Bella Bridesmaids Franchise - Customer Success Story

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Business Story & Description

In May of 2000, Bella Bridesmaids was created in San Francisco by a Southern gal Bridget Brown in response to an overwhelming need for stylish, wearable and modern bridesmaid dresses. Realizing the important role of a bridesmaid dress, Bella Bridesmaids provides each Bride with personalized attention in a one-on-one environment surrounded by the latest bridesmaid dresses and accessories.

Franchised in 2006, there are now Bella Bridesmaids locations throughout the country providing personalized service in individually owned and operated franchise boutiques.

In July 2012, Kathleen Casey and Erin Casey Wolf purchased the company after 5 successful years working with Bridget Brown as Chicago franchisees. They look forward to automating much of the back end of the business while offering a sophisticated online ordering process to clients.

Details

Bussiness: Retail Boutique for Bridesmaid Dresses

Industry: Retail, E-Commerce

City: Chicago,IL

Locations: Nationwide Franshises

URL: www.bellabridesmaids.com

Agiliron allows our businesses to run more efficiently while improving the client experience - we have already seen significant increase in the velocity of the business as a result. Erin & Kathleen Casey - Owners, Bella Bridesmaids Franchise Group
  • Testimonial
  • Challenges
  • Solution & Results
  • Highlighted Capabilities
  • Business Process Flow
  • Testimonial

    Over the years, we had developed common business processes that were uniformly applied across all the franchises; these were purely spreadsheet/paper based. This approach was time consuming and antiquated and a serious limiter to our growth.

    Our number one priority in adopting a business solution suite was to target and expedite many of the very paper heavy and admittedly outdated processes germane to the bridal industry. Whether franchisees work in an owner-operated store with no employees or operate a bustling small business employing 10 - 15, no one likes to see critical time and salary spent on endless filing of order forms, and creating client and designer communication from scratch.

    We looked at several customer manager based business solutions which were not robust enough for our backend system. We chose Agiliron for its customizability and adaptability to support our complete business process - all the way from the Bride's first appointment to Bridesmaid online ordering to automatic generation of POs for the Designers to automation of emails and notifications to integration with QuickBooks. This allows our businesses to run more efficiently while improving the client experience - we have already seen significant increase in the velocity of the business as a result of the adoption of Agiliron.

    The Agiliron solution will allow franchisees to operate their businesses more efficiently and profitably, leaving more time to work with clients, focus on customer service and grow the business.

    The Agiliron team has been tireless in their approach to understanding our business and embracing the emotion and psychology behind planning a wedding and making the critical purchase decisions that come with it. They have also developed an enviable vocabulary of fabrics and fit terminology that lend tremendous credibility with franchisees. They have truly made it a priority to know our business so that they can answer questions and customize the system to meet the specific needs of Bella Bridesmaids.

    After an initial pilot deployment to a few stores in a live environment, the rollout to all the stores has gone remarkably well with no hiccups, we are very impressed with the results.

    The true value of Agiliron shines through in the exceptional support and responsiveness we receive when there is a question or need. We are confident we are in excellent hands and look forward to seeing where this partnership brings our business (and more importantly - our bottom line) in the next year.

    - Erin & Kathleen Casey, Owners, Bella Bridesmaids Franchise Group

  • Challenges

    Product Catalog, Sku, Pricing Management – With Bella Bridesmaids carrying product lines from a variety of designers, there was great variability in data formats and organization along with the sheer number of matrix item attributes (Fabric, Color, Waist, Skirt, Trim, Midriff, Belt, Lace, Size etc.) that had to be supported to cover all the possible combination of Skus. The volume of skus that needed to be supported exceeded 2M. The pricing required support for volume based discounts along with multiple pricebooks to capture the various pricing levels. Managing this data thru paper catalogs and designer spreadsheets was extremely cumbersome, very error-prone and an enormous training ramp for new employees and sales people on the floor.

    Manual Customer Records and Communication - Despite email templates for the various communications with customers, the lack of automation associated with standard emails sent to customers at various stages of the sales process meant that each franchise was expending precious time on this repetitive function. Managing customer data through spreadsheets also limited visibility to customers information with it being divided between paper records, spreadsheets and emails.

    Bridesmaid Order Process and Order Management – Paper order forms submitted through the store or faxes required manual processing of the orders for payments as well as manual entry of the order information into QuickBooks, a very time consuming process. With most orders requiring credit card processing, PCI Compliance was a concern. In addition, once all the Bridesmaid orders are in a final contract has to be drawn up for the Bride's approval, once again a manual process.

