I decided to list known Brightpearl issues and ways to fix or avoid them. Some of them require you only to install a Chrome extension or sign into your Google account, while to implement others you may need to involve someone familiar with the API concepts and in possession of basic programming skills. Fortunately, we now offer Brightpearl automation services and can help you with that.
Brightpearl is a SAAS ERP built for multichannel ecommerce. It includes inventory management, sales and purchase orders tracking and accounting. The suite significantly improved our business processes after we’ve implemented it in July 2014 at our online lingerie store.
General Brightpearl issues
Lack of barcode scanner support
FIX. Use Boxora’s Tampermonkey browser script to scan goods-out notes.
WARNING! Avoid using buggy Boxora web interface. It improperly counts product quantity.
Lack of stock-taking functionality
BP allows only to export inventory summary, check products manually and then correct inventory quantities with the ‘update by CSV’ interface.
FIX. Use barcode scanner and Google Sheets to scan every item you have at your warehouse, compare it with inventory summary and find misalignments. Then correct the quantities with ‘update by CSV’ feature.
Large product list and inventory import/export fail
Max export ~3000 lines. Max import ~ 2700 SKUs. Try to export/import more and stare at the blank screen.
a) Filter the list by Brands or Suppliers (time-consuming and deadly boring);
b) ask BP support to do this (two days of waiting and you’ll get your product list)
c) export all necessary data via API.
Unnecessary fields across BP interface
It’s probably quite ugly but works fine. So I didn’t bother to show it to someone who actually knows CSS 😀
Clickatell text messages undelivered
We’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from our customers that they haven’t received any messages from us. BP doesn’t support alternative sms gateways, so we made up a workaround.
FIX. Connect to ‘order status change’ webhook and read sales order notes. Our staff uses a special text command to send texts directly from order notes. All they need to do is to create a text note to any order starting it with ‘SMS:’ letters, change order status to any other and then hit ‘Save’ button.
Shopify integration issues
The following group of Brightpearl issues is only relevant if you too use Shopify as you ecommerce CMS.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform, which allows basically anyone to start their own online store within a few days span. It’s flexible, cheap and offers a variety of free and premium awesome looking themes. See my full Shopify review for more details and a story of my own ups and downs with store development.
Product download from Shopify to BP
Maybe for smaller stores, it will work ok. However, when we were importing a few hundred SKUs at once, it just couldn’t catch them all, lost some and didn’t alert us about this.
Also, current user permissions setup in BP doesn’t allow to give access to product download interface to our content manager without providing him access to the whole account settings. Very annoying.
a) Use Google Sheets to prepare product import for both Shopify and BP. See my Shopify & Brightpearl Product Generator Template.
b) Create custom automatic product download from Shopify via API. Use ‘product created’ Shopify webhook to run import instance.
#Multiple warehouses and Shopify store inventory issue
If you have multiple warehouses in Brightpearl and connected your Shopify store, you should know that while inventory data can be synced for many warehouses (meaning you can display combined inventory on your website), all orders coming into BP will be allocated to only one main warehouse. This raises an unpleasant issue with inventory quantities at the Shopify store.
Let’s say you have only one product — Product A. You stock it at two warehouses: W1 and W2. Your BP account is set to allocate orders at W1 only:
You have, say, 10 items at W2 and 0 at W1. Total 10. Both warehouses are synced with Shopify, so your store displays 10 in stock.
When you receive into BP, an order for 1 item of Product A it can’t be allocated at the W1 → the quantity available doesn’t change. It’s still 10 at W2. Meanwhile, Shopify sees the order and reduces the inventory to 9. This discrepancy persists even after you receive an item A from W2 and sell it. Shopify still has wrong product inventory.
HOW TO FIX
We’ve developed an automation flow that checks every new order. If it contains products that aren’t available at our central warehouse (W1 from our example), we increase inventory back to the previous number in Shopify.
Some orders from Shopify are lost
Shopify poorly does email and mobile number fields validation → sometimes order can’t be downloaded to BP.
What’s more annoying, it doesn’t notify us by email. BP only shows an icon with error count. Should I sit there and stare at the menu every day to catch an error?
FIX. An automated flow that receives every new order and checks if it is downloaded to BP in 30 min. If not, notifies our staff. See my post on this topic.
Order notes from Shopify aren’t copied to BP sales orders
FIX. The same flow adds a note to the sales order in BP with the cart note from Shopify.
API connection error: CMNU-003
The error arises when trying to POST many stock correction arrays in a short interval (less than 30 sec). Cured by raising the interval between requests.
P.S. I really like Brightpearl software. I know, you could think otherwise after reading this post. But it’s true. We’ve been using BP since 2014, and we are satisfied with the results. At the same time, every software has its drawbacks and inefficiencies, and it’s great that we can fix some of them.