Reinventing The Business: Efficiency & Best Customer Experience

The Challenge

Moving From Manual Processes & Data Silos To A Unified Cloud Solution

Loved by millions, Napoleon Perdis has been at the forefront of sophisticated, prestige beauty and makeup retail and education for over 25 years.

However, in 2019 the iconic brand went into voluntary administration and needed a saviour to turn it around.

In stepped cross-border retail investor Livia Wang and retail heavyweight Henry Lee, who have made fast progress of reinventing the business for omni-channel success.

“When we acquired the business, we were very aware that we needed to quickly introduce a wide range of new practices to deliver the next level of customer experience and to optimise operating efficiency” says Henry Lee – Chief Executive Officer.

“However, our legacy systems were holding us back. We lacked the visibility and transparency to make informed decisions because our data was held in a number of disparate systems. None of these systems were talking to each other effectively and moreover, data transfers – particularly between our stores and HQ – was not in real-time. And because these systems were not cloud-based we had to maintain all the infrastructure ourselves” Henry says.

With the latest data not being available across the business this caused challenges for managing inventory. Large wholesale orders were being placed with the warehouse for distribution to stockists, but the business’ own concept stores wouldn’t see these latest changes in stock levels.

“A lot of our processes were extremely manual because our systems only had limited features out of the box. To reconfigure the system, it would take us weeks or months per improvement and with the amount of changes we were looking to make to the business we just did not have that kind of time to play with.” Says Henry.

“The costs and inefficiencies of our legacy systems were simply too high. We quickly decided if we want to reinvent the business to be best-in-class for our customers and save time and money, we needed to transform our systems” he continued.

Napoleon Perdis started to look at a range of cloud-based solutions to help them to quickly and cost-effectively implement their business reinvention strategy.

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“Then we discovered Retail Express and were really impressed by its ability to automate key processes like stock replenishment, unify our online and in-store operations and deliver a single-customer view for personalised marketing right out of the box. The fact that Retail Express had a direct integration with NetSuite – as well as Afterpay and our EFTPOS we were already using – made it an undisputed choice.”

Henry Lee


The Solution

The Retail Express & Netsuite Integration

The Fastest & Most Cost-Effective Path to Lean, Agile Best Practice.

In order to manage its manufacturing, warehousing, wholesale and accounting processes Napoleon Perdis selected NetSuite as its ERP system. They then started to look at a range of cloud-based retail management software to compliment and integrate with NetSuite to manage their bricks and mortar and online store operational processes. However, they found many of these systems were lacking key features to deliver a best-in-class customer experience.

“We reviewed a lot of POS systems in the market. But most did not adequately cater for multi-store environments and had locked down their systems which made integrations to other systems difficult. In order to integrate with NetSuite and other key systems we already had put in place we would have to rely on APIs which would take us time to develop. Custom building those integrations and the missing features that we needed would actually cost us a lot more money than the price quoted on their website” says Ian Loo – IT Operations Manager.

The integration between Retail Express and NetSuite developed by NetSuite ERP Partner Annexa provided Napoleon Perdis with an affordable means to access a best-of-breed enterprise-grade retail management solution:

“Retail Express and NetSuite presented the most cash-flow friendly, cost-effective way for us to get all the functionality we will need out-of-the box. Rather than spending time on configuring and maintaining IT systems, we can just focus on implementing retail best practices. Our old systems were like steering a cruise ship with a paddle. Now we’ve got a speedboat and are agile enough to wade through the vast waters of retail – and this has all come at a lower total cost of ownership than our old systems” Ian said.

The Results

Automating Inventory Control And Replenishment To Remain Lean And Agile

One of the unique features that Napoleon Perdis will leverage in Retail Express is the automated replenishment function. With their legacy systems, the process of re-ordering stock was extremely manual and time consuming involving many hours of excel sheets.

“We knew we’d be playing catchup with our inventory levels. The manual processes forced on us by our old systems were too slow to ensure our stores had sufficient stock. Store staff were constantly requesting stock via our Logistics channel as well as other stores to try and fulfil their sales. We estimate this was taking up to 15hrs across the business each week” says Ian.

With Retail Express, the system is going to automatically replenish the stores based on their sell through rates.

“That means we can ensure the products our customers demand are readily available while keeping our inventory levels lean and our store staff focused on the service of our customers” says Ian.

Switching to the automated solution from Retail Express equates to a saving of 8 days of admin per month!

Powering A Best-In-Class Customer Experience – Online And In-Store

The executive team at Napoleon Perdis are laser focused on introducing the latest omni-channel practices that shoppers now demand.

With the Retail Express & Shopify integration we will be able to meet and exceed customer expectations wherever they interact with us. With our online and physical stores working from one platform this will open the possibility of same day home delivery by fulfilling online sales from nearby stores. Rather than having a warehouse in each state we can leverage our stores as part of our fulfilment strategy.” Says Ian

We will also be looking to leverage Click & Collect and live Stock In Store features via our online channel. The ability to adapt our business model to shifting consumer preferences both online and in-store is going to be critical to our long-term success and Retail Express places us in that position” he continued.

A Single Customer View To Drive Named Sales And Loyalty

By centralising all their data in one integrated cloud solution, Napoleon Perdis will be able to get a unified view of their customers purchasing history and profile data from all their online and in-store interactions.

“We will be in a position to really start building mutually valuable long-term relationships with our existing customers. We will be able to offer a more personalised and seamless experience whether customers are in-store and/or online. Personalised, relevant offers for our customers means we can drive repeat sales and maximise return on acquisition. A focus on existing customers is fundamental to our long-term success” says Ian.

Napoleon Perdis

Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics is Australia’s leading makeup brand, with over 30 stores and over 500 independent stockists Australia-wide.

Founded more than 25 years ago, the brand remains at the forefront of product innovation, makeup education and sophisticated, prestige beauty.

Our philosophy of ‘Education is Everything’ and empowerment is the beating heart of Napoleon Perdis and has been passed on and reinforced within our stores and Makeup Academy, both nationally and internationally.

We see the individual – not the crowd – and we’re here to work with every face, no matter their age, ethnicity or lifestyle to embrace and bring their goals and aspirations to life.
Loved by millions, our cult products have stood the test of time in the ever-changing and expanding cosmetic landscape. We believe one size doesn’t fit all, and are proud our products are accessible to everyone, from the makeup expert, to the beauty beginner, we’re here to ensure confidence, strength and control are always in our customers hands.

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