Bench, the iconic British brand with its roots in the skate and BMX streetwear scene, known from the big logo shirts worn by musicians like Lady Gaga, Liam Gallagher, Take That and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, hit ‘reset’ in 2020 to bring its heritage and popular collections back to life.
To kick off this fresh start for the European branch of the brand, they knew they needed a smart, future-friendly ERP software solution to power their growth. The team based in Trier, Germany compared various suppliers and chose Itsperfect’s built-for-fashion platform for its user-friendliness, modular architecture, and fashion-specific out-of-the-box features & integrations.
We’ve reached out to Ingo Sander, Bench Europe’s Head of Marketing & CTO, to hear more about their journey in re-energizing the story of Bench and how Itsperfect became the heart of the company’s operations.
The role of an ERP system at Bench
Despite its British roots, the brand’s largest market globally has always been Germany, playing in the same league as well-known names like Esprit. Bench’s initial growth model for re-energizing the brand was focused on wholesale. Being visible everywhere, from mega-retailers to smaller shops, gave them the reach of a truly local brand.
To succeed, they wanted to give their retail customers and partners an amazing experience, with real-time stock levels, intuitive order processes, and easy-to-access product data, from every device and location.
“We were looking for a cloud-based solution that does not require hiring an internal IT person, setting up servers, or paying expensive consultants on an ongoing basis. We first tried a competitor, but it was just not coming together. When we saw Itsperfect, we immediately realized that anything we would ever need as a fashion brand, but also our agents and retail customers, was already available as out-of-the-box functionality and apps. It simply works, always and in real-time.”
A platform that grows with you
After the initial implementation, the team at Bench Europe used Itperfect’s fashion-specific ERP functionality. All data related to products, collections, materials, washing instructions, and more came together seamlessly in one system. From there, it was made available to external warehousing services, manufacturers, logistics partners, and more, while the platform remained the single source of truth at Bench Europe.
While the team in Trier first and foremost focuses on commercializing the collections that are being developed by the UK-based headquarters, they also take things into their own hands when they see an opportunity. This includes designing collections that combine specific demands of their audience, such as performance and functionality, with Bench’s core values.
“Itsperfect is the central hub for everything here at Bench. We’re a small team, but nearly every one of us here has an Itsperfect log-in so they can always access all relevant data.”
As the brand grew and markets developed, Bench needed consignment options, a B2C webshop, a B2B portal, and multiple warehouses. All of this could simply be plugged into the existing ERP solution with Itperfect’s in-house developed modules and apps. Whenever the team was ready to expand the scope, the right solution was often just a few clicks away, not requiring any lengthy implementation timelines and costs.
“We wanted to add a B2B shop where retailers could see quantities in real-time and place orders directly. With Itsperfect, that required quite literally just a few clicks and one short call with the (very patient!) support team, and we were live. Adding EDI connections to marketplaces, using the Shopify integration – because Itsperfect is built for fashion, everything was already there. These are killer features that I have not seen like this before.”
Powerful functionality packaged in a simple, intuitive user interface
ERP software often comes with a reputation: Full of features, but difficult to use with an unpleasant user experience. That was one of the main concerns for Bench Europe when looking for a solution since they were aware that a system that’s cumbersome would not be used by the team.
When Bench discovered Itsperfect, they found a modern interface that looks and feels nothing like traditional ERP solutions. From apps to modules and from contact lists to the integrated POS, everything works with the same, fashion-specific logic and modern interface.
“Itsperfect is really a simple tool to use. Everyone finds their way around the interface pretty much immediately. Even for colleagues who might only know email and Excel, you can put them in front of Itsperfect and they get how it works right away. This makes life easy for our team, agents, wholesalers, and partners.”
With confidence to the future
The team at Bench Europe is well underway in reconnecting with their customer base from their best years. They are now processing data for more than 900 items and 300+ retailers & agents in one single system. With Itsperfect as the centerpiece of their operations, Ingo and his team are embracing new growth channels and collections all the time, rest assured that they have a solid, digital home for their brand that’s ready for the challenges of tomorrow.
“Everything that I can think of that we might need in the coming 3-4 years, we can realize with Itsperfect. In fact, it’s already there! All the integrations, apps, and modules are already live in their App Store today.”