Salesh Narayan, Operations Manager from OPTL, a multinational Ricoh dealer, shared why Unleashed has been a good solution for their IT inventory management needs. OPTL’s core business is exporting to subsidiaries and dealers throughout the Pacific Islands including Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. They do the whole office solution — supplying printers, copiers, and computers. Salesh’s passion for his role is apparent as he talks about the positive flow on effect of the solutions OPTL implements. Working closely with their clients, who are predominantly in the government and corporate sectors, they ensure that they are meeting not just their immediate needs, but putting solutions in place that will help them grow into the future.
OPTL required a new solution for their inventory that was cloud-based to better serve the needs of the multinational company. In their existing solution, the data was siloed whereas they really needed to be able to see what was happening at multiple locations. As the company is growing steadily, they needed something that could scale with their growth and along with this, be straightforward to implement and easy for new staff to learn.
Salesh came across Unleashed after switching OPTL to Xero for the accounting side and searching within the Xero ecosystem for a cloud-based inventory management tool.
The implementation process was a lot simpler than they had initially thought. After using a partner to guide them through their first set up, they have taken care of all subsequent Unleashed implementations themselves. According to Salesh, it’s easy to bring a new site up onto Unleashed: importing data from the previous system, testing it and getting staff trained. OPTL are in the process of completing their fourth Unleashed implementation and they will continue to complete more as they grow. “We can get subsidiaries up and running in three days. That’s really cool for a company that’s growing,” he enthuses.
Unleashed has had a big impact on efficiency; Salesh recalls that before using Unleashed there were often delays with things having to come through the head office to be checked, processed and authorised. “With Unleashed, that can all be done and approved in real-time, because someone from the head office in Auckland can see right away what’s going on in Samoa,” he explains. OPTL has also utilised Unleashed to help distribute work more evenly across their international offices, enabling the company to be more agile. If a consignment lands in Samoa, but they are short of staff there, they can give someone in Vanuatu access to assist with costing and checking. “That really helps with future growth; it means that we can open up a back office in, for example, Fiji which can be dedicated to helping with administrative tasks. Previously, all the staff had to be on site. Now, we can solve problems internationally,” Salesh reports. Administrative staff in New Zealand can now work to support the whole operation across the different locations. Salesh has been really pleased with the gains in efficiency and knows that the positive impact will be magnified with future growth: “It makes the daily processes much more efficient,” he says.
Salesh has high praise for Unleashed’s integration capabilities: “you can put Xero, Unleashed, and GeoOp together to do some amazing things at a price point that would otherwise not be possible.” His advice to other businesses looking at Unleashed: “bite the bullet and get on board quickly so you’re going to get the greatest benefit.”
Keen on keeping up with new capabilities and uses of Unleashed, Salesh plans to expand the way OPTL uses Unleashed through a Magento integration. His aim is to create a B to C feel with dealers in smaller countries using the platform to buy from OPTL. “It’s an efficient way to service the areas where there’s not a big enough market for us to set up an office,” he explains. The dealers can place orders themselves, which will be processed by head office in Auckland. The flexibility that Unleashed offers is a huge plus: “That sort of thing is really not possible if you’re on the older systems, even some of the bigger ERP systems. You just don’t have that agility to move quickly and change things,” he adds.
Salesh has been impressed with the development progress and the usefulness of features: “Unleashed is very focused on delivering feature improvements which positively affect business processes.” According to Salesh, being on Unleashed offers great reliability and makes it easy for staff to continue doing their work in exceptional circumstances. He recalls a recent example, “the internet went down in Samoa, but we were still able to process orders. They just phoned the Auckland office where orders were processed and everything just continued as normal.” The in-depth reporting and remote accessibility is also a key strength for OPTL; “someone can be in Hong Kong and check using Unleashed’s reports to find the most profitable customers as they’re going into a meeting,” Salesh enthuses. “What we get from Unleashed is big ERP functionality, but we maintain small business leanness and agility,” he adds. His final words of advice to those who are on the fence about flocking to the cloud: “Don’t hesitate. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is that your competitors are going to jump into the cloud and get the competitive advantage over you.”
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.