    Bride Order Status Review – Brides and their families like to stay on top of the current status of Bridesmaid orders to make sure everything is getting ready for the event. With the paper process that we had this required a call to the store to get an update of the current status - this required resources dedicated to supporting our customer calls.

    Designer and Purchase Order Management – Once all the Bridesmaid orders are in, a purchase order is initiated to the designer to manufacture the dresses per the requested specifications and ship them to the store. These purchase orders are manually generated using the forms provided by each individual designer - another time consuming process. If swatches are requested by the Bride, those have to also be requested from the Designer manually by email.

    Productivity and Limiters to Growth – With all the manual business processes, large number of touch points with customers on one end and designers on the other the resources being consumed in managing rountine and repetitive tasks was a serious producitivity sink and a limiter to our ability to grow the business.

  • Solution & Results

    Edition, Modules, Users & Roles

    • Edition: Enterprise Edition
    • Modules: Online Forms, Custom Order Pages, Product Catalog & Pricing Management, CRM, Order Management, Auto-PO from Sales Orders, Email Templates/Auto-Emails/Notifications
    • Users: Franchise Owners, Franchise Employees, Franchisor
    Challenges Addressed & Results

    • Streamlined Product Catalog, Sku, Pricing Management
      • Product Catalog from all supported Designers converted to Electronic form - including product images
      • Catalog organized by Designer and Categorized by Matrix Item Skus by Fabric, Color, Waist, Skirt, Belt, Lace, Trim, Midriff, Size etc. as applicable
      • Pricing information captured into different PriceBooks for different pricing levels - Cost, Retail, Customer...this includes Volume based pricing where applicable
      • Custom Fields to Capture Business Specific Information
      • Designer Information for each Product also captured to facilitate automatic generation of POS
    • CRM for Customer Records and Customer Communication Automated
      • Single Customer database of customers - includes Customer Contact Information, Emails, Attachments/Notes, Activities, Orders
      • All Standard Email Communication captured as HTML Email Templates to be reused and automated where applicable
      • Business Notifications automatically created for initiation of various business process activities at stages of the sales process
    • Bridesmaid Order Process and Order Management now Online
      • Custom Online Order Forms for Bridesmaid Orders to be placed online - facilitates out of state orders
      • Access Control based on code for each Bridal party - provides access only to products selected for the party/event
      • Orders automatically captured to the Agiliron CRM and associated with Bride party
      • Automatic Generation of Final Contract for the Bride's approval based on Bridesmaid Orders
      • Automatic PCI Compliance with adoption of Agiliron
      • Orders electronically transferred to QuickBooks
    • Bride Order Status Review now Online
      • Custom Online Order Status Review URL for each Bride party
      • Real-time access to current status of Bridesmaid Orders to Customers
      • Significantly reduces the support calls from customers to enquire the status of orders
    • Designer and Purchase Order Management Automated
      • Complete Database of all Designer Contact Information for various functions - POs, Swatch Requests etc.
      • Automatic generation of Swatch requests to Designer during Bride First Appointment process
      • Automatic generation of Purchase Orders to Designer from Bridesmaid Orders - standardized formats, email directly from Agiliron
    • Productivity Significantly Improved and Limiters to Growth Addressed
      • More time spared for growing the business and improving the overall customer experience
      • Most manual processes eliminated, significantly enhanced the visibility of the overall business
      • Training Process required to bring on a new franchise reduced by a factor of 10...training video, user guides delivered to facilitate this

    Impact on Business

    • Marked increase in the velocity of business after going live
    • Single Integrated Solution for managing the Complete Franchise Business - Online Ordering, Back-office and Front-office functions, QuickBooks Integration
    • Significant cost savings in time and personnel for managing daily operations
    • Total visibility into customers/orders/overall business from anywhere at anytime
    Adoption & Deployment Timelines
    • Live Nationwide June-September 2012

  • Highlighted Capabilities

    • Product:
      • Enterprise Edition
    • Complete End-to-End Business Management:
      • Unique Agiliron Database for each Franchise
      • New Franchises up quickly w/ little training
      • Franchise Data Aggregation for Franchisor
    • Custom Online Store Pages:
      • Event Specific Product Selections, Customized By Franchise
    • Inventory:
      • Matrix Item Attributes - Fabric, Color, Waist, Skirt, Lace, Belt, Trim, Midriff, Size
      • Over 2M Skus, Volume Discounts in Pricing
    • QuickBooks Integration

  • Business Process Flow

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