SuiteWorld 17 – Designer of sound proof office pods scales in the cloud with NetSuite

SUMMARY:

Finland-based Framery needed to consolidate its core business systems in the cloud with NetSuite to support rapid international growth this year.

Anyone that has worked in a modern office knows that whilst an open-plan layout can be conducive to better collaboration amongst employees, it can also quickly become a noisy environment that makes it hard to concentrate.

Framery solves this problem with its state-of-the art sound proof pods, which have won numerous design and innovation awards. The pods are beautifully crafted and use materials that allow for not only a comfortable space to sit, but also ensure effective insulation from outside noise.

The Finland-based business is growing rapidly – with revenues expected to triple this year – and it is selling to a number of international markets. Since being founded in 2010, Framery had been using a number of disparate back-end systems that weren’t conducive to support this growth, forcing the company to consider a modern system to help it scale.

I got the chance to speak to Framery IT manager, Veikko Lindberg, at NetSuite’s annual user event in Las Vegas this week, where he explained that after a year long project with two partners, Framery began using NetSuite in February this year. The company is planning to upgrade to NetSuite OneWorld later this month in order to support its international expansion plans.

Consolidating

Lindberg explained that Framery’s legacy systems (albeit still cloud based and only a few years old) were requiring too much manual intervention and were slowing down the order to fulfilment process. He said:

We were using TradeGecko, which is an inventory management system for e-commerce. So it wasn’t really that good a fit for us. It was holding us back, so we weren’t able to scale. We are growing really fast at the moment, so we needed a system that would scale with us. Our order to fulfilment process was really time consuming and to get one order out for us took way too much manual work. And there was other hassles to get the order correct.

We used that for inventory management and then for accounting we had a separate system, so it wasn’t an integrated ERP solution.

Lindberg went on to say that the company chose NetSuite because it’s an ‘all in one’ integrated system that could support the business as it scales. He added that the company didn’t have any reservations about the cloud, as all its other systems were cloud based – a priority for the business. He said:

We chose NetSuite because we wanted to have a cloud-based ERP that would support our processes from order to fulfilment, that was our first goal. We went with NetSuite because they have references from other companies that are growing as fast as we are.

All of the software we buy is cloud-based because we don’t want to have any servers of our own. It doesn’t make sense for us, because we can get it cheaper in the cloud and we don’t need to resource our IT staff that much in order to maintain the systems.

Implementation

From signing the deal with partners to going live, Framery’s NetSuite implementation took one year. Lindberg says that this is longer than other NetSuite customers he has spoken to, because Framery required a lot of initial specification work and redesigning of processes to map on to the NetSuite system.

In addition to this, Framery decided to do a certain amount of customisations on the NetSuite system, as it wanted to create a mobile app that allowed for the manufacturing part of the business to configure, track and monitor orders. Lindberg explained:

In the system we have our product configurator, which we use to configure the phone booths or the meeting pods on sales orders. And then we have a custom mobile app that we use in manufacturing, so we get the work orders to the mobile app and they can fulfil the work orders with that.

We had a strong vision of where we wanted to go with the system and the mobile app was something that we really saw value in, so that we could drive the manufacturing and warehouse operations with that. We saw a lot of potential there.

You can see the different manufacturing lines, can see the serial numbers, the assembly process. The mobile devices we are using in manufacturing, they have barcode scanners and the process can be traced.”

Pros and cons

As already mentioned, Framery is expecting to triple its revenue growth this year and Lindberg said that the main benefit of the NetSuite system is that the business can now “progress quickly”. He added:

We would have had to hire more people in the back office in order to do that. It’s saved us money.

However, Lindberg did also have a warning for others considering a similar project. He said that time should be factored in to organise system data before migration, making it authoritative for future use. Lindberg explained:

The amount of time needed to make a comprehensive [list of] item data in NetSuite takes a lot of time, so that’s something that companies should focus on. We didn’t have enough resources for that to do it. It took a lot of time for us to build the master data for our items.

We redesigned the whole master data for items with this project, so it took a lot of time and it was more time consuming than we assumed. But we wanted to do that so we have a better understanding of how we operate, because we didn’t have that in the previous system.

Image credit - Image sourced via Framery

Disclosure - NetSuite is a diginomica premier partner at time of writing.