Sowvital plants the seeds of success with NetSuite

Sowvital plants the seeds of success with NetSuite

Sowvital, a creator of premium horticultural products, is using Oracle NetSuite to support its ambition to reconnect people and their plants with science-led botanical care. With NetSuite, Sowvital has been able to take advantage of an integrated business system to gain insights across its operations, automate critical processes and enhance decision-making as it expands into more countries. Jack Lewis, Founder and CEO of Sowvital, told Intelligent more about his company and the partnership with NetSuite.

Launched by graduate lawyer Jack Lewis in 2022, Sowvital was inspired by a love for nurturing houseplants and provides a growing community of houseplant lovers with scientifically, ethically and aesthetically focused plant care products. Since it was launched, Sowvital has rapidly grown through its online business and retail collaborations with Goop and Le Bon Marché. To efficiently manage this demand, establish a scalable foundation for future growth, and optimise the omnichannel experience for its customers, Sowvital selected NetSuite as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Lewis said: “Sowvital was established to support metropolitan gardeners and educate the community of plant lovers with a ritualistic and scientifically driven philosophy. This scientific, data-backed approach equally applies to the systems that are helping Sowvital flourish.

“We adopted NetSuite immediately after launching so that we could make effective use of data to make quick decisions and help our business grow. In this business environment, execution is everything. NetSuite provides the foundation for us to do that successfully, with best practices baked into our operations from the very beginning.”

With NetSuite, Sowvital has been able to automate processes across finance, inventory management, order fulfilment, reporting and analysis to help meet increasing consumer demand. NetSuite has also helped Sowvital’s finance team to improve data accuracy, gain a consolidated view of cash flow and save time by automating manual processes across reporting, bookkeeping, planning and analysis.

In addition, Sowvital’s operations team uses transaction data and sales trend data in NetSuite to optimise inventory levels for Sowvital’s direct-to-consumer and B2B channels, as well as to inform manufacturing plans. Moving forward, NetSuite will support Sowvital as it extends its footprint in the US by providing support with respect to tax regulations, as well as gaining deeper integrations with its Shopify store.

Sowvital has been supported by NetSuite Alliance Partner NoBlue.

Jack Lewis told us more about the company and working with NetSuite.

How has consumer demand changed since you started the company?

When Sowvital first launched in 2022, we were already seeing an upturn in the appreciation of house plants because of the pandemic. At a base level, we were all confined to our houses, bedrooms, living rooms. What once was a comfort zone for most of us quickly became an area evidently lacking a connection to nature.

For years, brands targeting personal rituals centred around care and well-being has been the norm; from candles and skincare, to pet and household products. People are willing to invest in taking care of themselves and the things that they love, and the soothing presence of greenery in the home has quickly become a must for a lot of people. Plants have been established as imperative to people’s lives and well-being post-pandemic and Sowvital aims to assist and educate those on the journey of that understanding.

Tell me more about your retail collaborations with Goop and Le Bon Marche?

Our approach has always been organic and sustainable growth, launching in 2022 with a pop-up on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, where we introduced the world to Sowvital. From then, we have grown a discerning community of design-led and botanically intrigued individuals who regularly engage with the ritualised philosophy of the Sowvital world. As a unique take on the world of plant care, we soon caught the attention of the media, and thanks to mentions in Vogue and the Financial Times, Sowvital quickly formed an international support base.

Goop reached out within a year and a collaboration arose, with our famed three-step-skit being stocked and available for North American consumers. When Goop became a commercial partner, that really launched our sales to an international scale.

Having gained their attention after Sowvital’s pop-up in the Marais, the esteemed Le Bon Marché invited us to host a pop-up in the spring of this year. Centreing around their Comme un poisson dans l’eau campaign, this stand in the famed French department store increased Sowvital’s exposure to European tastemakers, cementing the brands presence in France and attracting attention from a wider European audience.

Tell me more about the scientific, data-backed approach to your products – which data is used?

When I started the company, I wanted to make sure that all our decisions were driven by data and science. This was why we adopted NetSuite very early on, so we could make the right decisions to accelerate growth. We take a data-driven approach across our business, from our supply chain operations to our product formulations.

For our products, everything we release is considered and intentional, and all our items are consciously designed. For example, our formulations, where harnessing a deep and integrated knowledge of the life cycle and circadian rhythms of plants allowed our team of scientists to develop a series of key solutions for supporting the growth needs of plants. Science and its tangible efficacy construct the heart of Sowvital.

Moreover, our operations team also uses data, from transactions to sales trends in order to optimise inventory levels for different sales channels. NetSuite gives us the ability to quickly adapt to market changes either in our direct-to-consumer or B2B channels, which has been really helpful in the current economic environment. This data is also used to help inform our manufacturing plans, for example, inventory summary reports by location allows us to ensure we have accurate product quantities for manufacturing. Additionally, stock ledger reports allow us not just to ensure manufacturing plans can be met, but also that the valuation of inventory value is matching our input and outputs.

How did NetSuite help inform manufacturing plans?

We deal with so many moving parts in our supply chain; for every product there are different components, suppliers and manufacturers. Before we were using NetSuite, we were manually filling out spreadsheets to monitor things like inventory levels, which creates a much higher chance of human error. We were also vulnerable to disparate documents that spread across different parts of the organisation.
NetSuite introduced a lot more stability and rigidity into our operational processes. I like to imagine NetSuite as an integrated dashboard that you have in your car which shows the status of different parts.

It’s also really important that this information is accurate, because we are moving at such a fast pace. As the driver, I have to keep my eyes on the road, but I also need to have visibility over the business to make sure everything is running smoothly. With NetSuite, things are much more efficient; we can save time on manually tracking inventory, and we have a better view of sales and customer data to make more informed decisions.

How has automating process in reporting and analysis helped meet consumer demand?

Automating processes in reporting and analysis though NetSuite fundamentally saves Sowvital a lot of precious time, and makes us agile for our consumers and stockists. With a clear, top-line overview of accurate and real-time data, we are able to respond to market changes immediately. This ranges from a new PO being raised and our NetSuite inventory and warehouse management data allowing us to respond instantly, to us being able to develop new products with efficiency and cost-accuracy.
The automatic reporting through the ERP software allows executive decision-making to be swift and reliable, meaning whatever the demand of our consumer, Sowvital can match it.

How will NetSuite help Sowvital extend its footprint in the UK?

A really important part in scaling is having visibility into every part of the business, and NetSuite has afforded us this transparency. Things won’t always be smooth sailing, and you will always face challenges when you are trying to grow, but this is the time when it’s even more critical to have sight over all the growing pains.

When we were beginning to open up to markets outside the UK, NetSuite helped provide a clear roadmap to operating across multiple markets. As we plan ahead, it has also helped us really visualise a more ambitious future, especially with NetSuite OneWorld, which allows us to consolidate our activations into one space. Fundamentally, we have an ERP system that can keep up with that rapid pace and even open up more doors for growth on the international stage.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue


View Magazine Archive