Steve Gosney, the former CEO of online retailer EziBuy, sat down with us to discuss the impact of utilising Dropshipping.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. Can you give a brief insight into your journey to EziBuy CEO?
“Coming over from the UK 14 years ago, I had worked within the retail sector, initially with the Speciality Fashion Group, Noni B Limited, and Mosaic Brands alongside Scott Evans, current CEO of Mosaic and EziBuy.
In 2019, the New Zealand retailer Ezibuy was acquired by retail group Noni B (50.1%) and Alceon Group (49.9%) from Woolworths. Richard Facioni, former Executive Director of Alceon, enlisted Scott Evan’s assistance to review the current state of EziBuy.
The review uncovered that the business was not doing well, so Scott appointed me as the CEO of EziBuy to turn the company around to be profitable again.
Also, at the time of my appointment, Noni B Limited became Mosaic Brands Limited in late 2019. “
What were some of the challenges with EziBuy?
“Significant investment into highly customised systems and technologies with complicated processes had been the focus of the previous owners; this interfered with producing the EziBuy catalogues, which was disruptive to the business.
Loss of inventory control, the business had been buying stock they could not afford. When payments were due, they rolled $16m (AUD) of overdue payments every week, with only 2.8m (AUD) a week in revenue.
Onboarding product styles online from retailer Next UK took significant time. Next UK would send SKUs every six weeks. This activity would take four people a month to upload, limiting the opportunity for other brands and SKUs.
The management at the time was exceptional in other areas, but the business needed a different skill set to solve the challenges. “
Once you were the CEO of EziBuy, what approach did you have to find solutions to the challenges?
“I broke it down into a two-step process:
Stage one – The Tech Review
As mentioned, the legacy systems were challenging to run the business efficiently; Darran Low from Digital Convergence conducted an in-depth tech and process analysis to report on the following:
- What was going wrong?
- What I needed to fix in the short term?
- And how I could implement the fixes as cost-effectively as possible.
Stage two – Stabilise the business.
Following the tech and process reporting, the business had been experiencing significant instability and bottlenecks, I could only use low-cost solutions in the short term before Mosaic absorbed EziBuy into the business, so I actioned the following:
- All projects cancelled, as a cost-saving measure
- Restored the focus from operating as a technology business to a retail business again
- Introduced dropshipping.
Darran identified and implemented SAP Hybris and OutSystems as the best solution.
The removal of projects was incredible, as the instability started to disappear almost instantly.”
Can you explain what Dropshipping is?
“Dropshipping has been one of the most extraordinary developments for retailers over the last few years. The modelling allows for a business to sell product without having to store inventory themselves. They manage the process through a third party/other business. The best example of a dropshipping model would be Amazon.
The advantage for EziBuy would be more brands and variety for our customers, reducing the need to search other sites and setting ourselves up for better market share and success. “
How did the implementation of a dropshipping model benefit the business and what were the results?
“The flexibility and real-time capability impacted the business in a positive way as we could:
- Onboard Next UK in real-time with only one person managing the portal.
- Revisit a target of a million SKUs online; this would have been initially impossible.
- In addition to managing the portal, the same person can manage invoicing and customer queries.
- Significantly reduce the upload of SKUs from weeks to a day,
- Solutions to add significantly more SKUs and brands to EziBuy online store.
To expand the product offering and uploading thousands of SKUs in real-time had been a game changer and significantly contributed to the business’s profitability.”