Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Finance Director at
Lights4Fun is a family-owned and operated business selling over 700 types of decorative lights for home and garden, based in the UK. As a true omnichannel business, they run a global enterprise selling across key markets across Europe and North America.
About Catalyst IT
Catalyst is an IT solutions business delivering back office ERP (NetSuite) and BI (Qlik) solutions, and bespoke Digital solutions. A global open-source company that has been operating for over 20 years, Catalyst IT delivers tailored, high-quality software solutions to customers all over the world from their base in the UK.
The team at Lights4Fun had been operating across disparate systems to service and reconcile order fulﬁlment from its 14 online marketplaces, inlcuding, a UK and French website, Amazon channels across the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, and three eBay sites.
To make things more complicated, the company uses different fulﬁllment and third-party logistics companies to handle inventory in warehouses in the US, UK, and Germany.
When Lights4Fun Financial Director Keran Eblett ﬁrst joined the company, he realized that there was real frustration in the existing set of systems and our setup. “It felt like our existing set up was just working
against us ,” said Eblett. “Our teams didn’t have visibility of what each other were doing.”They had a sales department that would selling out-of-stock items, but had no way of knowing when they would be replenished without reaching out to the purchasing team. This required seven different spreadsheets to be maintained with the right information. “We had multiple versions of the truth” said Eblett. “We need to make sure the team had full visibility in one place.”
They also needed to know if their 3PLs were talking to their different websites and marketplaces. As the company was growing massively, they were missing key opportunities because so much time and resources were spent on many manual processes.
Supporting the company’s aspirations of becoming a scalable and high-growth business meant that they would have to ﬁnd a better alternative to expensive and time-consuming manual effort.
Finance Director at
To that end, Lights4Fun collaborated with Catalyst IT to set up an end-to-end platform that would connect all marketplaces, and provide a more uniﬁed view of its prospects, customers, products, prices, orders and stock across all locations.
In order for Catalyst IT to deliver the project, NetSuite was selected as the ERP system to support core business processes. Meanwhile, Celigo handled their complicated integration needs, including the automation of data ﬂows between NetSuite, the various marketplaces it operated in, physical warehouses, and third party warehousing providers. The team had also set a go-live date of July 1 – just four months.
“Normally a project of this complexity just would not have happened in four months,” said Stephen Saunders, Director of NetSuite Practice at Catalyst IT. “There’s just far too many moving pieces to make it happen, so without Celigo, that form of deadline just would have not rung true.”
Catalyst IT chose several prebuilt integration apps to handle the storefront and marketplaces, and integrator.io to handle the bespoke integrations, such as the XML ﬁles transfers via API as well as ﬁle processing via ﬁling cabinets for both 3PLs.
With Celigo, Lights4Fun ﬁnally had the critical element that would help them to scale operations: complete, real-time visibility of stock levels across its business, of processes like orders to ship, orders to transfer, inventory adjustments to make, stock validation and purchase orders to receive in a single dashboard.
“The best part of this was the self-service part of it,” said Eblett. “We didn’t need to allow in somebody to write a really complex code hidden somewhere in the background of our system and can customise it to our needs.”
Overall, the two-way automation across the business has completely transformed the way in which Lights4Fun operates. “We have visibility into the integration. If something happens, we don’t have to just ﬁnd out after a few days, and we we actually see for ourselves right away.” said Eblett.
“Because with this seamless integration, everything is always aligned, and we know that the data we’re looking at is actually correct. So rather than having to spend that time verifying what we see, we can dive deeper into the data and get a better understanding of what we are doing. We essentially grow the business by using these tools. Lights4Fun has complete visibility of all orders from their sales channels and certainty of their stock positions. Due in part to Celigo’s affordable, intuitive, and ﬂexible integration solutions, the company was able to complete the transformation project within 100 days, with a high degree of conﬁdence in terms of cost, timeframe and solution ﬁt.