Lush Australia

Lush Australia

When Lush Australia developed the need for comprehensive and dedicated IT support, it looked for a partner with a nationwide presence and instant response capabilities.

The summary

Industry:

Retail

Country:

Australia

Business Challenge:

Support Australia and NZ-wide operations and provide robust IT infrastructure for an advanced retail network.

Solution:

Managed IT Services.

Results:

  • 24/7 support with instant response across Australia and New Zealand.
  • Robust infrastructure networking linking 37 outlets and 340 staff.
  • Faster, better sales and stock information retrieved from stores.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/tlK6KhoPsE8

The Situation

Lush Australia makes fresh, handmade cosmetics and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of its UK parent company, employing over 500 staff in Australia and New Zealand.

Lush opened their first store in New South Wales in 1997, and started their IT operations with a Sydney-based ‘one-man-band.’ As the company underwent rapid growth, IT requirements for their 24 stores in Australia and 13 in New Zealand changed dramatically.

Mark Lincoln, Director of Lush Australia, explains that a local IT support provider could no longer provide the interstate and overseas support Lush required.

“As we started to add stores and upgrade our retail software, we ran into problems. We needed someone who could provide a robust and cost-effective solution. As a retailer, we need a very quick response to any issues that may arise,” said Lincoln.

One key issue was Lush’s specialist polling software, which sends sales and stock information from the individual stores to the head office. This information is critical for busy retailers so they can top-up stock as quickly as possible.

“We just couldn’t get this to work. The solutions our IT firm had access to simply weren’t robust enough for a business spread across Australia,” Lincoln explains.

Lush knew they needed to look elsewhere for help. “We needed an IT partner who could meet our needs as a retailer, and help with our rapid growth,” Lincoln says.

The Solution

On recommendation, Lush turned to Brennan for assistance. Because their communications network was unable to support the business’ needs, Brennan first looked for a communications infrastructure solution to connect Lush’s stores to their head office.

Brennan was able to present Lush with a range of solution options. Lush then evaluated these options, and under Brennan’s guidance, chose the most appropriate solution for their operations.

Over the following months, the new network infrastructure was rolled out to Lush stores across Australia, along with the new retail software.

“Brennan would visit a store, set up the Futura POS Terminal, and then connect the DSL services to the site. So in most cases, we were up and running pretty quickly,” Lincoln says.

Brennan continues to provide Lush with ongoing managed IT support, as well as assisting with project work and hardware procurement.

This flexible combination of management, support, and monitoring services meant that whenever a problem arose in a particular store, Brennan was there to provide rapid, on-site support. This is vital in the retail sector, where outages can result in reduced sales and lost revenue.

“If we have a problem in Tasmania, for example, whatever time of day or night (or even on the weekend), Brennan can quickly get someone on location to troubleshoot,” Lincoln explains.

The Result

Lincoln says Brennan’s support has been critical during Lush’s rapid growth. When it first partnered with Brennan, Lush had just 12 stores in Australia and 6 in New Zealand. Through careful planning and support, it has managed to double this number seamlessly.

“With on-call support and access to a team of very competent people working on our account, we don’t need to have an IT manager or specialist IT staff in-house, which is a huge cost saving for our business,” Lincoln says.

As a technology partner, Brennan also assists with IT strategy and advice. It keeps Lush up-to-date with what’s happening in the industry, and if there are any new developments that could provide Lush with more efficiency or better IT management.

“One thing we’re currently talking with Brennan about is a Disaster Recovery solution. We greatly appreciate how Brennan has the specialist expertise to be able to keep us across the most appropriate technologies for this, as well as their ability to host this solution,” Lincoln explains.

Brennan also helped with Lush’s relocation from central to southwestern Sydney Lush now plans to move further out west as it continues to grow, with Brennan supporting throughout this move.

“Partnering with Brennan has saved us time, saved us money, and allowed us to scale with ease,” Lincoln says. “Most importantly, we can focus on our core business – retail – without being distracted by any IT issues that we’re not specialists in.”

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