The new tissue-products company has big ambitions for its ‘Linen Soft’ brand, and a hard head for growth and sustainable quality. Logistics and procurement manager Max Dong has been with Atoll Paper since its launch in Australia in January 2012. One of a small team of five, he and his colleagues are keen to grow with the household-paper company as it positions itself in the middle of the market. As Max puts it, “we want to compete with the big players.”
It’s important to Max to build Atoll Paper’s growth on products that are environmentally considerate and sourced from long-established paper manufacturing suppliers. Its brand, ‘Linen Soft’, was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council in March 2013 and by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification in February 2014. “Now, our focus is on facial tissues, toilet tissue and hand and kitchen towels, and in the future we will grow into napkins as well,” says Max.
“We are still at the beginnings of business and my responsibilities are anything between supply and sale,” Max explains. “So, I’m in charge of sourcing, the relationship with suppliers, price negotiations, warehousing and distribution. Basically, I take care of the whole supply chain function.” Always being busy called for inventory software that was user-friendly and suited to a startup business. “I asked which can be linked with our accounting system Xero, and began with a list of about eight,” recalls Max. “After I went through the detail and functions, I shortlisted three. I had to consider the upfront costs, setup costs and ongoing costs, plus functions for stock-in and -out management and the reporting system and whether existing reports could be customised. We did not want setup costs, and that helped me to decide to use Unleashed Software.”
“The implementation was very straightforward,” Max says. ” I did a trial run for two weeks, putting in some dummy data and finding out what functions Unleashed has and whether they are exactly what we needed. I concluded that it’s very good, and that importing and exporting data is easy to do. After that trial period, we decided to put in our actual stock figures and transactions and start from there.”
Max is enthusiastic about a number of Unleashed’s inventory management functions. “Once I have my material purchase or shipment invoice, it’s very easy for me to put in the three or four other cost invoices we need. I can look at the total cost for that purchase order straightaway. That function’s very clear and well designed, but there are other functions we’re not ready to use yet. Today, Atoll Paper is new and we just sell. But in the future, as we develop our business model, Unleashed’s different price lists function will be very useful for controlling varying list, wholesale and distributor prices.”
Atoll Paper’s international trading business already benefits from the multiple currency function , and Max expects to make good use of the multiple warehouse function. “Currently, we only have one central warehouse, which is in Sydney, but in the very near future we will grow into Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and will set up different warehouses in those cities. But I’m already using the multiple function as I’ve also set up another warehouse which I call a ‘virtual warehouse’. This is because a group of customers requires a direct container delivery instead of going through our warehouse. This means that when we do the process order, the goods will point to this virtual warehouse. When we do the receipt, the goods will be in the virtual warehouse and I can issue the sales invoice directly out of that warehouse without mixing it with our existing stock.”
Another possibility for the multiple warehouse function will be when Atoll Paper has different consignment stock locations. “We can set up different warehouses in the system for the consignment stock so the figures will be separate from our overall stock figures,” plans Max. “It’ll be easy for us to manage. If we upgrade with Unleashed, we can have an unlimited number of warehouses.”
But it’s not just the future that Max likes to play with. “If I have some spare time, I always play around with Unleashed and see if there are some functions I haven’t used before. It’s got a lot which will be very useful, especially as Atoll Paper is a startup business. Even if I don’t need to use them yet, I just get familiar with them.”
Unleashed is cost- and function-convenient. It’s very good software for startups.