After several years of fast growth, Hume Building Products found their business efficiency and customer relationship management dropping. They turned to some of the world’s biggest ERP providers to help – but found a better solution closer to home.
For close to 15 years, Hume Building Products has been a leading Australian supplier of building products, tools and accessories. Servicing builders, contractors and architects (and the odd DIYer), Hume Building Products are known widely for their vast product range, trusted brands and strong client relationships.
Starting as a plasterboard distributor, the business has grown their expertise and their footprint, now with eight locations and 192 staff across NSW and Victoria. And they’re continuing to grow, year on year.
When Hume Building Products first started out, they had implemented Micronet as their business management software. It was designed for warehouse and distribution outfits like theirs and supported the small-scale business incredibly well. But as Hume Building Products more than doubled their size in just a few years, gaps started to form:
Capturing the right information was difficult
Had to refer to multiple systems to find and report on data
Limited CRM/SRM capability
These drawbacks were beginning to cause frustration across the business. Business leaders, including General Manager Stavros Perrotis, wanted the business and staff to be as efficient and productive as possible. They knew this meant having an all-in-one platform in place.
A CLEAR VISION & A SURPRISE CONTENDER
Stavros and the team were clear that whatever platform they ended up with, it would need to provide the current
streamlined inventory management features they were enjoying, as well as:
Despite their great existing relationship with Micronet, Stavros believed he had a duty of care to investigate all possible options and wanted to see what the wider market had to offer. He looked into multiple options and spoke in-depth to SAP and Microsoft Dynamics specifically. But he also had Robert Butler from Micronet demo him their new ERP solution, HARMONiQ, for comparison.
The results were surprising. Not only did HARMONiQ stand up to the bigger competitors, but there were also three key factors that made it a preferable choice:
- It proved to be considerably more affordable.
- It could be scaled to meet Hume Building Products’ needs (meaning they wouldn’t be paying for a large, brand-named solution that they may not utilise fully).
- It was delivered by a provider that already knew their business processes, and could make a seamless transition onto the new platform with their historical data.
The last point was critical, as they were in the midst of a very busy period in the construction industry. They decided HARMONiQ was the way to go.
“We could see that HARMONiQ could do anything the other bigger options could.” – Stavros Perrotis, General Manager, Hume Building Products
JUGGLING IMPLEMENTATION & CHANGE MANAGEMENT
During the Discovery Phase, the HARMONiQ team came onboard to build a deep understanding of Hume Building Products’ current situation, problems, needs, and goals for the next 3-5 years, in line with the expansion and financial growth of the business. This would guide how they would configure and implement the HARMONiQ system.
Being the first big project of this nature Stavros and his team had been involved in, everything was new to them – forming a steering committee, organising change advocates, and setting up the structure for HARMONiQ to capture all of the information required to customise the platform for Hume.
Stavros greed their biggest hurdle was change management – getting internal staff on board with the system change and getting the relevant process information from each area of the business. Because of this, they knew they would experience some teething issues as they discovered things they had missed. This proved to have minimal impact on their operations though, and the HARMONiQ team was on hand to fill gaps and provide training (and retraining) where required.
“The HARMONiQ team provided clear, effective communication and were very supportive, and VERY patient.” – Stavros Perrotis
A couple of years after their initial transition to HARMONiQ, Stavros says nearly 100% of the team are fully
onboard and loving the new system.
BUSINESS-WIDE EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS
The Hume Building Products team are continuously improving how they use HARMONiQ and adding functionalityas needs arise within the business (this flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of the software). However, they arealready experiencing significant uplift across the business:
Hume Building Products has seen a considerable improvement in productivity and efficiency among staff. Stavros estimates they are cutting at least 10-15% off turnaround times for processing sales orders.
Quick data sourcing & reporting
The ability to source information has dramatically improved. Previously it could easily take 2-3 hours to retrieve the right data, with in depth knowledge of the system required to do so. With HARMONiQ, even casual users can find the right information and create a meaningful report on the fly If required.
Hume has seen their CRM capability improve dramatically, particularly in terms of collections and recording customer information – be it from a meeting or a situation on a job site. It’s helped them both improve their relationships with their customers and protect the business by being able to carefully document all offsite interactions.
“There’s been a lot of improvement with our CRM. With HARMONiQ, it’s very customisable, which is really important.” – Stavros Perrotis
Efficient stock management
While they are continuously improving the inventory management aspects of the system, Stavros agrees they already significantly improved visibility over stock, with a 20% improvement on stock availability processes compared to the old platform.
Their customers have experienced positive changes too, impressed with the new formats of their account information and with the speed of the auto generated invoices and automated confirmation immediately after transactions are completed.
LEARNING FROM THE PAST & LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE
Looking back, Stavros acknowledges that they should have looked more deeply at their own processes during the discovery phase and asked more detailed questions about what they had and what they needed. But despite this hurdle, they know HARMONiQ is delivering for them, and have no doubts that it’s the best solution for them and for other businesses within the building supplies industry.
“HARMONiQ is a great system, a great platform. We haven’t looked back.” – Stavros Perrotis
Hume Building Products will continue to improve and update HARMONiQ business processes over time. They like that they know it will continue to support them, even if they continue to increase their staff, stores or product lines. So far, they haven’t found anything HARMONiQ can’t do – which gives them peace of mind it will continue to support their business.
Is it time to boost efficiency and futureproof your business systems? For full details or a no-obligation demo of HARMONiQ, contact us today.