- Location: Headquarters in Bristol, UK; products sold in 50 countries
- Industry: Design and manufacture of specialist footwear for hygienic workplaces
- Overview: Toffeln outgrew its software and turned to Acumatica to gain connectivity of data systems, remote access, and stronger customer service
- Improved reporting, with seamless integration of ERP, e-commerce, and customer data
- Enhanced productivity, with elimination of duplicate data entry
- Strengthened customer service, with remote access to data
ACUMATICA SAVES BRITISH DISTRIBUTOR TIME, ENHANCES CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SETS STAGE FOR GROWTH
Founded in England in 1978, in a small apartment above an office, Toffeln has grown into a company that distributes its products in 50 countries. Toffeln designs, produces and distributes ergonomic footwear worn in hygienic environments such as hospitals, dentist and veterinary offices, and food service. Toffeln’s sales have grown about 12 to 13 percent each year, according to Sales Manager Bradley Leflaive.
Toffeln continues to be a family-owned firm based in Bristol, England, but it now has 25 employees. It has two sales representatives outside of the United Kingdom, primarily covering continental Europe and the Middle East.
As Toffeln expanded, Bradley Leflaive says, it outgrew the data management systems it had been using: Sage Accounting, Sage ACT for CRM, and Orderwise, with which they managed their stock and order processing. Bradley reports the lack of connection between the systems caused problems, particularly when sales personnel could not easily get access to customer records. “It wasn’t a very seamless integration between the three systems,” Bradley says.
Finance Manager Justin Leflaive reports, “We had two key criteria when looking for an ERP product. The first was to solve the problem that we had with different sets of data stored on various systems, which made our reporting very time-consuming, and caused a lack of efficiency between our sales and operations departments. The second was that we wanted a solution that would position us correctly for growth and future requirements over the long-term.” In addition, Bradley Leflaive says, “With our old systems, we were finding it a little tricky to work outside of the office or out in the field. They weren’t on the Cloud, or they weren’t designed for using whilst remote.”
When Toffeln looked for a new CRM to integrate with its accounting and order management systems, Bradley Leflaive says, “We found that finding a CRM that linked those systems was very difficult.”
They turned their attention to finding an ERP. Finance Manager Justin Leflaive says they considered a number of options, including NetSuite, SAP and Microsoft Dynamics. They discovered Acumatica through an online review on a website, and then researched what Acumatica offered.
Bradley Leflaive says they decided Acumatica had the flexibility Toffeln needed, to address both their current and their future needs: “They are a company that is constantly developing their product, that’s up-to-speed with the latest movements in the industry, in particular Microsoft.” He adds, “We thought that Acumatica would continue to make changes in the future, and being a Cloud-based system you would get the advantage of that ongoing improvement.”
In the autumn of 2014 Toffeln contracted with Acumatica partner Arcus Universe to manage the switch-over. Toffeln opted for Acumatica version 5.2, on a PCS (private Cloud) licence, with the Financial, Distribution and CRM suites. Bradley Leflaive says they liked being able to have unlimited users: “That means quite a bit to us here.”
They plan to add more Acumatica features. Justin Leflaive says, “One thing we’d like to take advantage of in the future is the customer portal, allowing customers to log on and look at their orders.” They also look forward to bringing in Fixed Assets, according to Bradley Leflaive: “We can see more of the accounting picture inside the ERP if we’ve got the Fixed Asset information inside the ERP, instead of it being with the accountants and we have to wait for them to input the information.”
Finance Manager Justin Leflaive identifies their integrated financial and customer data as the key benefit of Acumatica: “Having everything in one place – having our CRM contacts alongside the orders that are flowing through – and being able to report on it.”
Justin Leflaive has appreciated “the generic inquiries function for reporting, and the general ability to pull out data using reporting tools. We found that very useful, and relatively easy to use.”
Sales Manager Bradley Leflaive adds, “Being able to drill down inside reports, so we can see from a profit-loss statement right down to the customer that’s placed the order… has helped us to see exactly what is going on at the moment…. We can very quickly drill into what’s happened.”
Justin Leflaive reports they’ve found Acumatica easy to customize, and they like having automation schedules. They can also update a large number of records all at once, he says: “We can select a load of different customers or different records and update a certain field with a click of a button. … It saves a lot of time.”
Justin says they also value “the Exchange integration for email. We think that’s a brilliant feature to have.” Justin says they also hope to integrate their ERP with the email service MailChimp, bringing the MailChimp customer data into the ERP.
Changing to Acumatica is also allowing Toffeln to remove their servers. Justin reports, “We’re able to host the database on a virtual server, which means we don’t have to maintain a server any more…. We probably would have had to invest in new ones soon, because ours are quite old. That would have been quite expensive.”
Justin Leflaive looks forward to Acumatica helping Toffeln to grow more quickly. He points out, “Having separately the order system and the CRM before, we couldn’t see too easily what our sales efforts were yielding, whereas now we can, which is good…. If we can see what’s working and what isn’t, we can grow easier.”
Toffeln is adding employees to focus on international growth. Bradley Leflaive says Acumatica will help with that expansion: “It will mean we don’t have to reinvest and start all over again. We feel a bit more future-proof.”
Justin Leflaive confirms, “Acumatica has already proved effective in handling future needs with a clean and simple integration to our e-commerce system, and we are confident it will continue to do so for many years. I would recommend Acumatica to any growing distributor looking for a great system.”