Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, “The World’s Largest Christmas Store,” offers Christmas trims and gifts online, via catalog, and at its store in Frankenmuth, Michigan, which is visited by more than two million people each year. Founded in 1945, Bronner’s shopping area is the size of one-and-a-half football fields, housed in a building the size of five-and-a-half football fields. During the holiday season, more than 40 registers can be heard ringing up customers. Its two offsite warehouses keep diverse inventory stocked and ready. Bronner’s also offers B2B services.
Bronner’s was managing this enormous operation with many separate software systems. Multi-state tax requirements added to the challenges. Visibility into the full picture of its operations was not readily available because few systems could integrate, leading to significant manual work efforts. A single, centralized view of critical data wasn’t possible.
Furthermore, Bronner’s needed to enhance its ecommerce operations into the same software platform and enhance the B2B websites. Buy online/pick up in store was also needed for customer convenience.
To gain a single view of the business and strengthen its operations, Bronner’s selected Oracle NetSuite ERP to connect financial, ecommerce, point of sale and warehouse data with one cloud-based platform. It chose NetSuite SuiteCommerce to power online operations and SuiteCommerce InStore to unify the digital and physical shopping experiences.
BTM Global was selected to lead the implementation, as well as manage third-party vendors that included a mobile inventory management system, website security and shopping personalization platform.
Three lines of business, total visibility
Bronner’s serves retail, commercial and wholesale customers, each with their own unique needs and expectations. BTM built a SuiteCommerce website for each of the three business lines, all powered by the NetSuite platform.
This extremely complex project has resulted in seamless visibility across the business lines, as all online transactions – as well as in-store transactions – now flow into a single, centralized platform. Bronner’s has an unprecedented view into its data across ecommerce, supply chain, real-time inventory, billing and financial systems.
In addition, accounting staff have gained a central repository for their data and have the flexibility to use the hundreds of reports that come preconfigured or can also easily build out their own reports.
BTM performed significant SuiteCommerce customizations to meet Bronner’s needs, including integrating with a platform to ensure the retail website is accessible to the visual and hearing impaired. BTM also added an external analytics platform and performed a number of cosmetic changes that were not available with standard configuration updates. Product personalization was also an important component.
“It’s not just about building a website and handing it off,” said Natalie Dale, NetSuite practice director at BTM Global. “It’s about making sure NetSuite and the related systems are built to help Bronner’s serve each customer segment, giving them flexibility for handling things like order input and payment methods that may change by segment.”
Pivoting to remote collaboration
Bronner’s went live with NetSuite in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the BTM Global collaboration began with many in-person sessions, the project moved to remote work as the pandemic limited the ability to travel.
“BTM was wonderful to work with! Because of the pandemic, much of the planning and training had to be done remotely, which added to the challenge. BTM did an incredible job helping us through this, and we were very thankful that they were here in person for our go live implementation!” said Carla Bronner Spletzer, vice president of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. “We worked very closely together to ensure good planning and communication, so that the launch and roll-out were a success. They have been our dream team!”
Christmas cheer, all year long
Today, Bronner’s builds on a +75-year tradition of service and creativity, delivering an exceptional and personalized shopping experience for customers online, in store and over the phone.
“BTM Global’s retail experience, thoughtful and caring project approach, knowledgeable implementation team, and skill with managing the other partners exceeded our expectations and made this project a success. They were with us every step of the way, and we enjoy continuing to work with the BTM team to make additional enhancements,” said Spletzer.