Re-Platforming Powered by Patchworks

The challenge

Cox & Cox are an established British Homeware retailer. In 2016 they decided to re-platform from Magento 1 to a combination of Magento 2, NetSuite ERP and WARElinx WMS. They needed a solution and, more importantly, a partner that would enable them to bring the systems they’d selected together and ensure that that the business was able to continue to scale.

The Solution

Detailed up-front work enabled Patchworks to identify Cox & Cox’s current requirements and future goals. This led to the implementation of Patchworks iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) and the integration of their Magento 2 Enterprise eCommerce environment with NetSuite ERP.

The foundation layer provided by Patchworks iPaaS enables the following data to flow seamlessly throughout the business:

  • Sales Orders
  • Customers
  • Products
  • Stock Levels
  • Prices
  • Promotions
  • Shipping Notifications
  • Returns, Refunds, and Exchanges
  • Payments, both pre-paid and pre-authorised

Patchworks has enabled us to push the boundaries operationally. Patchworks are an extension of our team here in Frome. That’s not something we get with all of our providers and it’s helped to build a partnership that we trust in 100%.

Aynsley Peet,

eCommerce Manager at Cox & Cox

Year on year growth of 20%
as of April 2018

Return on Investment

Patchworks have enabled Cox & Cox to focus on continuing to scale and grow their business, with year on year growth at 20%. Their peak trading day saw the company processing an order every 12 seconds, with more than 6,000 live orders being handled at the height of trading. In addition, working with Patchworks has delivered:

Expert Validation of Cox & Cox’s Business Processes

Patchworks’ detailed initial processes for requirement gathering and data mapping, which take into account all elements of the business, mean that Cox & Cox have a solution that delivers on the requirements of the entire business.

Sustained Success

Cox & Cox were already a lean and experienced multichannel player when they were introduced to Patchworks. However, their re-platforming programme involved significant risk, thanks to the scope of the project they were undertaking. Patchworks’ team of integration specialists were instrumental in ensuring that programme was delivered on time and on budget. Year on Year growth of 20% since launch demonstrates the  impact Patchworks have had.

A Foundation that can Scale

Thanks to the initial work done between Patchworks and Cox & Cox, the retailer has an integration platform in place that offers them the flexibility and agility they require with regards to on-boarding new channels, opportunities and systems quickly and successfully. As of April 2018, Cox & Cox were already implementing ReBOUND® via Patchworks iPaaS and will be able to snap in other best of breed technologies as they require.

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Patchworks enables us to deliver our best ever shopping experience.
Aynsley Peet, eCommerce Manager, Cox & Cox

Va-va Frome.

Not a line from a Jeremy Clarkson intro, but how The Sunday Times described the Somerset market town that is the eastern gateway to the Mendips and home to leading British homeware retailer, Cox & Cox. Highlighted as one of the “Best Places to Live in Britain” in 2017, Frome’s combination of independent businesses and thriving art scene are a compelling mix. It’s easy to see why the Cox & Cox team are happy to call the town home.

Founded in 2001, Cox & Cox have developed from their traditional mail order origins into being a high growth digital native that is still comfortable in its own skin, sending out up to nine catalogues a year whilst growing its online sales year on year.

Magento 2 Re-Platforming

With a number of successful years on the Magento eCommerce platform, Cox & Cox had developed a custom solution for their businesses that incorporated Fulfilment, Customer Management, Purchasing and various other elements, whilst working around Magento to handle their other business needs as they grew.

Until 2015 that was enough for Cox & Cox, but it wasn’t a scalable solution and there was no way that the infrastructure would be able to deliver on the aggressive growth plans that the company had.

2016 saw Cox & Cox’s eCommerce Team looking to build on the company’s successful transformation from mail order specialist to multichannel force.

With a respected Magento-house on board, Space48, and Cox & Cox keen to stay with the platform as their eCommerce engine, upgrading to Magento 2 was the obvious choice for the business.

The changes didn’t stop there though. The multichannel retailer grasped this opportunity to review the business as a whole and realised that they would need to put additional systems and services in place to complement Magento 2, namely ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, WMS (Warehouse Management Software) and the ability to deploy other best-of-breed solutions and services as required going forward.

With NetSuite & Patchworks, growing brands can take their businesses to the next level.
Mark Woodhams, Managing Director EMEA, NetSuite

Enter Patchworks

Having selected NetSuite’s Cloud ERP for their business management and financial controls and WAERlinx for their Warehouse Management, Cox & Cox realised that fully integrating these, and other, best of breed systems would be instrumental in making their re-platforming successful.

With a significant portfolio of successful NetSuite customers, as well as being the UK and Europe’s leading Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), Patchworks were an obvious candidate for Cox & Cox.

Aynsley highlighted a number of elements as to why he chose Patchworks as his integration partner:

As we engaged with NetSuite it quickly became apparent that this wouldn’t be a standard integration (i.e. just orders). In order to provide the level of experience that our customers expect we knew we would need to fully align NetSuite with the rest of our business. We needed an integration partner that would enable us to get the most out of our eCommerce and ERP investment, whilst being able to work in the dynamic and agile manner that we favour at Cox & Cox. Patchworks’ personable and knowledgeable approach impressed us from Day One and has never wavered.

