Life Interiors (Case Study)2020-06-12T08:53:18+00:00

Customer:
Life Interiors

Industry:
Furniture

Headquarters:
Lilyfield, New South Wales

www.lifeinteriors.com.au

Products used:
NetSuite to Magento Integration App

Supplier Management

Celigo Support

It’s only really possible because of the clever use of technology ... you don’t need the resources of a multinational to compete ... it gives businesses like us an advantage where you can use platforms like Celigo’s.
Basil Karam
Co-Founder & Director,
Life Interiors
Basil Karam

About

Co-Founded by Geoff Karam and Basil Karam, Life Interiors sources and imports quality contemporary furniture from around the world. Through a multi-channel retail strategy, it has grown to be one Australia’s largest home furnishing distributors in just twelve years. With $15 million dollars in sales and over 20,000 orders per year, Life Interiors’ business and operations management processes span a multitude of platforms and apps.

Operating without an IT department, Life Interiors relies on integration tools to transform their standard NetSuite platform into a powerful hub from which they control their entire operation. In synchronizing data instantaneously across a spectrum of disparate business, retail, distribution platforms and applications, Life Interiors leverages technology to compete with businesses 50 times their size.


Background

A cross-section of online and physical retail orders makes up the majority of Life Interiors’ sales. Early on, the company adopted NetSuite as their ERP solution to manage and automate many of the back office functions that would need to be scaled as they grew. As Life Interiors expanded further into ecommerce, they invested in Magento to manage their online shopping features.

But, keeping valuable real-world data like inventory size, supplier management, stock monitoring, and product information synchronized was a mounting struggle. Life Interiors could see the warning signs ahead. To continue manually reconciling data between sales and operations in a slow, cumbersome way would eventually cost them conversions. From the start, Life Interiors made it part of their mission to leverage technology to remain competitive. Although, they at first considered NetSuite’s native ecommerce solution, in the end Magento’s robust solutions best fit there needs. Life Interiors was expanding into even more digital marketplaces and brick-and-mortar showrooms. They needed a solution that could leverage technology as it evolved and scale while they grew.


The Challenge

As Life Interiors expanded both in its operations and locations, there grew less visibility between departments. Siloing of information led to slowdowns in internal communication. Emails back and forth regarding topics like stock levels, order statuses, customer information, and lead times were inefficient, difficult to track, and prone to human error. It was taking a bite out of their conversion rate.

Life Interiors needed a solution that would integrate their NetSuite ERP data with Magento’s ecommerce platform. Lacking an IT team, the solution needed to be simple and easy enough to allow a line of business user to quickly connect sophisticated workflows between seemingly incompatible platforms. Life Interiors, being much leaner than their more established competitors, needed the solution to cost-effectively level the playing field and still be flexible enough to onboard new applications that would become more prominent in their future data flow schematas.

Basil Karam
The whole concept of a sort of technology deficit, end of the day, if you’re not working with strong partners, you’ll hit that pretty quick. And using someone like a Celigo and a NetSuite would be a really good example where they’re … giving us the flexibility of using best of breed.
Basil Karam
Co-Founder & Director,
Life Interiors

The Solution

Lead by Phuong Nguyen, Life Interiors' Website Administrator, Life Interiors compared a variety of integration solutions. But many of the tools available were more costly, less flexible, and did not scale as easily Celigo’s NetSuite-Magento integration solution.

“Celigo allows us to orchestrate the inventory across all these different channels so we can easily manage inventory, order status, customer information, inventory and pricing, lead times as well across that.”

Once Life Interiors witnessed the power integration had in streamlining their operations, it got them thinking about other possible integrations at their fingertips. Soon, they were using Celigo’s iPaaS solution to integrate their supplier management systems. From there, they connected their online store, opening up inventory visibility and giving a reliable, accurate snapshot of the supply chain at any given moment. Life Interiors began to understand how they could implement a variety of integrations across their many business functions, discovering new integration possibilities.

“We’re using the whole gamut of workflows with Celigo,” says Basil Karam. Lately, they have used Celigo’s integration solution to work with Google Local to power their inventory local shopping functionality. This led Life Interiors to their Trade Portal to tap into the overall integration allowing for accurate product info across ecommerce sites and marketplaces at any given moment. They have even found ways to use integration through Celigo to help them manage marketing campaigns.


Bottomline

Beginning with Celigo’s SmartConnectors, Life Interiors quickly recognized how integrating their Magento and NetSuite platforms gave them a competitive edge over much larger, traditional competitors with far greater resources.

By prioritizing scalability and processes very early on, even before they become issues, Life Interiors has made it much smoother to integrate new applications when the time comes because the solution is already in place. “It gives businesses like us an unfair advantage where you can use platforms like Celigos,” admits Karam.

In just over a decade, Life Interiors has grown from an eBay vendor to become a bona fide competitor of juggernauts like Australian Geographic and Accent Group while powering and supporting Australia’s largest online retailers. Where older, traditional companies have manual processes baked into their operations that may be too costly to modernize, Life Interiors has taken the edge by including integration considerations in their future business strategy.

The reasons are simple. Implementing Celigo’s solutions are straightforward and well-supported, so much so a line of business user can get it up and running in minutes. It is cost-effective and allows them to take on companies fifty times their size. “It’s only really possible because of the clever use of technology in the business.”


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