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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Beyond the Rack grows with NetSuite OneWorld

Tuesday August 2 2011

Flash fashion sale pioneer adds 3,000 transactions daily in first year with cloud-based business systems

Flash fashion sale pioneer adds 3,000 transactions daily in first year with cloud-based business systems


Online flash sale e-tailer, Beyond the Rack, has revealed that it has deployed NetSuite OneWorld to support its rapid, global expansion and better manage its fast-moving inventory.


Beyond the Rack's membership escalated to more than four million members since its inception in 2009, taking the top spot on Internet Retailer’s 2011 fastest growing online retailer list. This rapid growth challenged the flash site’s technology infrastructure of disparate business management systems, including QuickBooks and other home-grown custom programs, and jeopardised its continued growth.


The ability of NetSuite’s cloud-based financials and enterprise resource planning (ERP) OneWorld software suite to provide multi-subsidiary, multi-currency consolidation has enabled Beyond the Rack to manage its significant transaction volume in the US and Canada, as well as launch new international ventures.


Beyond the Rack's 230 employees now rely on NetSuite OneWorld for accounting, inventory, customer relationship management (CRM), multi-currency transactions, purchasing, analytics and reporting.


Consolidation simplifies management


Eliminating disparate software systems with NetSuite OneWorld enabled Beyond the Rack to achieve its goal to quadruple revenue in 2010 by accurately processing thousands of daily transactions and integrating the customer and inventory lifecycle.


Based in Montreal, Beyond the Rack is a private online shopping club offering designer brand apparel, accessories, home décor, beauty, electronics, and travel deals at prices up to 70% off retail. Merchandise is sold in the context of limited-time ‘flash sale’ events lasting approximately 48 hours, with limited quantities and availability. The company was able to launch successfully with a collection of point systems. But, as order volume grew, the limitations and inefficiencies of the poorly integrated software applications became apparent.


Beyond the Rack wanted to avoid a common start-up pitfall, proactively addressing the pain points of its software estate before a crisis emerged. Order delays were becoming more common and other, more serious failure modes looked inevitable. It needed a new, comprehensive solution that would support its emerging sales model and cash flow requirements to protect its strong growth trajectory.


The company had no interest in building a large IT staff to install and maintain a complex, costly on-premise solution, and the company needed a solution with a comprehensive, flexible enterprise platform that could integrate with its custom e-commerce front end. NetSuite OneWorld enabled Beyond the Rack to codify its processes and support its particular and intricate flow of goods, purchases, and cash through the rapid-turnover sales process. The multi-subsidiary roll up capabilities of NetSuite OneWorld enable Beyond the Rack to manage income, tax, and profit/loss accounting separately but transparently in both its US and Canadian operations.


Flexing with growing needs


Today, NetSuite OneWorld manages all of Beyond the Rack's back-office needs, providing all of the customer and product data necessary to power its customer facing e-commerce site. Growth continues on-pace, as Beyond the Rack introduces hundreds of new product stock-keeping units (SKUs) every day and processes thousands of sales through its NetSuite OneWorld system. Multi-location inventory is now integrated, providing visibility into the company's overall stock levels. And NetSuite's cloud availability is a perfect fit for Beyond the Rack, which typically experiences dramatic, 100-fold traffic spikes in the course of a single hour when new products are offered for sale.


"NetSuite OneWorld is a key component of Beyond the Rack’s back office systems. Their support team is valuable in helping us solve the unique problems associated with a flash sales business,” said Shawn Kernes, vice president and chief technology officer at Beyond the Rack. “Using NetSuite rather than a traditional in-house solution allows us to reduce upfront investment and keep our money focused on growing the business.”


NetSuite OneWorld delivers the features and functionality needed for Beyond the Rack to run its fast-growing revolutionary fashion business, and expand to new business ventures. The NetSuite cloud ERP solution gives the company a clear chart of accounts and, for the first time, detailed insight into the margin of each product and purchase. In future the retailer also has the ability to introduce more shipping locations, automate more taxation processing, and further refine buying processes.