Commitment to Leveraging Automation a Key Driver of Excellence at The Closet Lover
Armed with SG$3,000 in savings, sisters Brianna and Bertilla Wong embarked on a journey that started as a hobby and metamorphosed into a full-fledged fashion outlet.
The Wong sisters are the co-founders of Singapore-based fashion retail outlet The Closet Lover, which traces its roots back to humble beginnings as a blog shop.
The Closet Lover now spans four brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore, with a further two in Cambodia.
“The Closet Lover was founded by my sister Brianna Wong and me. It began as a hobby. We started as a blog shop, and then our brand quickly gained popularity, and we experienced growth en route to becoming a successful fashion retailer,” says Bertilla.
A keen interest in apparel design, allied with the desire to innovate constantly, has ensured Brianna and Bertilla have taken to the ever-evolving fashion industry like a duck to water.
At the heart of The Closet Lover’s business lies its founders’ objective to provide their loyal customers with a seamless omnichannel shopping experience.
Their early foray into the blog shop scene, and the e-commerce market, by extension, has made The Closet Lover somewhat of an early adopter when it comes to embracing technology.
Cognisant of the role of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model in greasing the wheels of operation for high-growth businesses, The Closet Lover has always leveraged cloud technology to address different pain points.
As much as the benefits of SaaS have been well documented, it has not gone without notice the challenges that come with what is termed as the SaaS sprawl, which refers to unintegrated systems that do not talk to each other and data from disparate sources that require manual labour.
For The Closet Lover, its ability to deliver a seamless omnichannel shopping experience is predicated on having its POS, third-party logistics (3PL) provider and last-mile delivery partner working in sync with its cloud ERP.
“As a high-growth organisation, our stack of solutions to address different pain points started to grow. This resulted in data from disparate sources and lots of business processes being managed manually,” says Glen Yeo, the finance manager of The Closet Lover.
“Covid-19 further emphasised the need for an integrated solution to enable the business to continue even in the face of extreme circumstances without the need for human intervention, save for rare occasions.”
In an effort to address this problem, The Closet Lover tried using scripts and coding to integrate its solutions, only to realise this often requires a high level of technical understanding from users, in addition to the barriers to making changes in a dynamic environment.
“With our old scripts that integrated our e-commerce platform with our ERP, the biggest challenge we faced was the speed of change. Any new variable may potentially break the script and require a significant amount of time, effort and money to ensure operations continue smoothly,” adds Glen.
“It is difficult and expensive to expect all users of an integrated solution to understand and maintain it. What we needed was a simple platform that required little technical knowledge to initiate and innovate.”
It was then that The Closet Lover sought the services of PointStar Consulting to identify a solution that would address its integration concerns. Workato was identified as one of the industry-leading low-code / no-code (LCNC) enterprise integration and automation platforms that would suit the needs of The Closet Lover.
“The benefits from the implementation of Workato are manifold. Workato’s robust integration capabilities have allowed us to integrate our e-commerce platform, POS, 3PL and last-mile delivery partners with our cloud ERP. This has enabled orders from our customers to be processed immediately by our 3PL partners without any manual intervention from us,” says Glen.
“What this means is that the moment an order is received, our 3PL will be able to fulfil it immediately depending on working hours, removing any order processing time from us. All orders can be fulfilled within the next or sometimes even the same working day and will reach our delivery partner in less than two working days from order receipt. Every step is also recorded into our cloud ERP immediately.”
Glen says after the implementation of Workato, The Closet Lover has also seen a 25% increase in customer satisfaction as a direct result of improved accuracy and earlier order fulfilment, in addition to reducing excess inventory by 30%.
For digital transformation endeavours, picking the right consultancy as the implementation partner is imperative. The right solutions provider will first understand a company’s business needs before tailoring any solutions to ensure they meet each organisation’s unique business needs.
“Partnering with PointStar Consulting was a key factor in the successful implementation of Workato and enabled the company to work through Covid-19 without any disruptions to internal logistical planning,” says Glen.
“PointStar Consulting provided excellent customer support with its broad range of expertise by being with us before, during and after the implementation of Workato. Our team absolutely adored and to this day enjoys working with PointStar Consulting. Discussions always felt relaxed and easy, never too difficult to understand or frustrating.”