Accredo turns arduous order processing into child’s play for online toy merchant
4 March 2015 | iQ Toys
In 1996 New Zealand toy merchant iQ Toys established one of the first online retail shops in the country. In 2007, after over a decade of steady growth, the company implemented the Accredo business software solution in an effort to improve its ecommerce procedures.
As a result, the company has significantly reduced the time it takes to process its online sales – helping it increase the accuracy of its order fulfillment and improve customer service. iQ Toys Managing Director, Shane Loomb, says the company started off as a home based business, but has grown to the point where it employs six full time staffers and stores its merchandise in a 900 square metre warehouse in Mt Maunganui. “When we started there were only three or four other online retailers in the country and we fulfilled all the orders manually. These days online retailing is acrowded space and rapid order fulfillment is essential to maintain customer satisfaction.” iQ Toys sells children’s educational toys, through dedicated websites, into New Zealand and Australia. It also retails high quality baby products, such as cots prams and car seats, through its Baby Universe website. Most of the products are sourced from local importers and wholesalers, but Loomb says the company also imports a few toy brands directly from overseas manufacturers. “Our business is reasonably complex. We have a large number of products and suppliers to manage, and we needed to automate our day-to-day processes to improve efficiency.” Loomb says that while the company’s legacy MYOB system was adequate for its financial accounting needs it was not linked to its online ordering, which made ecommerce processing very laborious.
“Prior to implementing Accredo when a website order arrived we had to print out the form and rekey every bit of information into MYOB. We then we had to create a separate order confirmation for the customer. “It was an arduous process that involved copy and pasting the order into the electronic form and reformatting it into a suitable email. Even then, we were unable to attach the invoice to the customer. Quite often we had to print out the invoice and post it.” Loomb knew that integrating the ecommerce functionality with his core accounts system was vital to handle increased sales volumes in an accurate and efficient manner. “MYOB was not the appropriate platform to do this work and we were getting frustrated by a lack of local support for the product.” In his hunt to find a new system, Loomb says he did consider purchasing a web-based package which could handle accounting and ecommerce functions all in one. “However when I looked into these, I found that they were deficient on the financial side. Accredo, in contrast, has robust financials and is built to easily accommodate ecommerce operations.” Loomb says he knew Accredo was the right choice for his business when he observed the close integration of the modules and the easy access to the software scripting layer.
“Normally as an end user you wouldn’t be able to look under the lid and see the code. With Accredo the visibility of the scripting is brilliant. The software is specifically designed to handle data interchange and you can easily create import and export scripts to achieve this.” iQ Toys contracted Tauranga-based Accredo reseller Zeal Systems to undertake the implementation. Zeal specialises in creating end-to-end business solutions adapted to the specific needs of the customer. Zeal’s Jason Weaver says Accredo is ideal for this type of work. “It is an incredibly flexible system. When clients come to us with a shopping list of things they want to be able to do, we manipulate Accredo to meet those needs using the electronic data interchange module and scripting.” Zeal was able to quickly put in place a range of processes that removed duplicate data entry and automated the fl ow of information between Accredo and the iQ Toys’ websites. “Now our website orders get uploaded directly into Accredo,” says Loomb. “From there we can print the order at the push of a button and a confirmation email with the copy of the invoice is sent automatically to the customer. This has reduced our order confirmation time from five minutes per order to one minute.” He says Accredo has also contributed to improved content management of the stock information on the website.
“All our product information lives in Accredo and we can specify what gets uploaded to which particular site. It is much easier for us to keep the website up-to-date with new product information and out of stock notifications.” Aside from increased time saving, Loomb says the Accredo implementation has provided a solid platform for future growth. “It gives us scalability. I can see we could be a business 10 or 20 times as big and still use Accredo quite happily.” iQ Toys has also gained better visibility of its customer ordering habits, thanks to improved data capture. “When a customer orders through the web, Accredo automatically creates a customer account, which collects and clearly presents all relevant order information. This, in tandem with Accredo’s sales analysis module, allows us to gain a better idea of our customers’ buying behaviour.” Loomb says that the support he has received from Zeal Systems and Accredo is second to none. “Jason and his team were very responsive and knowledgeable, and brought the project in on time and on budget.” He says Accredo is full of handy, timesaving features. “The way you can close and then reopen a bank reconciliation is a great feature, and is an example of how well the software has been thought out. “I have used a lot of large systems, such as SAP and JD Edwards, and Accredo is definitely superior in terms of its usability.”