Pinch – Mastering Complexity to unleash scale and profitability

10 Jun 2024

Workhorse has proven to be a game changer for Pinch, a  furniture business celebrating its 20th year. With over seven years of experience, Workhorse has successfully implemented software solutions for numerous clients, and Pinch, led by co-owner and managing director Oona Bannon and procurement manager Emma Lawlor, stands out as one of their earliest success stories.


Pinch started two decades ago with a vision of 100% design excellence. However, the business evolved organically into an inventory-based model, dealing with the challenges of complex manufacturing and fulfilment processes. With growth came

the need for efficient management tools, and after 15 years of business, Pinch found its existing system no longer viable.

Challenges and Tipping Point:

The challenges faced with their bespoke system meant it was becoming increasingly unwieldy. The tipping point was the onset of COVID-19, which highlighted the inefficiencies in their remote work setup and the limitations of their non-cloud-based system.

Search for a Solution:

Emma Lawlor played a crucial role in the implementation, leading the effort to find a new solution. The team explored various options, deliberately avoiding large-scale, inflexible systems such as Salesforce. Workhorse stood out as the sole company engaging in a meaningful conversation, recognising and comprehending inventory-based businesses and scalability. Workhorse acknowledged custom requirements and understood the unique aspects of Pinch’s business.

Oona Bannon, when speaking about Workhorse, remarked, “OK, they get it; they understand our various channels and identified the challenges right from the beginning.”

Emma Lawlor mentions that the entire process resembled more of a consultancy approach rather than a sales pitch, with Workhorse demonstrating flexibility and tailoring their solution to adapt to Pinch’s distinctive business model. This allowed Pinch to seamlessly integrate Workhorse and free up mental space to concentrate on other aspects of the business.

Implementation Process:

The implementation process was extensive and required dedicated effort. Key steps included strategy development, road mapping, extensive testing, and data cleaning. The transition from a fully bespoke system to Workhorse demanded meticulous attention to detail, with a focus on ensuring a smooth adaptation to the new platform.

Impact on Business Operations:

  1. Reporting: 

Workhorse empowered Pinch with nimble and agile reporting capabilities.

Customisable reports provided insights into stock locations, sales volumes, and customer orders. 

The ability to download CSV files enhanced data accessibility and allowed for personalised data analysis.

  1. KPI Tracking:

Pinch tracked various KPIs, including quote value, territory performance, product types, and channels.

The system’s KPI features facilitated a deeper understanding of customer behaviour, aiding strategic decision-making.

  1. Operational Efficiency:

Workhorse streamlined inventory management, offering better visibility into stock levels and supplier performance.

Procurement processes became more efficient, with enhanced forecasting and insights into order status.

  1. Customer Communication:

Workhorse flexibility allowed Pinch to customise customer-facing documents, ensuring consistency in brand representation in quotes, order confirmations, and invoices. 

Pinch has experienced significant growth in the last five years since the implementation of Workhorse. 

According to Oona Bannon: “With a system like Workhorse, if you are an instinctive business owner, you can very easily

support your decisions with data”.  

Lessons Learned and Recommendations:

Reflecting on the implementation, Emma Lawlor emphasised the importance of data cleanliness, thorough training, and realistic Go-Live dates. 

Pinch advises businesses considering a new system to focus on preparing stakeholders, testing extensively, and ensuring data readiness.

Future Direction:

With Workhorse, Pinch gained the ability to make informed decisions about product lines, marketing strategies, and international expansion. The system provided valuable insights into customer trends, helping Pinch anticipate demand and tailor their offerings accordingly.

The partnership with Workhorse has allowed Pinch to evolve dynamically, supporting their instinctive business approach with data-driven decision-making. As Pinch continues to grow, Workhorse remains an integral part of their journey, offering adaptability and scalability to meet evolving business needs.

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