How Goldstar Leisure scaled their business using Linnworks automation and connectivity.
Related Topics:Inventory Management
Started in 2010, Goldstar Leisure is a premium, award-winning brand distribution & fulfillment company. The team prides themselves in best in class sales, customer service, web development and fulfillment. Fast forward 13 years, Goldstar Leisure has over 200,000 customers and they processed over 280,000 orders in 2022.
However, Anthony Rowe, Managing Director and his wife didn’t set out on this path in the early days.
At the start, Anthony took up scuba diving and began searching for equipment on eBay. He decided to buy in bulk to benefit from a lower cost and then saw the opportunity to resell and make a profit. He sold all items within a couple of days, repeated the process and then built up relationships with European manufacturers and distributors. As the company expanded across different marketplaces in the early years, they extended into more lines including equestrian and workwear. The rest is history.
As Goldstar Leisure expanded, it became quickly apparent that they needed a system in place to automate inventory processes.
Challenges: Manual and time-consuming processes across multiple marketplaces.
Managing stock between marketplaces was a key growing pain.
“We were selling on both eBay and Amazon,” Anthony explained, “but we started having issues with managing stock across the channels.”
The process of changing stock levels and printing orders across both channels was manual and there was always a risk of inaccuracy. Anthony believed there had to be an easier way to do this, so he researched inventory and order management solutions.
Back in 2010, Anthony and his wife still had their full time jobs so the most important thing was finding something that made their lives easier.
Solution: An all in one inventory and order management system.
Twelve months after founding Goldstar Leisure and researching solutions, Anthony needed to bring their inventory and orders into one central location. That’s where Linnworks came into the picture.
“Linnworks fitted the bill for managing our inventory and has ever since. It was a real eureka moment.”
Over the years, Anthony and his team have considered other providers, but there’s always been something missing.
“We’ve stayed with Linnworks purely because of the amount of functions it has,” Anthony said, “Nobody’s ever been able to do what Linnworks enables us to do.”
Goldstar Leisure’s Web Development Manager, Shau Wei Beh, agreed, “As for alternatives on the market, there isn't anyone like Linnworks.”
Goldstar Leisure has also benefited from the flexibility of Linnworks and the ability to customize the platform to better serve their business needs. In recent years, Goldstar Leisure has been using the stock forecasting feature in Linnworks. Stock forecasting uses past data, trends and known upcoming events to predict needed inventory levels for a future period – helping prevent overstocking or stockouts.
Shau explained, “With a small additional script using the daily average consumption data available in Linnworks, we’ve noticed the impact on the efficiency and accuracy of our inventory forecasting.”
Warehouse efficiency made possible with Linnworks ecosystem and flexibility.
With the inventory and order management in place, optimizing their warehouse was their next priority.
“We didn’t have any processes in place and everything was disorganized,” Shau shared. “We decided to partner with Peoplevox, a Warehouse Management System, but it didn’t overcome picking efficiency.”
Given the size of the warehouse, picking efficiency was critical since staff had to walk long distances, so they looked at automating the process further with a new solution: eManager.
eManager is a warehouse execution, management, and control system for AutoStore. With this system, you know exactly where your products are located and how much you have in stock at any given time. The AutoStore software provides built-in operator assistance for accomplishing tasks and enables integrations with existing warehouse, inventory and supply chain systems like Linnworks. With AutoStore, robots do all the picking for you, saving time for staff and reducing staff overheads.
To connect their tech stack, it was crucial that AutoStore integrated with Linnworks. Using the third party developer Brainence, Goldstar Leisure created a bridge between Linnworks open source API, and eliminated the need for a costly standalone warehouse management system.
Granted, it wasn’t a project that was done overnight, but with the support of their assigned Linnworks Customer Success Manager, Jacek, the integration now works seamlessly. Jacek ensured that all the pieces were bought together in the project as the Linnworks representative who communicated between Goldstar Leisure and the third party developer.
Anthony reiterated, “Jacek has been a real asset and instrumental in the project being successful.”
Now, Goldstar Leisure has the perfect synergy between inventory, order and warehouse management operations. Linnworks manages all their selling channels and orders and talks to AutoStore to ensure it effectively directs the robots in the warehouse. Goldstar Leisure also uses two packing machines to ship orders that also work seamlessly with the Linnworks platform through customization.
Continually investing in machinery and technology that enhances automation and compliments their existing technology stack has always been key to Anthony, and Linnworks helps him do just that.
Results: Office staff can focus on what they do best and scaling the business.
The success of the AutoStore integration speaks for itself.
Shau explained, “Linnworks has allowed us to maximize our warehouse space and we’ve drastically improved picking efficiency.”
Shau and the team had lost track of the number of times they helped out in the warehouse; office staff spent more hours in the warehouse than they did in the office.
“Office staff aren’t in the warehouse anymore,” Shau said, “meaning we can now focus on our actual jobs and scaling the business.”
Using Linnworks has enabled Anthony to maintain a lean and efficient workforce without unnecessary staff overheads. He especially appreciates having everything in one system.
“If we didn’t have Linnworks, we’d have to employ at least 8 extra people,” Anthony shared. “To do what Linnworks does on a daily basis with channel management, order management, stock forecasting and being all in one platform is invaluable.”
Linnworks has been with Goldstar Leisure from the start – from a happy business accident with just £30 to its name to a multi million company today.
Anthony affirmed, “Linnworks has been instrumental in getting us to where we are today. Linnworks has been one of the key factors in the growth of the company.”
Looking ahead: Driving the company forward with selling channel expansion.
Now Anthony and his team can focus on further expansion. A key driver for them this year and in the future is incorporating more of Linnworks many channel integrations. They’ve recently signed up with Decathlon and they plan on reviewing the significant number of integrations in Linnworks app store.
“Office staff have spent most of their time in the last 12 months assisting in the warehouse but now they can start driving the company forward again,” Anthony concluded. “Now we can get back to doing what we do best and to grow the company further supported by Linnworks.”
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