Sage vs Brightpearl: A Battle of the Implementations

Written by Chris Tanner on 21 August 2017

implementing-sage-versus-implementing-brightpearl

Choosing new retail business management software is only the start of your journey to becoming a better retailer. Implementing it deeply into all aspects of your business is key to success. For a fully-integrated software platform to do its job properly, your whole team need to be using it. In this article, we’ll see how implementation of Sage ERP and Brightpearl differ.

Adopt your platform fully

Having consolidated information doesn’t matter if nobody can access it. For front-office sales and support teams to be empowered with accounting data (such as customer account balances), the data has to be up to date. For inventory and asset values to be accurate, you should be raising purchase orders and receiving purchase invoices against these regularly. To prevent over-selling across your sales channels (such as eBay, Amazon, ecommerce store, Point-of-Sale), all channels need to be integrated to the core inventory management software, and updated as soon as items sell elsewhere.

Transition your business processes to the new platform

Moving your day to day processes to your new management software typically happens in different phases across parts of your business. But an implementation always starts with planning. Changing to a new platform is a great opportunity to refresh your business processes; perhaps change the way you raise invoices, or change the way you pick, pack and ship in the warehouse. Your new software platform will usually dictate these processes to a certain extent.

Brightpearl is designed specially for retailers and wholesalers, which means recommended real-world business processes fit seamlessly with the software, with minimal mouse clicks and maximum efficiency. Furthermore, Brightpearl automation tools take on some of the workload, so you can just manage by exception.

Sage is a more generic platform, with features you will probably never use. The software is designed for a wider range of business types, so the features are not usually retail or wholesale-specific. This either leads to more expensive customization, or longer adoption time due to distractions.

Customization for omnichannel retailers and sales channels

No ERP or business management software is ready for your business out-of-the-box, but Brightpearl gets close. Most merchants can switch their trading operations (buying and selling) to Brightpearl with just a few customizations to workflow, permissions and templates. Transition is made much faster due to built-in integrations to sales channels such as eBay, Amazon, BigCommerce, Magento and Shopify.

Sage does not have native integrations to sales channels, which means you need to approach third parties for an add-on. These add-ons are at an additional cost, and add extra time and complexity to the project. If your chosen Sage partner is not an expert in a particular channel, you risk expensive mistakes. Brightpearl implementation experts are experienced with connecting your sales channels without having to take them offline, or rely on third parties.

Customization expertise

Sage implementation is provided by a network of Sage Partners, who need to rely on Sage customer service solutions themselves when they have queries about the product.

Brightpearl implementation is provided by one of our in-house teams, who work closely with your sales contact and the Brightpearl after-sales support and customer success teams to ensure a coherent, smooth process from start to finish. Your relationship is with Brightpearl staff through the whole process, who have instant access to the most detailed information available about the system.

In fact, you have access to our implementation consultants before you even choose Brightpearl; our experts are involved in your assessment right from the beginning to make sure it’s a good fit.

Time to launch

Traditionally, ERP packages like Sage 200 can take more than 6 months of setup and training before they start to deliver benefits. Customization, install, on site training, dealing with integration incompatibilities, dealing with 3rd party add-on providers … it can all get expensive.

Brightpearl implementation takes just 8-10 weeks on average for a typical omnichannel retailer selling on common channels, such as BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, eBay and/or Amazon. That leads to less interruption to your business, and more chance of a successful transition.

After sales support and customer success

Brightpearl support is provided by in-house experts who sit in the same office as your implementation team, the product design team, and many of our engineers. Information moves around within the Brightpearl organization quickly, and people can share knowledge easily. Because all Brightpearl customers are retailers or wholesalers, our support team are familiar with your business model, and your usage of the system is likely to be similar to many other customers.

Sage cover following your implementation is usually provided by your chosen partner, and perhaps one or two members of staff within that organization. If you’ve had extensive customization to your Sage platform, then that will impact the ability for your partner to scale support, or provide 24/7 cover like Brightpearl can. Sage cover is available directly from Sage, but they won’t know anything about the customizations applied by your implementation partner.

What do Brightpearl consultants say?

Many of the Brightpearl implementation team have deep experience with Sage products. Here’s what they say about working with Brightpearl:

“The biggest difference between Sage and Brightpearl is the simplicity of the Brightpearl platform and the minimum setup required. Sage has hundreds of settings to configure within each module, whereas Brightpearl settings are all managed within a few pages of the app itself.

Brightpearl is cloud based and we can get your system up and running quickly. You can access it instantly from any computer and any device. With Sage, you have to install the core Sage software itself, install Microsoft SQL, install software on every client machine, and you’ll then require a ton of consultancy to investigate each possible configuration.

Brightpearl is a breath of fresh air.”

Nicola Castledine, Brightpearl Implementation & Ex-Sage Consultant

What do Brightpearl customers say?

We've had a number of customers transition away from Sage to Brightpearl. Here's what Lee Adams, Founder of Open 24 Seven had to say:

"We couldn't expand and grow with Sage. We began to look at other systems like Sage 200 and NetSuite, which were far too expensive and just not quite right. We felt Brightpearl was the software solution that was most well-tailored towards an ecommerce business."


Want to find out more about how Brightpearl can fit into your retail or wholesale business? Book a demo today.

Chris Tanner
About the author
Chris Tanner

Having grown and sold two businesses, Chris is vastly experienced in the nature of small businesses and ecommerce, and has a business owner’s insight into the needs of an SME business. Chris studied at the University of Sheffield and has a MSc in Electronic Engineering; he started his first company at the age of 21. Being frustrated by a patchwork of traditional systems such as Sage, ACT! and OS-Commerce, but lacking the budget for the options available, Chris went on to develop Brightpearl. Chris keeps one eye on the wind and is always ready to kite-surf, although he mostly loves to work.