UK manufacturer Trunki replaces Sage with NetSuite to support expansion

Fast growing British luggage manufacturer Trunki has ditched its Sage software and switched to NetSuite's cloud ERP and CRM tools to simplify its UK operations and provide a basis for overseas expansion.

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Fast growing British luggage manufacturer Trunki has ditched its Sage software and switched to NetSuite's cloud ERP and CRM tools to simplify its UK operations and provide a basis for overseas expansion.

Despite being turned down for investment on BBC TV show Dragons' Den, Trunki has enjoyed notable success with its range of luggage for children, supplying to major retailers such as John Lewis, Argos and Sainsbury’s, as well as shipping to other countries and selling through its own website.

However, as the company has increased its sales, it has outgrown its legacy Sage system, which Trunki's head of supply chain operations Phil Bagnall said was causing operational difficulties as the business expanded.

“We were using Sage Line 50, predominately run by the finance team," he said. "I joined in 2010, and we could already start to see it was creaking at the seams in terms of sales guys using Excel spreadsheets and Outlook as well as many other bits of software that were being used.”

Bagnall considered implementing SAP Business One, Sage 200, as well as looking at the potential Sage 50 incorporated with bespoke software. It was eventually decided to look to NetSuite's cloud system in January 2012 for its financial and sales processes.

“It was case of bringing everything into one solution that we could manage easily without needing massive IT infrastructure,”explained Bagnall, who wanted to avoid introducing the complexity of dealing with on-premise servers.

He continued: “We also needed something that could easily be customised because Trunki is expanding and we are progressing in different territories. So we wanted something that was scalable, and NetSuite offered us that solution.”

In the time since going live with the cloud system, Trunki has gradually added a number of additional modules to the core functionality, such as demand planning, advanced financial and budget forecasting and other forward looking elements of the software suite. E-commerce tools are also being used to support sales through its website, and a marketing module to track sales through social media is to be introduced in the next two months.

The company is also in the process of providing reporting for senior executives as it forms a board level structure, after receiving £3.9 million government funding last month.

“We just received investment from a Business Growth Fund, so we have had to staff up and now we have got a board structure starting to be put in place," he said.

"So for us NetSuite is becoming really critical in providing board management packs. We have meetings and the key reports are run and they are designed within NetSuite. They can be tailored to how that board works over the next six months to a year.”

NetSuite is also playing a substantial part in enabling the business to quickly evolve and expand, he said. The company purchased a manufacturing facility in December 2012, buying its supplier Inject Plastics out of adminstration, and the factory is currently continuing to use Sage 50.  However Bagnall highlighted plans to introduce some manufacturing functionality announced at SuiteWorld at a later date.  The company has also taken steps towards its forthcoming expansion into the US.

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