Case Study

Source BMX: A migration journey to scalable inventory management software

Case Study
Source BMX: A migration journey to scalable inventory management software
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Source BMX: A migration journey to scalable inventory management software

Upgrading your inventory management system is not an easy decision. Especially when it concerns all of your selling processes. For Source BMX, the desire to scale across America meant that the team needed robust software that could support their long-term goals. We spoke to Rich, the biking company’s founder, about their migration to a new system.

Hitting the glass ceiling

In 2016, the Source BMX team had big plans for growth. While based in the United Kingdom, the United States was one of the company’s most popular territories. “We were selling a lot in the US.” says Rich. “It was by far our fastest growing market so we set out to quadruple sales there within two years”.

So, how exactly would they meet this ambitious target? The Source BMX team knew that they needed to improve the US customer experience by optimizing the order fulfillment process.

"We decided to open a warehouse in the US and had a lot of support from our suppliers when we mentioned this idea."

Unfortunately, when Rich approached their current inventory management software, he found that the stock control system didn’t support multiple warehouse locations. After opening a discussion with their software solutions provider, the team found that their current stack required a six month custom build, and a hefty price tag.

"Another limitation to our previous solution is that it wasn’t an open system – it didn’t provide an open API – which meant that we couldn’t link up our clients and various other software to the system, causing frustration all around."

A catalyst for change

The lack of functionality among numerous warehouses prevented Source BMX from realizing its revenue goals. As such, Rich concluded that it was time for change and time for a system that they could undoubtedly rely on.

"The main catalyst for change was that we couldn’t open a second warehouse on our old platform. We started looking around to move platforms entirely. That’s where Linnworks came in."

The path to a solution

Rich quickly identified that Source BMX needed an inventory management system. One that would enable them to scale quickly. So, the team went through a lengthy period of discovery, seeking a platform that met their extensive list of requirements:

"We sent out our requirements to several agencies and platforms, but they didn’t understand our needs. Linnworks did. The Linnworks team really understands complex eCommerce. We soon realized it was the way to go if we wanted to grow"

A wealth of new markets data insights and profitability

Migrating inventory items can be a complex and overwhelming process, particularly for an established business. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case for Source BMX.

"Linnworks migrated the inventory and all the product data, inventory levels and warehouse management system. In terms of the process, it was excellent. We can’t criticize it. There were no issues whatsoever with our inventory. It was 100% accurate, worked straight away and we experienced no downtime whatsoever."

"The positives are that our staff could use it and we can employ temporary staff who learn it straight away. It’s really easy to use. Unlike our previous system, it never goes down. It’s been really, really reliable."

Since adding a new warehouse and setting up multiple warehousing functionality within Source BMX’s new inventory management solution, the team has been able to provide next-day shipping to its US customers and fully optimize their US customer experience, which they couldn’t do before. Furthermore, Rich and his team now have the confidence to scale even further with this new, reliable system in place:

"If we were to open another warehouse with Linnworks, it would be pretty easy. We could have that up and running really quickly, regardless of its location."

“On top of this, the functionality has opened up the whole South American, Mexican and Canadian markets as well. It’s really driven international growth for us”.

"Sales have more than doubled year-on-year in the US. In fact, we have achieved our target of $5 million in revenue in the first year. We simply couldn’t have achieved this with our old system. Linnworks has been absolutely critical to our growth."

Technical Perspective: What to expect when migrating to Linnworks

Growth barriers, downtime or constant roadblocks with your inventory management software are all signs that it’s time to move on in search of a new partner. Linnworks understands that the decision to migrate your entire inventory is significant and having full confidence in the new solution is of paramount importance.

So, when migrating to a system such as Linnworks, what can you expect? What are the steps involved and what are your specific responsibilities? While the process of migration is unique to every business, the Linnworks team can walk you through the process, step-by-step, to help your business achieve its goals - just like Source BMX.

Our team will start with a deep dive into your business to assess your needs, current channel and warehouse processes, and desired outcomes. Discovery also helps us determine any necessary product customization requirements to ensure Linnworks integrates seamlessly with your workflows.

The first step is to export all of your data from existing solutions and selling channels to one singular place. If you can’t compile this information, then we can use your largest selling channel as your primary source of data.

Next, we assess how clean your data is. If it needs to be cleaned up, we’ll show you how to do so. In fact, you can engage with our implementation team at any stage of the process and we can also provide full training for your team afterwards. Depending on where you’re migrating from, we may have tools to help you refresh your data quickly. Once that’s done, we’ll import your data into your new system together.

We then move onto inventory mapping. It’s important to link your products (or SKUs) to the correct selling channels. This ensures that Linnworks is connected to all channel product data, including listing revisions, stock level changes, and orders. Adding your carriers and delivery services is another critical part of making sure you’re shipping efficiently.

During the process we also help you to customize the business rules engine. These are automation rules to replace manual processes in your assembly line. For example, routing an order to a specific carrier if it’s over a certain size or value, or merging multiple items in an order into a single shipment.

Finally, we’ll help set up a myriad of other needs like custom invoices, picking and packing slips, and even warehouse management. That’s it! Most migrations can be completed within eight to twelve weeks and depend on three key elements: the desired level of customization, the size of the project, and your correspondence.

We loved working with Source BMX - it was a great experience! Thanks to their collaborative nature and eagerness to participate in transforming their business, the process from start to finish took three months. It was an ideal partnership all around.

Nerea Gonzales - Implementation Specialist @ Linnworks

Technical Perspective: How project discovery plays a key role in software migration

Mark Aldous - Head of Professional Services @ Linnworks

We attribute much of Source BMX’s seamless migration to Rich and his team’s willingness to fully immerse themselves in our guided onboarding services. As a result, we quickly gained a deep understanding of their warehouse operations and processes, enabling us to tailor Linnworks to their specific needs and ultimately maximize value for their business.

They elected to take advantage of our Project Discovery Day offering, which involved research, analysis, and an on-site visit with one of our implementation specialists. We wrote a project plan that outlined key dates and milestones, overall company goals, and product specifications as well as actionable deliverables. The final outcome was a robust plan that included our full summary analysis nd a statement of work which outlined detailed costs for the project.

Project discovery is invaluable to your success and sets you up for efficient onboarding and seamless migration. Transparent conversations allow Linnworks to do our best work in order guarantee process improvement and accelerate your revenue.

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