Meet the Company – Brightpearl

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The Brightpearl story – how one of the most powerful business tools was born out of a love of skateboards.

The year was 1999 and the University was Sheffield. Engineering undergraduate, Chris Tanner had a passion for skateboards and started to build and sell his own longboards, helped by friend Andrew Mulvenna, demand grew and the longboards proved popular. So popular in fact, that Chris decided on graduating to form Lush Longboards and sell them full time. It didn’t take both of them, so Andy put his new found skills to work at a global IT company and gained valuable experience on some major projects around the world.

Andrew Mulvenna & Chris Tanner with Brightpearl CEO Salman Malik
It was while running Lush Longboards, that Chris became increasingly frustrated by the expense and limitations of business software available for small businesses. Either too expensive or only for specific functions and certainly not easily integrated across his business, meaning many headaches in keeping track of stock, client management and accounting. So instead of putting up with the status quo he used his nifty programming skills to develop his own!

Chris soon realised the potential of the software he had created and after the first successful client was piloted in 2007, he sold Lush (which had become the 3rd largest long skateboard company globally) so he could focus on the promising new Brightpearl, reuniting with University friend Andy to get the business off the ground.

Since those early days, Brightpearl has grown rapidly, gaining huge traction with other similar small businesses whose experience mirrored those of Chris’s at Lush Longboards. Brightpearl has attracted and secured investment from around the world in Eden ventures and Notion Capital as well as some seriously talented execs and staff. Brightpearl has thousands of businesses on the platform, with 40 staff in the UK and has recently opened up an office in San Francisco to expand into the US.

Mission and values

Brightpearl was founded on the principle of helping small retailers and wholesale companies manage their businesses more efficiently; the idea is for customers to spend less time on managing their business and more time on selling and making money! It’s as simple as that.

Along the way, the Brightpearl team realised that because of the challenge of selling across multiple channels, small businesses are missing out on a major opportunity: research suggests multichannel vendors can generate up to 4 times the sales-per-customer of companies that rely on only one channel, up to two and half times those of companies that use 2 channels (e.g. in-store, online store, etc). So they decided to make it easier for small businesses to go multi-channel.

How does it work?

Brightpearl helps businesses to be more efficient by integrating back end business functions across multiple online and offline sales channels in one system. Ideal for multichannel retailers and wholesalers who need to keep track of stock across in-store EPOS/point of sale and/or online via a webstore and marketplaces. Because everything is integrated, if something gets updated in one part, it’s automatically in sync elsewhere. For example, if you sell an item on eBay your stock will be updated, so you can’t sell via another channel, plus it’s posted on the corresponding CRM record and your accounts adjusted in an instant. Neat huh?

The software includes, CRM and contact management, inventory and stock control, website and EPOS/point of sale, ecommerce functionality including integration with marketplaces, sales order processing, and accounting.

You can find out more at about Brightpearl eCommerce solutions on their website.

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