Ali Murphy felt travelers deserved better personal care products.
Many hotel guests used high-quality shampoos, conditioners, body washes, lotions and creams at home, but settled for whatever was on their hotel room’s bathroom counter when on the road.
Murphy, who had experience in the personal care industry, wanted to improve that aspect of traveling. In 2013, she launched William Roam, a line of luxury, vegan personal care products for hotels. William Roam started with three “collections,” each with 25-30 products that have a similar aesthetic and fragrance.
“With her experience with hotel amenities, she thought we can do this better and we should be able to provide higher-quality, better-performing amenities for hotels,” William Roam President PJ Greco said.
The health and beauty brand distinguished itself by using premium ingredients in its products and manufacturing everything in the U.S. From the beginning, William Roam has practiced green manufacturing, relying on clean and renewable energy to power its facility and recycling as many materials as possible during production.
Hotels embrace new products
Hair and body care products at hotels were clearly due for a refresh, because the high-end, boutique hotels that William Roam serves signed on quickly. The company grew by more than 700% over its first five years and the Indianapolis Business Journal named it one of the city’s fastest-growing companies earlier this year.
The personal care company now has four collections (Roam, Float, Sense, Steam), each with a distinct look and ingredients, allowing hotels to choose the one that best meets their needs and the style of their property. (The Sense collection supports William Roam’s sustainability efforts: it plants one tree for every full-size product sold and hotel room featuring that collection, planting 15,000 trees so far.)
In addition to the typical growing pains that come with such fast success, William Roam’s customers posed particular challenges. Many hotels lack storage space because they are located in densely populated areas of big cities and occupy old buildings. That limits the amount of inventory hotels can keep on-hand, and that supply can dwindle quickly after events or a busy weekend.
That means when a hotel realizes it’s running low on amenities, it usually needs them quickly. The burden falls on William Roam to have a highly efficient supply chain and accurately predict future demand.
Mounting operational hurdles
As more hotels purchased William Roam’s collections, its processes started to become unsustainable.
The company used an ERP designed for small manufacturers called Made2Manage and Salesforce.com for CRM. But the two systems did not communicate, so employees frequently had to input customer and order information twice.
Amazon orders were even more complicated. Those orders came in via email, and an employee printed the emails out and took them to order fulfillment. After packing the orders and printing tracking numbers, another person plugged those numbers into Amazon. Predictably, that manual process led to mistakes, and Amazon threatened to shut down William Roam’s storefront due to excessive errors at one point.
These problems would only intensify as William Roam looked to expand its direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel. The company always had a consumer-facing ecommerce site, but most customers were hotel guests who enjoyed William Roam’s products and wanted to try them again.
Managing the business in one place
William Roam knew it needed a new solution to support its burgeoning business, and Greco spearheaded the search. He considered Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP and Shopify Plus before selecting NetSuite.
NetSuite stood out because it was a unified platform for financials, CRM, order and inventory management and ecommerce.
“It was the flexibility and the capability and the fact that it could scale,” he said of choosing NetSuite. “I just watched demo after demo and it seemed to be something I could intuitively use. I also liked the fact that Oracle was behind it, so I knew it had the resources to continually improve.”
Moving to NetSuite eliminated duplicate data entry. The solution also integrates with Amazon and Shopify and automatically pull orders from the business’ marketplace and D2C ecommerce site, respectively. Another integration with carrier rate shopping tool Pacejet automatically finds the best shipping option and prints the bill of lading, saving time and money.
Additionally, William Roam launched a new B2B ecommerce site on SuiteCommerce, NetSuite’s ecommerce solution, in just 35 days with a SuiteSuccess implementation. It was a major improvement over the old system, where hoteliers filled out a basic online form with the items they wanted to purchase.
“We weren’t letting customers see items they don’t typically buy.” Greco said. “So if they only buy shampoo, they would just log in and say, ‘I need more shampoo.’ They never got to see ‘Oh, I could be buying conditioner.’”
The new site offers a consumer-like shopping experience. In addition to a full product catalog, customers can view order history, pay bills and update account information. William Roam took advantage of several SuiteCommerce extensions to add functionality and enhance the customer experience.
Becoming a ‘household name’
William Roam has a newfound sense of confidence about the future. As sales increase at a torrid pace, it no longer has to worry about back-end obstacles impeding its bright future.
A key part of that future is growing the D2C channel through both its own site and small retailers. The brand will remain committed to sustainability, as well – it recently announced it will offer all future collections in bulk only. These large containers are designed to refill large dispensers and reduce waste, part of a larger industry shift.
Ultimately, William Roam believes the key to becoming a leading brand for personal care products is building everything with customers in mind, starting with a simple but memorable shopping experience.
“We want to be a household name, a brand that people recognize and equate with quality and a fun product,” Greco said.
To learn more about how NetSuite can help health & beauty companies grow, check out this brochure.