Sulev Sepp, purchasing manager of IM Arvutid already noticed three years ago that the company’s business software impeded its growth, since it was not stabile and had too high license fees and an uncomfortable user interface. That was the time the company started to work on a solution for the problem.
Apple´s biggest reseller and partner in the Baltic Countries and Finland, IM Arvutid was created in 1993. The mission of the company is to offer its customers innovative solutions that meet their needs and help them to be successful. That’s why the company also expects a maximal performance from all its cooperation partners.
One moment, however, the company’s staff noticed that the biggest obstacle for the innovation inside the company was its business software that did not allow a smooth management of the work flow. It did not give the company a responsible added value, did not help to earn more profit, and did not help to make the work of the staff quicker or more comfortable. In short, it was outdated and did not help the company to grow.
Even though the management expected from an early stage of the process that changing business software would be a time-consuming process, it has never regretted replacing the previous software with Erply.
Faster, more comfortable, and more effective
“The current software is much more operable and user friendly. We can use different operation systems and mobile devices,” said Sepp comparing the two softwares and added: “Now, we can access the stock very comfortably from different locations and platforms. The manager has the opportunity to follow the functioning of the company in real-time. One of the very big plusses is the visibility of data, regarding both the stock and the reporting. We really see the data relatively quickly, and this makes our work significantly faster, more comfortable, and more effective.”
Sepp does not deny that the process of replacing previous software with Erply was time-consuming. At the same time, the company was also 100 per cent ready for it. He recommends – regardless of the business volume – to plan extra time for replacing the business software, to go into the details of the process, and to do it all without intermediaries. It is not possible to do the replacement in the every-day routine, time needs to be taken for it.
How did the company reach the suitable partner? “We decided for Erply after an analysis of local service providers. We wished for an Estonian provider that would be able to meet our needs and in the operability of which we could be sure on everyday basis,” added Sepp who did not organise a procurement in traditional sense. The company rather organised active consultations, gave tasks, met the teams and analysed every little detail. All this, including the replacement itself took nine months.
“The replacement could definitely have been more smooth. For instance, we could have described our business processes and the business processes of our cooperation partners better. Especially the vision of our cooperation partners on how they see their business in the process of virtualisation,” added the purchase manager and shared an important lesson learned: “The business processes should be analysed, as well as the ones of the cooperation partners. Business software should be chosen in a way that it meets all the expectations and the source data.”
Since IM Arvutid is the biggest reseller of Apple in Baltic Countries and Finland and in addition, offers an authorised Apple maintenance service, the clarity of the platform, issuing invoices in the selling process, and the reporting were the main requirements for the providers of business software.
Regarding the last point, the most important question is how fast can the necessary data be obtained.
“As we are a retail company it was important for us that the invoicing in the retail business would be as correct and transparent as possible, including the accounting. Previously we could summarise the financial data once in a month, but now, we could theoretically do it as of the same date,” added Sepp, who recommends to opt for a software in a cloud, because it helps to reduce the operating costs – there is neither need for an IT specialist nor for amortising your servers. As automatic updates are charged by many software providers, the savings may be up to tens of thousands of euros in a year.
A monthly fee is the most reasonable solution
The price is definitely a very important factor when choosing business software, and not only the price, but also the price-performance ratio. IM Arvutid opted for a monthly fee, so that the company does not constantly have to put the finger on the price list. “It is because we are a very specific partner. There are many things that cannot be changed, because we have to follow the rules,” explained Sepp.
This process should not be delayed. In the cooperation of the client and the software provider, the mutual trust is the most important issue.
“Trust and honesty may be the most important characters of the client. I mean an open communication on what are the current situation and goals and how the client sees the system working after a certain period of time. The client has to trust the other company and give out its data. It also means trust, when a solution suitable for the business process is found and an exclusive use opportunity is provided for. This might be the key for the success of our business – trust, honesty, and communication,” concluded Sepp.