When you manufacture world-class car parts and supply the leading names and race teams in the world of motorsport, you want to make sure your systems can keep up with your success.
Alex Harrhy, Sales Manager of Forge Motorsport, sheds light on their quest for automated and streamlined business systems — with the help of Nephos, an Unleashed Referral Partner.
Forge Motorsport specialises in aftermarket parts for road and race
Forge Motorsport is a family-run business and we’re based in Gloucester. We manufacture aftermarket parts for road and race and have developed one of the largest range of replacement aftermarket blow off valves, recirculation valves, intercoolers and actuators in the world. We also supply leading names and race teams, including F1, World Rally Championships, Rally X, and Le Mans.
The struggle of manual work
There were two main issues for us. Firstly, we were doing everything manually. Secondly, our information was in multiple locations across our sales and invoicing system and Excel. We were also using a 17-year old accounting system that was getting more inaccurate as time went on.
We’ve reflected on the last 12 months to see how we’ve been working and how we’ve been trying to work. We found that our current systems made it really difficult to work from home.
“Our products and designs are very innovative…but we have neglected our process methods, that’s why we’re looking for systems like Unleashed and Xero to make sure we keep up with our products.”
For us, it’s all about the automation. We want to be able to analyse the information we’ve got and use that to make ourselves a more streamlined business so we can improve the accuracy of costing, the accuracy of orders, order on time and more.
We have both B2B and B2C customers and each customer requires a different level of customer service and immediacy of information. That’s something we’ve struggled with but once we get Unleashed fully up and running, it will give our end users an easier shopping experience. It’ll be very much an immediate transaction so it will improve business.
Partnering with digitally savvy accountants
We partnered with Nephos, an accounting firm, to help us get up and running with Unleashed.
Nephos were very vibrant, new and energetic. They were trying to move us on from what we’ve historically known. It was invigorating to see new ways of how to make our business better and simplify the systems we had. That’s something that’s never been shown to us before!
Historically, our accountants have been very reactive — they just looked at the numbers. Nephos are very proactive. They understand our business and want to make our business better. They’ve invested a lot of time into making sure they know what we want, what we want to achieve, and give us ideas on how to make our sales better. It also helps that Joe, the founder of Nephos, previously worked in manufacturing.
Nephos has shown us various different systems that will allow us to free up time within the business to concentrate on the business instead of concentrating in the business.
“It’s great working with Nephos. It gives us the ability to concentrate on working in the business and leave all the number-crunching to them.”
Nephos has been really easy to deal with since the start. The benefit of working with them is their expertise with cloud-based software like Unleashed. They have helped a great deal with the installation and their team has been fantastic.
A new way of working using Unleashed
When we looked at getting a new system, Unleashed looked perfect for what we wanted to do and what we wanted to achieve going forward into 2021 and into the future to make us a more automated and streamlined business.
Six months prior to implementing Unleashed, we tested out Unleashed and Xero with our sister business. It was a smooth and successful transition over to both platforms and the simplicity helped a great deal.
Moving to Unleashed is one of the easiest transitions we’ve had, mostly due to the import/export function of Unleashed. It’s so easy to drag and drop.
“I’ve moved over 3500 part numbers at a click of a button. Historically it would’ve taken me hours or days to do that.”
The support we’ve had from the Bristol team has been really good. I’ve also been watching the Unleashed tutorials on Youtube — it’s been really helpful in showing me how to use the features.
Automation in 2021 and beyond
Although we’re still in the process of moving our systems over, we know that once it’s all up and running, it’s going to make us a vastly different business.
We still have to set up our Bills of Materials, assemblies and subassemblies to make sure all the right information is in Unleashed. That ought to give us a better idea of how much stock we have on hand, when we should place orders, and our business costs. Everything used to be done manually so going forward, this automation will save us hundreds of hours.
We’re also looking at the API integration between Unleashed and our website. This will allow our online customers — whether they’re B2B or B2C — to see what stock we have on hand. It’ll definitely improve business.
Moving our business forwards means moving to the cloud. This will allow our team at Forge Motorsport to easily access data and keep up with the times.