MYAKKA, a leading fair trade home furnishings business, had a challenge. How could they move away from a complex and bespoke ecommerce platform that was becoming a blocker to growth and on to Shopify Plus. A great challenge and sensible move, and certainly one that we were both up for.

Of course, this all had to be done seamlessly, with no customer impact, no negative commercial impact and with no disruption to the day to day business. Oh, and it had to be done in five weeks.

Why Shopify Plus?

MYAKKA’s choice of Shopify Plus was driven by a desire to standardise their business and remove technology as a blocker to growth. Whilst the previous bespoke platform gave great flexibility, bespoke platforms also come with overhead at both a technical and resource level.

One of the main advantages that MYAKKA saw in Shopify Plus was the ability to buy into enterprise-grade capability whilst not requiring an enterprise-sized team or technical resource. A real opportunity to up their ecommerce capability, whilst reducing the technology burden on their business.

By removing complexity, and standardising their approach to ecommerce, MYAKKA has been able to remove technology as a barrier to their future growth and can now focus on building their business, not their platform.

Why Venture Forge?

At the initial discussion of the project, Venture Forge instilled confidence and understanding of not just the Shopify Plus platform but the commercial aspects of our business. With Venture Forge’s experience in online furniture retailing, we had great confidence in both their technical and commercial ability

Georgie Hopkins, MYAKKA Founder

Speed Vs Agility

With a deadline of five weeks, it’s all too easy to think “no, this is crazy” (we didn’t by the way!) or to try and solve the challenge by throwing resource at it.

By staying true to our values of Intelligent Innovation and Dynamic Progress, we took a different approach. One of focus, prioritisation and agility over one of speed.

With an immovable deadline and by working as one team with MYAKKA, we took a minimum viable product approach to the re-platform and worked iteratively across the five weeks to deliver as much value as we could together by the deadline.

By focussing on results and outcomes, we created a way of working that allowed us to share progress, prioritise issues and functionality and deliver what the business really needed for a   transition on deadline day.

Through bi-weekly video calls, product demos, a thorough development process from Venture Forge and clear management of tasks through Asana (which is amazing by the way) we delivered not just the MVP, but much more of the lower priority requirements than would have ever been possible if we’d been rigid and taken a speed based approach.

Great project management which gave a real sense of security and priority. Nothing was too much trouble. We were always offered creative solutions to issues and most importantly, Venture Forge were honest… when the answer wasn’t known or obvious, research was completed to ensure we chose the best solution for our business.

Georgie Hopkins, MYAKKA Founder

A true value match

We always like to do a wash up of a project once we’ve completed it and review our processes to see how we can continually deliver great value and service for our clients.

Often this review highlights how a process worked well, or where some technology could be improved, but with our review of the MYAKKA project we hit on one thing that we believe we can really pin the success of this project to – and that’s a true alignment of values between MYAKKA and Venture Forge.

Borrowing from MYAKKA – “Our suppliers and communities mean the world to us and we consider them partners and friends.” – and this really came through in how we worked together and how we jointly achieved a Shopify Plus re-platform in five weeks.

The alignment of MYAKKA’s partnership and friends way of doing business, and Venture Forge’s ‘One Team’ values are what really delivered a big project on a crazy deadline.

Focussed on big outcomes rather than little details, being agile rather than fast and most importantly working together rather than for each other we achieved a lot and had a great laugh along the way.

Don’t overlook the importance of working with like-minded people and partners on your projects – it’s often what delivers the real results. Get in touch to find out how Venture Forge can work for and with your business.