Oz Hair & Beauty: Teaming up with Starshipit to style a flawless fulfilment process
We talked to Guy Nappa, Director of Operations at Oz Hair & Beauty about how he and his brother, Founder & Managing Director Anthony Nappa, started Australia’s leading online hair and beauty retailer. They grew from humble beginnings selling their parent’s hair products on eBay and now sell on the web using Cin7 and Starshipit. Learn more about their story…
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
How did it all get started, and what was the inspiration behind starting OZ Hair and Beauty?
The brother’s parents are hairdressers and they have had salons for over 30 years around Sydney. It all started when Anthony Nappa finished school and started selling his parents hairdressing products on eBay. “It slowly started getting bigger and bigger, and eventually it’s grown to what it is today.”
What were some of the failures or key challenges you encountered on your journey?
“Working with so many close friends is challenging, especially when Anthony had no intention for this to be such a big company from the beginning. We just find when you’re too slow at making decisions, it really sets you back. Sometimes making the wrong decision is better than indecision, because indecision means you’re just going nowhere when you know something needs to change.”
What is your main role or daily responsibilities?
“My main role is very funny; we call it the ‘Director of Operations’ but that’s a big corporate term. It means if something needs to be fixed, or something needs to be done, I just facilitate the whole process. For example, getting Starshipit and integrating with Cin7 was part of my role.”
The brothers have a good system where they both identify something that needs to be fixed. “Anthony goes okay that’s fine, go ahead fix it and come back to me. It allows Anthony to do things like organising promos, and marketing. We both work well together because we’re looking after two different sides of the business.”
Founders Anthony & Guy Nappa
OZ HAIR & STARSHIPIT
What was the business problem that caused you to look for a shipping solution such as Starshipit?
“We got to a stage where the process for our pick and pack wasn’t quick enough.”
As a result, the brothers kept hiring more people and noticed it wasn’t getting any faster. They analysed what was wrong with their order fulfilment, and through research they realised that their current process was very outdated. “There were so many better ways to manage our shipping, and we finally had that lightbulb moment to go look and start finding better solutions.”
What was life like before Starshipit?
“It was so uncomfortable. I remember being so stressed to make sure all the orders got out to our customers as fast as possible. It was a lot of long days and nights and thinking about it now, it was just so stressful. We were printing off the labels and then printing off the packing slips and making sure they matched up. Sometimes they wouldn’t match up and we were looking at it like what’s going on, what are we doing wrong.”
“Not making decisions quick enough affected us in terms of growth. We could’ve grown a lot quicker, sooner. But it was a big learning curve, looking back at how chaotic it was three years ago compared to how it is now. We still stress, but that’s running a business, and it’s nowhere near close to how it was before Starshipit. I’ve got a good team under me and having something like Starshipit really helps relieve the pressure.”
What were the key factors you considered when selecting your shipping solution? And what made you decide to go with Starshipit?
“Whilst we were looking, we decided that the solution we use must not affect pick and pack because this would mean our customers weren’t going to get their orders in time. With Starshipit and the way it integrated with our business, the orders came out quicker, easier and it made our pick and pack process even faster. It ticked all the boxes.”
What key benefits have you experienced since implementing StarshipIt?
“We have increased our pick and pack efficiency dramatically, which is the main benefit. We’re not making mistakes where the labels are being allocated incorrectly, so no two customers get different orders. The overall speed with a system where customer service doesn’t need monitoring makes it all very seamless.”
Can you share some quantitative results?
Before Starshipit, the brothers were working with 12-15 staff in the warehouse at one time. After integrating with Starshipit, three years later, they still have the same number of staff in the warehouse. “From a few years ago, we’ve grown a lot, and we get three to four times more orders per day. To be able to reduce our staff by almost half is such a big benefit.”
How likely are you to recommend Starshipit to others?
“I recommend Starshipit to everyone, and every person I meet that sells online. I tell everyone how well it works for me and I even allow them to come into the warehouse and see how it works. I know if I was given that chance, I would’ve picked Starshipit far sooner.”
FROM THEIR ESTORE TO YOUR DOOR
Oz Hair & Beauty’s seamless workflow
TEAMING UP WITH CIN7
Why did you team up with Cin7, and what tangible benefits do you enjoy using Starshipit and Cin7?
“When my brother founded the company, his focus was on growing, which is amazing because that’s exactly what we did. But we got to the stage where we didn’t have a foundation to scale that growth. We had no inventory system that allowed us to see what stock we had. So, when customers would order, if it wasn’t on the shelves, then we had no idea if we had stock.”
“Looking at Cin7, it just looked like the one that was going to integrate seamlessly and give us the same benefits that we have experienced with Starshipit. It allowed us to digitise our files, so we could have backorders, awaiting stocks, incoming now, or ready to go. And through Starshipit, once orders are ready to go, the customer is notified instantly. Even though not sending out an order is bad, if you’re communicating with the customer and you’re being honest and truthful the customer is going to have a better experience. At the end of the day, it is about making sure that the customer has a great shopping experience with us, and Cin7 allows us to do that. The whole process is seamless and gives us more information about the orders.”
What’s in the future for Oz Hair & Beauty and what was the idea behind Oz Hair’s new rebrand?
“The idea behind the rebrand was to put us in the next stage of the company’s life. Now we feel that we’re emerging and we’re becoming a common name amongst consumers. We want to reach the top and so we’ve changed the logo, made it sleeker, more consumable, and we’re also rewarding our customers which is something we haven’t been doing. We want to try and give back and just grow the business, where we can be the one-stop beauty shop. We’re excited about the rebrand. It’s taken time but we’re so confident it’s going to take to the next level.”
Check them out at www.ozhairandbeauty.com
What advice or tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who would love to follow in your footsteps and start an online business?
“Being partners, it is important to have a good relationship and work well together and that is crucial in starting and maintaining an online business. My advice to anyone that has an idea – you need to love what you’re doing; you need to be addicted to what you’re doing, you need to be able to sacrifice everything for what you’re doing. I know my brother didn’t leave the house and office for about two years. Nights he was there, nights he missed because of work, and that’s really rubbed off on me. If you don’t have a passion for it, it’s going to show in your results.”
“A lot of people want to just ‘get there’ but it’s not about getting there, it’s about the journey, and I know that’s a very cliché thing to say but it’s just truthful. We don’t know what the final destination for Oz Hair and Beauty is, but we’re just loving the process of where it’s going to take us.”