Here at Brightpearl HQ, we’ve worked with thousands of retail and wholesale businesses to help them power up their operations and work more efficiently. There’s a lot that can be learned from this retailer network; whether it’s to help us innovate on the product side or to ask them to share their insights with other merchants.
Introducing… David Efraim, CPA
As a Certified Public Accountant and former big four auditor, David has a lot of knowledge and experience of implementing and working with cloud ERP systems. But when David was hired to manage the back office systems and operations for Avulux, he chose to implement Brightpearl rather than an ERP he was familiar with.
Given this wealth of experience, we wanted to find out more about what prompted this decision and how his experience with Brightpearl compares to large-scale ERP solutions.
We hope his insights help those of you who are considering buying and implementing retail back office technology in 2020.
Retailer Q&A with Avulux: Selecting and Implementing Back Office Retail Technology
Hi David, thanks for chatting to us! First off, can you tell us a bit about your company Avulux?
“We’re a start-up based in Boca Raton, Florida. We’ve designed and launched a patented lens, the first of its kind, to help treat and prevent migraine symptoms.
We’re a new medical device; we’ve been in development for years but we’re new to market. We were approved as a medical device for the prevention and treatment of migraine in the EU and Canada and we’ve had a 90% relief rate in the clinical trials that we’ve run.
For our entire team, it has been a personal mission as each and every one of us has a loved one or someone close to us experiencing the pain and suffering associated with migraine.
We currently sell direct-to-consumer via our Shopify website, but we have plans to go multichannel in the future with a pop-up shop, wholesale channel and internationalized websites.”
Because of your previous experience with ERP, you knew the business needed the right technology in place from the beginning. What prerequisites did you have regarding a new solution?
“We were after flexibility and accessibility. The solution needed to be able to be controlled by a small number of people with few barriers to entry.
A large ERP like Oracle Cloud, NetSuite or SAP are so involved; you’ll easily spend hundreds of hours learning how to fit a square peg into a circular hole. And when these systems release something new, there’s minimal guidance on how to use it.
We chose Brightpearl because we have the expectation to scale fast as a business, so everything needs to be just working out of the box and ready to be integrated into ecommerce, Amazon and eBay.
To be a small business operating an ERP is jumping the gun. Brightpearl, as a retail operations platform, bridges the gap.”
Now that you’ve been using Brightpearl for more than six months, can you describe how your experience compares with other ERP and back office technologies you’ve used in the past?
“Brightpearl is the lean start-up powerhouse. It’s the hub that controls everything I need to scale quickly and efficiently - and with a small team.
It’s not overloaded with functionality we don’t need but is exactly what we need as an online retailer. And if we want to open pop-ups or additional channels then we have those capabilities.
I’ve implemented ERPs before; it’s time-consuming, and if you don’t get it right, you have to troubleshoot yourself most of the time. And even if you are troubleshooting, a new release might break something in the chain anyway. Brightpearl and the automation app were setup in weeks, not months, and I don’t have to go to a specialist costing $200 an hour to learn how to setup new modules.
As an accountant, I understand what the system is going to do for me; it’s simple to learn, simple to audit, simple to troubleshoot and simple to unpick transactions. The ability to quickly audit how everything is being processed, particularly with automation running, makes me feel comfortable that everything is happening as it should and how we envision it to be - and how accounting principles dictate it should be.
We currently have it so that any sales orders coming in are automatically pushed through to ShipStation, and when an order is fulfilled in ShipStation, it marks our sales orders as shipped in Brightpearl and fulfilled in Shopify. This cuts out many manual steps in between and it essentially automates the accounting of the sales order process. In the future, we envision the automation tool routing orders straight from our various sales channels to our different fulfillment warehouses based on the customer's destination country for quick order processing. Being able to manage by exception rather than diverting our attention to every routine and objective transaction allows us to more effectively spend our time focusing on customer service and strategy.
Brightpearl is easier and quicker to learn than what I’m used to using; it’s nice not having to spend time figuring out the software. And if I do need to figure something out, I can just go to the support center online or learn through trial and error.
The last few times the Brightpearl support team got back to me, the problem was either resolved within 24 hours or noted to be resolved in a future release. When you’re going to a support team that is on the front lines, and in the UK or US office and working directly with the team who’s responsible for developing the software, you get a much more direct answer.
With a larger ERP, I’ll run into bugs and interface issues because there may be unnecessary functionality baked in, which only adds to the complexity of the software. I’ll submit a request and then they MIGHT get back to me. And if they do, maybe it’s not the right person to address my issue. I’ve definitely felt a more high touch approach from Brightpearl.”
A system like Brightpearl requires a certain level of financial investment; could you comment on Brightpearl’s cost effectiveness for your business?
“I think the starting cost of implementing something like Brightpearl for our expected sales is a really cost effective way to go about it. As I mentioned before, if you install something like NetSuite or Oracle Cloud and you don’t have someone in-house that is already a SysAdmin for one of those systems, then you’re going to be paying a lot out of pocket to get it implemented and then tailor it to your business.”
Thanks for your insights David! To finish, could you tell us what success looks like to you, say, five years from now?
“Success to us in five years is becoming the treatment that makes the most important impact to migraine treatment in the history of this disease by providing an effective, convenient, inexpensive and totally safe treatment. That is the dream scenario for any medical treatment.
Migraine sufferers have to stop what they’re doing; they can’t live their lives, they have to run into a dark room, they can’t spend time with friends and family and they may even be prevented from working to their full potential.
To give you a quantifiable sense of the impact of migraine, a recent report from IBI says that for every 1000 employees a company has, they spend $84,000 in medical-related costs and losses in productivity per year. It has a huge impact on the world, on peoples’ social lives and on the economy.
I see Brightpearl as the back office solution to help us reach our operations potential, while we focus on our customers and on the medicine. Our operations vision was to be able to connect all our sales channels, whether physical or digital to one transparent hub. With plans to further expand internationally, order routing and multicurrency functionality was a must. I’m happy we’ve found what we need to succeed.”
Thanks again for taking the time to share your insights with us David!
If you want to learn more about Avulux’s patented migraine technology, take a look at their website now.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how Brightpearl can help your own business and its operations, then book a demo with one of our retail specialists.
We’re also excited to bring more retail technology stories like this to the blog across the next few months; subscribe now so you don’t miss them!