Written by Margaret Harrist
When people were forced to spend more time at home in 2020, many had an epiphany: redecorating was long overdue.
This led to an unexpected business boom for an online interior design services company modsy, which enables people to upload images of their space, view 3D visualizations of possibilities, and work with a designer to improve appearance and order furniture and décor.
“In previous recessions, consumer spending has fallen, so we thought we’d better be off for a tough year,” says Modsy. CEO Shanna Tillerman. “At the start of the lockdown, we decided to invest in the foundational elements that would allow us to expand when we emerged from the pandemic – without knowing the business was going to explode. “
One of those founding elements was the new financial system. “We have gone beyond the accounting system since our early days, as well as the local order management system,” Tillerman says. “You can only get into business so far with not-so-good local solutions or early startup software. But as you start to mature and scale, you need to focus on accounting principles and being able to report financial statements to GAAP. We’ve seen that reporting systems and flexibility provided by Oracle NetSuite will open the door to the next level of growth for our business.”
By the start of 2021, Modsy is back in a growth mode mindset, says Amanda Kwan Rosenbush, Senior Director of Finance and Accounting at Modsy. “Part of the company’s growth planning has included optimizing its data and back-office operations so that company leaders can make more informed, faster decisions and improve customer experience,” says Kwan-Rosenbush.
One of the main areas where Modsy needed better insight was understanding their profit margins and how to control all the pieces that go into it, including shipping costs.
“Shipping is a significant cost to us, and it is expected to increase in the foreseeable future due to the pandemic,” she says. “NetSuite will help us analyze whether we should switch carriers or rethink our itineraries and enable us to determine the optimal shipping type for each product.”
This will be critical as the furniture supply chain continues to suffer from disruptions. For example, many of Modsy’s furniture and decor partners, including over 50 well-known retailers and suppliers, experience long delays, especially for items shipped from abroad.
In addition to better managing shipping costs, Modsy wants to get insight into whether the products it’s selling are the right mix and at the optimal price, says Kwan-Rosenbush.
“With NetSuite, we will be able to analyze and understand more elements of revenue, operating expenses and cash flow in real time,” she says. As a company, we need one source of truth. Knowing that we have centralized and accurate data and the presentation can be customized for management or any team to access and understand, would be a huge benefit.”
The Modsy leadership team will increase visibility into the health of their business in real time. With more timely insight, a company will be able to adapt faster to changing business conditions, from evaluating and adjusting promotions to adapting to supply chain issues.
For CEO Tillerman, it’s all part of honing the vision she had when she launched the company in 2015.
“I started Modsy after we moved into a new home in San Francisco and struggled to design the interior and find the right furniture,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine what anything I saw online would look like in my space, even though I have a background in 3D graphics. I knew a lot of people faced this challenge.”
The company, which started with a small team of experts in interior design and user experience, has now raised more than $80 million in funding and offers a range of design packages, from single room to large and complex projects.
Users can go to the Modsy website and complete a quiz about their style preferences, upload photos of rooms that cause confusion, and then work with a Modsy designer to create a custom design that fits their style, space, and budget.
“We are constantly changing this artistic idea,” she says. “From an interior design point of view, we want to be able to draw a perfect design the first time. On the business side, we want to improve our logistics and supply chain operations even when the world is upside down, and to modernize our financing systems and operations infrastructure.”
The company is in the midst of transitioning from its core accounting systems and on-premises order management application to NetSuite ERP.
“What we do behind the scenes is just as important as what our customers see and feel every day,” she says. “We look forward to creating a system that gives us the data and information we need to make better decisions every day, ultimately resulting in a better customer experience. We are really excited about the reporting capabilities and analytics tools that we get with NetSuite, and we look forward to unleashing the power of these systems this year. “.