the business. It was clear they needed to rethink about their business systems.
- Disconnection between multiple sales channels
- Inaccurate inventory levels
- Too much manual data entry
- No visibility of cash flow
The omnichannel solution
After researching and looking into various software options to help them overcome their challenges, it became clear there were no options out there other than expensive, clunky enterprise solutions which were way too expensive. In 2006, Chris Tanner the Founder of Lush and talented techie started developing Brightpearl to overcome some of the challenges they were facing. Brightpearl was born out of Lush’s need to find a software solution.
Since 2007 Lush have been running their entire operation on Brightpearl; including purchasing, order and inventory management, CRM and accounting. We spoke to Rich Auden, Director at Lush Longboards to tell us more; “The business took a leap forwards as soon as we got all of our data on the same database. It meant there was only ever one place to update prices, customers and inventory. Everyone in the company knows what's due to come in and customers are always given up-to-date and accurate information. Inventory is updated as soon as purchase orders are received, sales orders are pushed efficiently through a pick, pack and ship process, and invoices go directly into the accounting system at the end of the day. Brightpearl is one central system, so detailed information can be linked between sales products and accounts.”
Lush is a B2C and B2B business so they have to manage multiple price lists. “We make use of the powerful price lists feature in Brightpearl to list only a certain subset of our products online at RRP, whilst also supporting per-country and per-customer pricing for our distribution network. I easily manage hundreds of SKUs and prices, changing the system regularly to benefit from currency fluctuations.”
Rich at Lush talked about a few different tools they have at their arsenal including MailChimp for email marketing which they have hooked up to Brightpearl to support their targeted emails. Shopify was also mentioned with great enthusiasm.
The integrated future
We’re entering an era where small businesses are able to compete with the big box retailers and Lush plan to take full advantage of their software tools and 15 years of experience to take on larger brands. “The future is smaller, more local brands. Shopify has made starting an ecommerce business so much easier, enabling smaller business to take chunks out of the big guys.”
“We want to be nimble, adaptable and grow in a strategic stable way - we’re a brand which is here to stay. With the help of Brightpearl we can make sure we’re making good profits - running out of cash sucks!”
“We try to innovate in all the things we do. It’s such a dynamic market and we want to do it right, do it well, and stay in control of our future. ”
All the Lush websites:
Lush Longboards: http://lushlongboards.com/