Buster & Punch already was using NetSuite’s ERP to track every step of its processes, from lead management to sales to production and delivery, says CEO Martin Preen. Because both Brightpearl and earlier implementations of NetSuite integrated with an existing Magento e-commerce platform, there was a lot to take on all at once.

Nonetheless, it took only 15 weeks from the start of implementation to going live globally with NetSuite. “It was intense,” 

Back in April, Buster & Punch had taken on a private equity investment to cover its expansion plans, which included rolling out a number of new stores. Managers wanted to ensure they had a firm handle on every aspect of processes and oversight. But prior to implementing NetSuite’s ERP globally, there was poor visibility across the business. It was such a mess, Preen acknowledges, that locations outside the UK were running on spreadsheets instead of using the ERP systems already in place.

“We wanted something that would bind everything together without just having loads of interfaces,” To be honest, the implementation highlighted a lot of weaknesses in our own business around data. Something as simple as putting in work orders to our Asian entity involved lots and lots of spreadsheets with tabs coming back and forth – it was very difficult to see where we were.” 

With sales and warehousing spread across the UK, US and Scandinavia, plus a retail outlet in Stockholm, manufacturing in Asia, and subcontractors throughout Eastern Europe, Buster & Punch designers work virtually as much as possible. Now the company has launched a new initiative in China and is preparing to open new retail outlets in London, Los Angeles, New York, and several European cities.

Now everyone can access the same data wherever they happen to be working, processes are well-defined and consistent, and new people can easily understand what they need to do.

Even as the company began to enjoy the stability of using consistent processes across the globe, managers didn’t want to lose the flexibility to innovate quickly,
“We’ve grown through innovation, and now we’ve found a way to partition that from business-as-usual with processes that are better defined,”

Key Takeaways:

  • Global ERP gives everyone access to a single source of consistently formatted data.
  • Implementing a new ERP system can highlight previously unidentified weaknesses; build in some adjustment time to integrate corrections.
  • Standardizing processes through ERP does not mean killing innovation; work within the new system to find pathways beyond it.