Lovepop is Reimagining Cards and Disrupting a $7.5 Billion Industry with the Help of Odoo

Country: United States (Boston, MA)
Industry: Design and Retail
Main Apps Implemented: Manufacturing, Inventory, PLM
Number of Users:  Users
Company Size: 350+ Employees
Implementation Type: Odoo Online (SaaS)

In an environment of constant competitive innovation, any company in the retail industry needs to recognize how critical disruptive products are to their success. Companies have to design creative business models and solid strategies to achieve their growth objectives, as well as offer added value to the customer. Developing the overall customer experiences to gain the loyalty of their audience is becoming the new standard, propelling this need for change.

Vendors for greeting cards know this story well. Competing with big box brands in a saturated space is a daunting test for any company, and Lovepop has faced this challenge in a bold new way. Every year billions of greeting cards are purchased in the United States alone, and retail sales figures for greeting cards are estimated at more than $7.5 billion annually. Recognizing the market potential, this is the story of two friends from the Boston-founded startup Lovepop and how they became a disruptor in this industry. Seeing the opportunity to make an impact on people while improving the processes involved was the first step in achieving this vision. For Lovepop, their beautifully-crafted 3D creations are not just cards, but a demonstration of deep care and love for every kind of special occasion.     

The Beginning of Lovepop

Lovepop founders, Wombi Rose and John Wise, became best friends at Webb Institute training to become naval architects. During a school trip to Vietnam, they discovered hand-crafted paper cards. After bringing some samples and seeing the reaction of people after they opened them, they knew that this was their next project together. The company was launched in late 2014, and with only 3 years in the market and such important collaborations as the one with Dick Clark Productions for the Billboards Music Awards or another one with HBO recreating iconic images from Games of Thrones, you can perceive the success after obtaining 8.2 million units in sales during 2017 alone. In simple terms, Lovepop is “reimagining cards and the way people buy them”.

As an emerging company, scalability and resource management was key. In the beginning, Lovepop did not have an efficient and organized system for communicating between the factory in Vietnam and their HQ in Boston, especially difficult for their newly launched custom wedding product. This product requires a custom production process for every single order, inviting with that a long list of logistical and time management challenges for deliverables. Another challenge was that they had very little visibility into their factory operations with product  line traceability and efficiency metrics. It was difficult for them to see the status of manufacturing runs, inventory levels for materials and finished goods, track outgoing shipments, etc. Also, they did not have a centralized source for the products bill of materials, which made it difficult for the US design team, VN design team, and production team to produce consistent results. Within the factory, production documents were created by hand from scratch for every manufacturing order. In summary, Lovepop wanted to achieve better visibility and control over the production process while improving and automating the creation of the documents required for manufacturing orders. After migrating to Odoo, they achieved these goals and streamlined their once complex process management system into a single fully-integrated system.

Some of Lovepop's amazing cards.

      How Odoo Helped Us Achieve Better Visibility and Control Over Our Production Processes

      Currently, Lovepop uses the Manufacturing, Inventory, and PLM apps in Odoo to accomplish a full production cycle. The out-of-the-box versions of these apps were not enough for their own needs because they use two different types of laser cutters with drastically different cutting bed sizes. However, with the help of customizable options in all Odoo apps, they built the system they needed quickly and efficiently. This also allowed the team to build custom reports to generate detailed production documents to guide each production run, as well as building a set of scripts to interface with the software they developed in-house to produce custom wedding invitations. The scripts built Odoo products, sales orders, and manufacturing orders based on simple tables imported into Odoo using the API.

      Inventory and Manufacturing apps work to track and control the raw materials in the factory. The workload required by Lovepop inventory managers is now greatly reduced since many of the inventory moves are now automated. Instead of keying the moves themselves, they are instead doing periodic stock verifications and letting the system handle the day-to-day data management. This saves time and reduces mistakes.

      With the addition of the PLM app, Lovepop can organize and structure their communications between the US and VN design teams. This allows them centralize their bill of materials (BoM) management and gives production managers greater visibility into the current state and progress of all products.

      Odoo CMS - a big picture

      “I love that Odoo allowed us implement our MRP at our own pace with our own code. The apps allow you to build the system you need at the pace appropriate for your business. No other cloud ERP allows you that level of direct customization. It's empowering!”

      John Wise, Co-Founder + COO

      To demonstrate an example of how Odoo helps Lovepop to simplify its processes and maintain full control, the process for wedding products is detailed below.

      1. Wedding software enters data for a new order into custom Odoo tables;

      2. A server action is triggered which builds Odoo products, creates SOs, DOs, and MOs automatically;

      3. Vietnam Wedding production manager sees that a new order has arrived;

      4. Vietnam Wedding production manager prints production documents (custom reports);

      5. Production documents are passed to the inventory manager who pulls raw materials for the laser cutting team;

      6. Inventory manager confirms in Odoo that correct materials were pulled, decrementing stock automatically;

      7. The cutting manager starts and stops cutting work step in Odoo for job tracking;

      8. Steps 5 and 7 are repeated for the assembly manager;

      9. The shipping manager confirms the delivery order in Odoo and enters the tracking number for the shipment.

      Why Odoo Became the Solution for Lovepop

      In the own words of Lovepop's Senior Designer, Josef Karpiel, Odoo helped the team tremendously with having a central, organized platform for products as they develop and get them through the prototype phase into full production. The PLM board helps them see what phase each new product is at and also gives them the ability to comment, post photos, and tag people to keep the product moving smoothly between the US and Vietnam team. What makes Odoo better than other products they have tried in the past for organizing design workflow is that the information entered for each product lives in all the other parts of Odoo for other teams to see. There is no need to re-input similar information into multiple places (redundancy in data management processes). The product name, SKU, and bill of materials can be used by different teams using Odoo as soon as the design team enters it into the system. Lastly, one of the coolest functions of Odoo which the design team at Lovepop said they are forever grateful for, is the ability to write custom scripts to speed up workflow. Instead of having each designer spend a half hour creating all the materials and backbone structures for a new product, they now have specific actions that do most of that legwork with just a single click!

      “Odoo has been a game changer for us. Before Odoo we were managing all our production planning and scheduling and our raw material sourcing and inventory using Google Sheets which was totally unsustainable. Odoo is very modular and highly customizable and we have been able to tailor it to our needs by adding more functionality to better fit our needs as they grow. Although we are just at the beginning of our journey with Odoo and we still have a long way to fully utilize the other available apps, I can say with confidence that we would not have been able to multiply our output by 4x if we have not had Odoo to help us get there.”

      Emilio Latorre, Head of Production

      Odoo CMS - a big picture

      Lovepop Founders

      About Lovepop

      Lovepop is a Boston-based startup whose mission is to create 1 billion magical moments. Co-founders Wombi Rose and John Wise are trained shipbuilders who apply the sliceform structure used in ship design to the ancient art of Kirigami in a technique they call Slicegami™. Imagination meets engineering, and the result is stunning intricate paper art. Lovepop earned an investment from Kevin O’Leary on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2015, is a winner of Inc. Magazine’s 2017 Design Awards for Category Reinvention, and has been named one of Boston’s “50 on Fire” startups for three years in a row. The intricate paper art is sold on and in proprietary retail kiosks in New York and Boston, as well as independent shops nationwide. With hundreds of 3D designs to choose from, there is a Lovepop for every person in your life.

      As they say "Unexpected. Every time."

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