Lights4Fun is a family business based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The company was created from a kitchen table idea in 2003 and has grown into an International business, selling its products all over the world. Lights4Fun is passionate about providing decorative lighting for the home or garden. Their original vision of offering a diverse and ever-growing range of fun lighting for everyone has never changed.
Lights4Fun is a true omnichannel business. They trade through their own Shopify websites which cover the UK, Germany and France. They also have Amazon channels covering the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the US. eBay channels in the UK, Germany and the US. ManoMano in France and notonthehighstreet.com in the UK.
We are genuinely thrilled with the engagement that we had with the team at Catalyst. They took a very complex set of omni-channel requirements and delivered a cost-effective, fully integrated NetSuite solution in less than 3 months.
Kieran Eblett | Finance Director, Lights4Fun
The team at this global on-line retailer was working tirelessly across lots of disparate systems to service and reconcile the fulfilment of orders from its 14 different marketplaces.
The challenge was further compounded because their model relies on third-party logistics companies to handle their stock. They only use Amazon warehouses to fulfil their US orders, but Europe is supported by two additional warehouse providers in Germany and the UK.
Some of their main requirements lay in overcoming the complexities associated with working across so many third parties, each with their own systems, processes and needs. Getting good quality management information in a timely manner required extensive manual effort and gaining a consistent view of its entire business and a single version of the truth required constant focus.
Overall, the end-to-end system architecture and business processes at Lights4Fun served them well up to a point in their evolution, however, the organisation was not capable of scaling and the future aspirations of this high-growth business were not supported.
Lights4Fun recognised that they needed an end-to-end platform to connect all marketplaces, and provide an accessible, single view of its prospect, customers, products, prices, orders and stock across all locations.
Any new solution also had to be robust and scalable enough to manage the demands of this high- growth business and its lofty aspirations.
Lights4Fun followed Catalyst’s standard engagement model, which starts with the Discovery and Analysis stage. Before making any vendor or partner commitments, this exercise allowed Lights4Fun to be satisfied that NetSuite would meet all of its business requirements. Celigo would deliver against its integration needs and that Catalyst was the right partner to deliver the entire project. At the end of this stage, Lights4Fun understood their own business requirements in detail, the solution architecture to satisfy these requirements, the cost and terms of its software subscriptions with NetSuite and Celigo and the cost and timeframe associated with the implementation. At this point, it was able to proceed with the project with a high degree of confidence in terms of project cost, timeframe and solution fit.
There were two main parts to the project. The initial part was to ensure the correct setup and successful configuration of the NetSuite platform to support the core business processes. The second, equally critical part, was the complex integration required to satisfy the need to automate the data flows between NetSuite, the various marketplaces it operated in and its warehouses. For this part, Lights4Fun decided to use Celigo.
Celigo is an iPaaS (integrated platform as a service) company. It offers a platform and set of automated tools for connecting software applications that are deployed in a range of different environments.
Catalyst partners closely with Celigo and uses its integrator.io platform for many of its customers including Lights4Fun. Using connectors, the platform joins up applications, syncs data and automates processes. Each connector can be configured, depending on how a customer uses the platform to satisfy a specific business need.
In this instance, Celigo has integrated the various marketplaces with NetSuite and the third-party warehousing providers. For the first time Lights4Fun has complete visibility, in real-time, of stock levels across its business, orders to ship, orders to transfer, inventory adjustments to make, stock validation and Purchase Orders to receive. Prior to this, Lights4Fun did not have one point of reference and were in constant manual contact with their key partners to try and understand its true order position and the status of its stock. Now they have Celigo displaying everything they need, in one, easy to understand dashboard.
Catalyst completed the end-to-end NetSuite implementation and entire integration project in less than 100 days. Manual business processes and complex procedures have been driven out of the Lights4Fun business, which is a major win for the company. One of NetSuite’s core strengths is the raft of features and functions which can be applied to a business, out of the box. However, organisations such as Lights4Fun often have specific business process requirements or bespoke integration needs that require additional breadth and depth of sector knowledge and technical expertise to deliver a much more complex solution. With Return of Investment (ROI) often a further key consideration, Catalyst’s ability to deliver complex projects, such as this, in the same timeframe as a standard NetSuite implementation, is testament to the quality of its consulting team and focus on the goals of the project.
Now, new business processes are automated. Information is taken from multiple channels and automatically checked against payment records. Settlements are seamlessly matched for each Merchant Gateway, with only those that do not match requiring attention. The time-saving for Lights4Fun around this capability alone has been considerable.
Overall, the two-way automation across the business has completely transformed the way in which they operate. Lights4Fun has complete visibility of all orders from their sales channels and certainty of their stock position.