Based in Hong Kong, BPK International imports and distributes homewares to customers throughout Europe via a distribution base in the UK.
The company’s CEO, Mudi Li, saw an opportunity to provide high quality furnishings to the European market. However, with just a small team of employees in Hong Kong, BPK International needed to develop a distribution channel from the company’s headquarters in China that will allow it to scale up the European business when it has achieved sufficient market penetration.
Trading as Thomas Wood Homewares, the company decided to enter the European market in summer 2017 with its Eames-style patchwork chairs, which are produced at the company’s manufacturing facility in the Far East. BPX needed a partner with the insight and expertise to manage logistics, fulfilment and channel management, with the capabilities required for handling larger goods and an under-one-roof services proposition.
Mudi Li reports: “With just a small product sourcing and marketing team in Hong Kong, we decided that direct-to-consumer sales through an established channel like Amazon would be the fastest, most effective and most profitable route to market in the short term.
We needed a software and distribution partner that understands the value of a long-term relationship. It had to be a company that can work with us on a flexible basis while we build the business and offer us a service that can continue to support our online sales and fulfilment requirements as we grow. Ultimately, our aim is to achieve sufficient market penetration to launch a direct website and we need our back of house services to evolve at the same pace as our sales growth.”
After searching for potential partners online, BPX invited Exact Abacus to tender for the services the company required.
Mudi explains: “We were impressed by how quickly and professionally Exact Abacus responded to the tender and it was clear from the outset that they could offer us all the services we needed without any onerous minimum charges or contract periods.
Integrated systems and logistics expertise were vital to us too because we ship containers of goods from our factories in the Far East and have no staff based in the UK.”
The solution offered by Exact Abacus includes ERP software, channel management across Amazon UK, FR, DE, ES and IT, inbound logistics and EU fulfilment and delivery with a seamless, fully-integrated service that ensures inventory is managed in real time.
With Exact Abacus’ help, BPX has quickly established a European presence for its Thomas Wood Homewares consumer-facing brand. A slick ordering process has enabled the company to integrate its systems and build an excellent customer journey from point of sale to delivery.
Mudi continues: “Exact Abacus has been extremely professional and the company’s attention to detail and account management sets it apart from the competition. The team made us feel very comfortable and has answered any of our queries – despite the 10,000 miles between us it feels like we’re working as one team.
When you’re trying to build a business on another continent that kind of partnership is so valuable. We know we can 100 per cent rely on Exact Abacus: we source products and list them for sale and Exact Abacus takes care of everything else, including clearance of our containers through UK ports and international distribution.”
“With Exact Abacus’ help we have quickly established our European presence and turned an initial container of stock without a problem.
“Thanks to the integrated software, channel management and fulfilment services Exact Abacus offers, orders are dispatched the same day and we’re receiving five star customer ratings on Amazon across the EU for the delivery service.”
Indeed, sales have exceeded forecasts for the first three months to such a degree that BPK is now planning the company’s expansion, with the introduction of new products scheduled by the end of 2017.