BDO Information Systems: Elevating RUBY apparel into the 23rd century

 “We wanted a system that would bring RUBY into the 21st century – now, with the system Josh and the team from BDO Information Systems have implemented, I feel like we’re in the 23rd.” – Olivia O’Neill, Community & Operations Manager, RUBY.

Three years ago, Aotearoa fashion label RUBY was using an outdated system that was slowing them down. It was inefficient, required a lot of manual data entry and processes, and was ad hoc, requiring several team members to spend hours pulling together reports. Whenever anyone in the team had an idea for taking RUBY into the future, the common response was “that would be amazing, but our systems won’t allow it.”

When COVID-19 hit New Zealand, and online shopping became the norm, it was clear that RUBY couldn’t wait any longer – it was finally time to upgrade their systems and create a new digital space for their customers.

But it would be a complex job. RUBY’s old system was all integrated – so moving one part of the system meant moving the whole thing. And, to make the project even more complex, because all of the systems are integrated, every system had to be upgraded at the same time.

In April 2023, RUBY’s new system went live. It features a range of custom-built software, out-of-the-box solutions and various integrations to provide a full, company-wide digital transformation that has had a huge impact not only on the customer experience, but on RUBY’s day-to-day operations.

“I honestly don’t know if I could quantify the number of hours our team used to spend pulling together reports,” explains Olivia. “Now with the new system, all we have to do is select the date range and we’re good to go. We’re wondering what to do with all the spare time we have now!”

The ease of reporting means the team at RUBY are able to make decisions based on facts and hard data. As Olivia explains, “we can spend the time that we would have spent creating a report actually analysing the data and creating action from that.”

Bringing complex processes under one system

Other previously manual processes, such as invoicing, are now completed automatically, while the cumbersome excel spreadsheet that RUBY used to do all its purchase planning (with over 100,000 lines that often took several minutes to load), has now been moved to Airtable. This was a particularly complicated piece of work as RUBY’s products are produced both on and off-shore and in a number of different ways. Bringing this into a custom-built Airtable platform meant all of these complex purchases could be brought into one streamlined system and integrated with RUBY’s ERP system.

The point of sale has also been upgraded to Shopify. This enables the brand to synchronise in-store activity with online activity, including loyalty and gift programmes. The new system also includes an A2x reconciliation tool that shifts between Shopify and Xero, enabling RUBY to clear every different form of payment in one system and reconcile it with Xero.

The whole system is underpinned by Cin7 core, which is the central inventory and channel management platform. Using Cin7 has provided RUBY with robust control of raw materials in multiple locations and the ability to monitor the stock levels at all store locations, in real time.

While it was a complex project, BDO was there to help at every step of the way. As Olivia says, “it was a big project, but I couldn’t speak more highly of the BDO Information Systems team. They held our hands throughout, gave us really good guidance, and understood exactly what we needed. We really felt heard during the process, but at the same time we got the advice we needed to make sure the system worked. No question was too small or too stupid, and the BDO team was on hand always to help us through – they really received us with kindness and we felt like they were a part of the RUBY team.”

More time to think instead of do

Having completed training on the new system with BDO, the RUBY team are now in the bedding in phase, and are looking forward to seeing where RUBY will go next. “It’s given everyone a lot more time back in their weeks to think rather than just do,” says Olivia. “The functionality of the new site is great and the point of sale system has really set us up for the future, increasing efficiency across our team. It’s really exciting - every day we discover we can do new things.”

Josh Ambler, Associate Director at BDO Information Systems, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure working with the team at RUBY. Early in the engagement we spoke about ‘Project Culture’ and buying into the change that was coming. Olivia, Samantha, Anna-Lise and Emily did an amazing job of taking their team on the journey, fostering a positive culture and embracing the change. It’s no small feat what RUBY achieved in changing their POS across multiple locations, launching a new eCom website, going live with a new inventory and shipping systems and launching a custom-built production planning system all at the same time. It’s actually unheard of. The project was executed with near perfect precision and that’s entirely down to the meticulous planning and preparation carried out by the RUBY and BDOIS teams leading up to the go live date.”

To learn more about how BDO’s specialist Information Systems team can help you on an end-to-end systems and digital transformation journey and take your business into the 23rd century, contact your local office today.