Case Study - Consumables Solutions

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The Challenges:

  • Required an integrated, cloud-based solution
  • Required a client-focused website to catalogue 200 000 products.
  • business continuity and risk reduction were essential.

The Results:

  • One integrated solution.
  • Information is now instantly available.
  • NetSuite has enabled them to compete on a level playing field with bigger competitors.

Challenges:

Consumables managing director Jonathan Hall explains that the company started using IRIS Exchequer accounting software which was a solid accounting software package but had no further capabilities for CRM, warehousing etc. so they continually needed bolt-ons which came from different companies. “It was a far from integrated solution and we started

experiencing multiple problems because of all the bespoke customisation that had to take place for anything extra we needed,” Jonathan says.

They also used Focas for sales reporting and another external company which provided customisation services for their added value business, but having so many different platforms meant it led to complications. In 2009, the company evaluated software such as Microsoft Dynamics but they didn’t provide cloud-based solutions so they were rejected.

“When we decided in 2011 to outsource all our IT and warehouse systems, we realised it was time to find one integrated ERP solution which could work in a cloud-based environment and that’s when we came across NetSuite.”

Solution:

The NetSuite implementation began in October 2011 and went live on 6 June 2012, although it continues to be a work in progress as the company requires more capabilities.

“We are absolutely delighted with NetSuite,” says Jonathan. “It has provided us with one solution, meaning that when an order comes in via our website, it goes straight into NetSuite and the warehouse staff see it immediately and can act upon it. We’ve got 200 000 products and growing all the time, so it is vital that our website, prices and special deals are updated seamlessly.”

He explains that prior to October 2011, the company didn’t have a website and he feels it was unlikely to have happened under their previous IT systems. There are now two websites, one a business-to- business site and the other is U-controlTM, a client-focused, individual log in facility for their bigger clients. Jonathan describes it as “clever and sophisticated but very clunky on the old system”. NetSuite has turned it into a slick and powerful machine.

“NetSuite has given us a springboard – we are a small business which has to compete with larger players with value-added solutions. Previously we were hindered by our IT offerings but NetSuite has helped us to level that playing field.”

All the company data is housed on external servers so business continuity and risk reduction were vital in any solution. “Having NetSuite means we were able to dispense with IT support and now, if anything goes wrong, we probably don’t even know about it because it is all hosted in the cloud. In addition, with our old solution, staff were unable to access any information unless they were at their desks but, with NetSuite, this has changed completely – it has flattened the world for us,” Jonathan says.

He adds that the implementation and roll-out was seamless and the level of detail provided by BlueBridge One was phenomenal. The company adopted a “train the trainer” approach facilitated by videos, downloads, training packs and detailed schedules from BlueBridge One.

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