Finisterre

Case Study

Finisterre is a sustainable and eco-friendly clothing company based in Cornwall, founded in 2003 and originally designed to protect hardy British surfers from the elements.

With retail stores across the UK and a successful ecommerce service too, Finisterre is fast becoming a champion for the B2C retail market.

Putting sustainability as standard since the business’ very beginning, the company is B-Corp certified, making their environmental impact central to the way they operate, incorporating initiatives like a clothing repairs service and their #leavenotrace packaging. Finisterre’s growing loyal customer base is drawn to the durable and environmentally-conscious products, which are designed with function in mind for those with a love of the sea.

The Requirement

Back in 2016, Finisterre was growing successfully and organically, but they were finding teething problems emerging in their operations.

The server that hosted their old software, Pegasus Opera, used for finance and warehouse tasks, could not maintain their growing requirements.

“Our previous server used to fall over daily, which had widespread knock-on impacts on our ability to continue to make sales online and in-store.”

In their warehouses, the bins were not barcoded, so orders used to be picked from printed out bits of paper that left their operations open to errors, mispicks and delays. Managing stock was a manual process that consumed a lot of time and effort from the team.

As the number of orders Finisterre processed steadily increased, especially during seasonal peaks, there was no way to cope with the volume using manual methods. Finisterre needed a fresh approach to continue operations and deliver orders to their customers efficiently and accurately.

Keeping sustainability and efficiency in their business approach, Finisterre wanted to ensure minimal wastage in operations, alongside the flexibility to adapt their processes, suppliers and partners as they expanded, so their business initiatives could always remain front and centre.

Implementing OrderWise

Finisterre needed an end-to-end solution. They decided on an OrderWise ERP system that also housed OrderWise software for accounts, business intelligence and reporting, CRM, store and till management, mobile WMS HHT devices, kitting, pick rules, returns, stock replenishment and transfers and more, as well as integrations for couriers and ecommerce.

“I can’t think of anything we’d change about our own experience. We have been able to continue our business growth – online and in-store.”

With 22 OrderWise users, nine stores and 13 tills, Finisterre’s software reached across sites to their entire operation. Plus, Finisterre needed custom developments for additional reporting features, integrations and plug-ins, such as for enhanced gift card and online store connectivity.

Since implementing OrderWise, Finisterre’s sales have grown over 200%, and they can efficiently manage every order and customer from start to finish.

Now, with OrderWise, Finisterre can complete operational tasks in half the time, with greater accuracy, tracking and forward planning at every stage. The scale of the Finisterre brand has been able to grow further, as they can easily reach and manage more customers, orders and stock than ever before.

The OrderWise Solution

In-store and online

Before the pandemic, Finisterre were able to see like for like growth in all their retail stores year-on-year.

In-store, the staff could provide an experiential and friendly service, safe in the knowledge that all the wider business’ stock availability and data, as well as checkout functionality, were quickly to hand within OrderWise.

With custom development from OrderWise, Finisterre has also been able to offer services like gift cards, free delivery, and special product bundles from their integrated Shopify online store that connects with their central OrderWise solution.

“Online is an extension of our stores, and our stores are an extension of online, so it’s vital for us to create that one omni-channel experience.”

Whether ordered online or bought in-store, OrderWise custom reporting software produces trackable data sets, showing how products and services are being purchased and redeemed to help forecast sales and purchasing and further personalise customer experiences for the future.

Flexible customer service and logistics

When managing the past year, Finisterre has been able to effectively and flexibly navigate a 100% surge in online sales with the help of OrderWise ecommerce integration and warehouse management software.

Warehouse and logistics

After launching Finisterre’s solution, OrderWise also sent a follow-up team to Finisterre before the pandemic began. Making sure everyone at Finisterre could make the most of their new software, the OrderWise team enabled them to gain more efficiency, cost and waste savings in their warehouses. Using HHT Devices with the OrderWise Mobile WMS App, as well as tools like OrderWise Pick Rules, the Finisterre warehouse team could automate many of their picking and stock control tasks, eliminating error-prone and slow manual and paper-based processes.

Finisterre’s warehousing and logistics operations are more agile with accessible management of operations, and the transfer and delivery of stock can be streamlined to the most efficient routes. This meant that during ongoing pandemic restrictions, Finisterre, in effect, could create, manage and organise nine mini-warehouses across their stores all within OrderWise to get orders to customers faster and more efficiently.

Plus, Finisterre gained the ability to work with a wide range of suppliers, couriers and platforms with integrations, diversifying their business partners to include those that can match their operating standards.

“Having the OrderWise team visit the warehouse was a game-changer for us, especially given it was just before the lockdown, as our online orders were about to shoot up so quickly. It made our warehouse operate even more efficiently at the best possible time.”

Online customer experience

With stores closed during pandemic restrictions, Finisterre retail team members drew upon their expertise to help monitor online chats with customers. Enabling a continued personalised experience for the increased number of online customers, the Finisterre team could use the data in their central OrderWise solution to effectively track and add value to conversations.

To ensure quick processing for online sales during this time, Finisterre were able to effectively coordinate moving stock from across their retail stores and back into warehouses to ensure availability. 90-day returns were also introduced within the OrderWise returns module, enabling further flexibility for customers as the nation shifted into lockdown.

“Businesses change over time, you have new team members coming in and others moving on, you have growth and development, so having a system that can adapt with you and a provider that can offer support and refreshers is important.”

When the stores opened once more, Finisterre could use in-store to fulfil any online orders by flexibly expanding their offering to include services like click-and-collect.

What’s next for Finisterre?

Having the flexibility to fit hand-in-glove with current customer demand, along with their forward-thinking sustainability initiatives and innovative approach to the customer experience, Finisterre has been able to continue to grow.

Confident in the outlook for retail moving forward, the business hopes to expand across the globe in the future, taking the brand’s love of the sea to international waters too.

“Retail has been a challenging environment over the past ten years or so, with online making headway and now a global pandemic closing stores. It’s changed retail forever.

There is still a future for the retail industry, now and after the pandemic; in-store is not as profitable or easy as online, but there will still be a massive desire for customers to continue to shop in-store after restrictions are lifted. We need to keep looking at what is the customer experience to be providing moving forward, internationally too.”

 

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