Aynsley Peet,

eCommerce Manager at Cox & Cox

How Patchworks Helped

The more we worked with Aynsley and Cox & Cox on this case study, the clearer it became that Patchworks’ impact was felt across the entire business, here are the highlights:

Secure payment options

Cox & Cox required the ability to pre-authorise card payments at the point of order – both online and over the phone – to then charge on despatch. Not complex on the face of it. However, Cox & Cox take a large volume of pre-orders for new / limited production products. Those orders will often also contain lines for items that are already in stock. All of a sudden, payment on despatch for part-fulfilled orders becomes a complex issue. With PayPal and Cancellations also in the mix, along with other customisable requirements, the homeware retailer certainly didn’t make life easy for themselves. Patchworks ensure that payment communications are kept clean and simple, enabling Cox & Cox to offer the level of service their customers require, whilst helping to ensure that payments are processed securely, efficiently and without error.

Putting the ping in Shipping

With a product portfolio that ranges from ottomans to outdoor dining sets and rugs to brass hooks, Cox & Cox have to cater for a vast range of delivery options – with more than 30 on offer at the time of writing. The Company continue to push the boundaries of what can be offered to the customer, confident in the knowledge that Patchworks will be able to handle the requests and map them into a format that their NetSuite ERP and other systems can understand. More importantly, the Patchworks iPaaS means that there is flexibility built in for changes / additions to be made quickly and easily as they are required.

Stock Levels and more besides

Pre-sales, seasonal product and the vast array of processes that come with any established multi-channel retailer mean that stock levels can’t just be fired up to Magento. Defining custom rules and mapping within the Patchworks iPaaS has enabled Cox & Cox to fully control and automate their eCommerce stock levels from their back office, without having to compromise on functionality or the complexity their business model requires.

An extension to TeamCox

Having worked with a variety of eCommerce and ERP platforms during his career, including Hybris, SAP and Demandware, Aynsley is in an excellent position to compare the level of service Cox & Cox receive from Patchworks. Whilst running the interview for this piece, it became clear that Patchworks’ consultative and collaborative approach was key to the success of the system re-platforming as a whole. Team Patchworks’ ability to collaborate with Cox & Cox, NetSuite and other stakeholders in the re-platforming project ensured that roadblocks were removed and bumps in the road were smoothed out, enabling a complex program to remain on course.

Patchworks has enabled us to push the boundaries operationally. Patchworks are an extension of our team here in Frome. That’s not something we get with all of our providers and it’s helped to build a partnership that we trust in 100%.

Aynsley Peet,

eCommerce Manager at Cox & Cox

Processing an order every 12 seconds at peak
as of November, 2017

What Good Looks Like for Cox & Cox

As a multi-channel veteran of 15+ years, re-platforming on this scale came with significant operational risks for Cox & Cox. Risks that the Patchworks iPaaS and our team of expert integrators ensured were managed and minimised. That hard work hasn’t gone unrewarded. The new environment went live in August 2017 and the homeware retailer has seen only benefits.

Year on year growth of 20%

In addition to mobile sales increasing by 44%, they have maintained a year on year growth rate of 20%.

Peak trading saw Cox & Cox processing 5 orders a minute

November 2017 saw Cox & Cox processing an order every 12 seconds at the height of peak trading, with more than 6,000 live orders being worked on in their systems at any one time.

Patchworks ensured that the first peak for the new environment scaled successfully and have put Cox & Cox in a position where they can continue their rapid growth without fear of how their systems will cope.

Patchworks really joins everything together and allows us to get into the Omnichannel piece.

It’s not just about the numbers though. In addition to handing higher volumes of orders, Patchworks enables Cox & Cox to deliver when it comes to omnichannel retail, connecting their best of breed systems seamlessly and orchestrating the flow of data to ensure that customers receive a consistently excellent experience, however they interact with the retailer.

“Continue doing what you’re doing.”

Team Patchworks are always looking for ways to improve our software and our service, so when we asked Aynsley what would have made Cox & Cox’s Patchworks Experience even better, he said nothing! When we pushed, he simply asked for more of the same. The homeware retailer know that the collaborative partnership that they have with Patchworks means that they have the best of all worlds. Awesome, personal support when they need it, coupled with a scalable flexible platform and industry experts who are able to share best practice with them.

Next up for Cox & Cox

With the Patchworks iPaaS in place, it’s no wonder that the eCommerce Team at Cox & Cox are continuing to explore and push the boundaries with regards to how they can further improve customer experience. Customer Returns are the next opportunity for the retailer, with the global returns solution, ReBOUND® being integrated into their operation. But Cox & Cox won’t be stopping there and Team Patchworks are delighted to be providing them with a scalable platform for their journey.

Would you like to know more?

Cox & Cox’s unique and eclectic range of beautiful homeware is hand-selected and available to purchase from here.

Interested in learning more about how the Patchworks iPaaS can be the foundation to continuing your business’ rapid growth story? Having problems getting the most out of your current tech? Need an expert to discuss best practice and options for the tech your retail business employs? Get in touch today and learn how Patchworks can help your business scale.

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