Miriad Products is one of the leading suppliers of products to the caravan and motorhome industry in the UK. The Derbyshire-based wholesale and distributor supplies the leisure industry with a wide variety of good from the manufacturing, retail and repair of different types of vehicles.
Having worked closely with trade partners and customers to ensure they receive products at competitive prices in a timely and efficient manner, the company quickly realised it needed an ERP solution to manage demand. In February 2014 under the guidance of SAP partner IIS Group, Miriad deployed SAP Business One plus the popular IIS add-on B1 Portal to enhance its customers’ online shopping experience and eventually increase market share within the UK leisure industry.
Jon Bray, IT Administrator, Miriad Products, explains how the solution has already proven to be a platform for future growth by enhancing overall productivity and describes the immediate impact of the B1 Portal on online sales.
Q: What system did you have in place prior to the implementation of SAP Business One?
A: We were using using a legacy system, but unfortunately the system no longer supported the business and its growth plans for the future. It was fine for a period of time, but for the company to move forward, a new system was required.
Q: What are the main benefits Miriad has experienced since using SAP Business One?
A: There are lots of benefits that we’ve experienced over the past couple of months. These range from automated, standardised procedures; greater efficiencies and streamlined operations. There are a range of things we’ve benefitted from already and we are beginning to gain more benefits as we move forward with the solution.
Q: Since using SAP Business One, have you witnessed an improvement in the time it takes for you to complete key reports?
A: We’ve been really impressed with the ability to extract data from the system and it’s certainly more flexible than our former software. We’re really happy with the reporting capabilities in SAP Business One.
Q: From your own point of view, how have you benefited from using SAP Business One?
A: In my role I’ve got a clearer insight into operations. As a result, as a business, we’re able to review procedures that have been in place for a long time and take a new look at how we can improve upon these.
Sales up as customers flock to B1 Portal
Q: Miriad stock a range of products for the UK caravan and motorhome industry. How many of your customers do you estimate now use Miriad’s portal?
A: We’ve processed around 400 of our 2,200 registered customer base – so almost a fifth of our total customers. Predominately our customer base is B2B, although we do have a small number of sales to the general public.
Previously, we did have an e-commerce solution, but this was very much a standalone website. Effectively it was just an online catalogue and it had little integration into the legacy system we used to use before SAP Business One. Our ambition for the B1 Portal was substantially greater than what our former software provided.
Q: Has Miriad witnessed an increase in sales since you started using B1 Portal?
A: When we were using the old website we may have had a couple orders a day. But since we’ve been using the Portal, we’ve already taken more than 150 orders online in less than three months. That’s obviously resulted in a reasonable amount of increased sales.
Q: Has the Portal helped you reach new markets or increase your market share?
A: Yes, it’s rapidly becoming very aware that our customers are very happy with the Portal and how it has been developed. The solution created by IIS has a number of telling advantages over our competitors’ equivalent. We will be pushing Portal quite aggressively next year as the way to order our products. We don’t have any retail outfits, so the idea behind deploying the Portal was to effectively offer customers a shopping experience that takes away the restriction of opening hours. They could even place an order at 2am on Christmas morning if they wanted to!
Q: How would you describe the customer service provided by the IIS Group?
A: We’ve had interaction with IIS on many different levels during our buying and implementation journey. Personally, I’ve had close interaction with the helpdesk, who are very good. We also had an excellent project manager during the implementation process who is a real asset to the business and really helped us during the ‘go-live’ stages.