Country or Region: United States
NEATO, based in West-Haven, Connecticut, is a global company providing labeling and blank media products as well as duplication and label-making services worldwide. It is a division of Fellowes, Inc, makers of records storage and destruction solutions.
Neato needed to update its inefficient integration software as well as its unsupported version of Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Ignify used a two-step process to first upgrade Neato to an up-to-date version of Microsoft Dynamics GP, and from there implemented the Ignify eCommerce integration.
- Up-to-date technology translates to increased productivity
- Increased site flexibility
- Outstanding customer service and knowledgeable support team
"Ignify's eCommerce module system provided the NEATO team with many of their requested features right out of the box, including product catalog variants, integration with their payment processor, real-time negotiated rates from their preferred shipping carriers, as well as seamless, real-time integration with their Microsoft Dynamics GP customer database, sales orders, and invoicing."
- Melody Moccia Financial Controller Fellowes (NEATO Division)
"Ignify is a great company to work with. They are very responsive and proactive."
- David Kennaugh, Director of Sales and Marketing Fellowes (NEATO Division)
"Ignify played a critical role in our overhaul by providing a platform that not only delivers the latest in interactive shopping and order processing features and enhances our customers' experience, but also integrates with our key back office systems, creating a ‘zero touch' order processing environment right out of the box."
- Melody Moccia, Financial Controller, Fellowes (NEATO Division)
Blank media and labeling product leader NEATO, a division of Fellowes, recently underwent massive internal restructuring that included removing its entire IT department. As part of the overhaul, the company opted to upgrade its Microsoft GP ERP system as well as its online retail operations.
After a long and arduous selection process, Ignify proved to be the vendor that had the knowledge and experience to not only upgrade NEATO's ERP and online storefront, but to seamlessly integrate them into a single seamless platform delivering end- to- end order processing, heuristic fraud detection and features that offer a simplified and automated experience for both the its employees and customers.
Since 1917, Fellowes has been a fixture in offices throughout the world, supplying everything from binding and laminating equipment to its ubiquitous shredders. Within the Fellowes name are other distinctly branded companies, including Bankers Box, Body Glove, and NEATO, which sells a large selection of blank media and labeling solutions. In 2008, NEATO underwent a restructurization that included removing its entire IT department and outsourcing IT requirements as needed. During the reorganization, the company decided to upgrade its outdated and unsupported ERP version Great Plains 7.5. From there, the company, realizing that its updated ERP system was not compatible with its old online storefront, decided to replace the equally outdated e-commerce system. "It wasn't an option to not upgrade GP or stay with the old GP and have someone rewrite the monstrous middleware system," said Melody Moccia, Financial Controller for the Neato Division at Fellowes, Inc. Thus began an in-depth search for a company with the knowledge and experience to perform both the Microsoft Dynamics GP upgrade as well as the integration with a new e-commerce platform.
During the two-month search for the appropriate vendor, NEATO was impressed with the Ignify team's accounting knowledge. "We were looking at several companies for our e-commerce upgrade and I had a lot of very specific, very complicated accounting questions," added Moccia. "I'd get answers from people that were on the low side of satisfactory but when I spoke with Ignify, they knew exactly what I was asking and answered all of my questions with in-depth knowledge that was second to none. In addition, Ignify's eCommerce module system provided the NEATO team with many of their requested features right out of the box, including product catalog variants, integration with their payment processor, real-time negotiated rates from their preferred shipping carriers, as well as seamless, real-time integration with their Microsoft Dynamics GP customer database, sales orders, and invoicing."
NEATO chose to implement all of Ignify eCommerce modules, which are:
- Core Module, which includes one storefront as well as fraud detection, real-time reporting, and web analytics Merchandising Management Module
- Merchandising Management Module
- ERP Integration Module
- Business to Business Customer Management Module
- Marking and Promotions Management Module
Ignify tackled the implementation by using a two-step process, first upgrading Microsoft Dynamics GP and subsequently deploying the Ignify eCommerce integration. The eCommerce implementation included many nuances that Ignify was able to incorporate with logic and efficiency. For example, NEATO sought to keep the previous look and feel of its well branded storefront and its existing Mediaface software for customers to upload customized labels, and a shop-by function that customers use to easily find a specific brand, size, or type of blank media or labelling product. In addition, NEATO's segregation from Fellowes, its parent company, was very important to maintain for branding purposes. Ignify was able to sync NEATO's new MICROSOFT DYNAMICS GP and storefront with Fellowes's Oracle system while still maintaining the separate branding requirements for any customer-facing attributes. The seamless system also offered a viable way to run automated tasks and reports in native Microsoft Dynamics GP to send to Fellowes' back office operations.
Up-to-date technology and increased productivity
The upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 10 was long overdue. NEATO had become accustomed to working around the quirks of their custom-built system as well as with working with an out-of-date and unsupported version of Microsoft Dynamics GP. When Ignify implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP 10, Moccia was happy to see that although the functionality had improved, many of the key features were much the same as the previous version and that allowed for the user adoption to be painless. "Dynamics GP 10 has some different nuances that are nice to have, but on the whole we find Dynamics GP 10 to be very similar to Dynamics GP 7.5. We had so many changes going on that the fact that they are similar was a good thing.," she added.
With state-of-the-art technology powering its site and back office, NEATO was able to exponentially increase worker productivity, from managing the site to processing sales orders. A new key feature of their Ignify eCommerce-powered site that NEATO was most excited about is the ability to pull real-time, negotiated rates from the company's preferred shipping carriers; previously, the front store had to pull shipping rates from the hard-coded tables set up in GP. Ignify eCommerce now allows NEATO to show real-real-time shipping rates with editable handling mark-ups or discounts, making it much easier to manage and track shipping costs.
Increased site flexibility
Although NEATO's previous middleware system maintained the website's functionality, it involved maintaining contact with an outside developer who worked onsite to execute changes to the web site as well as rewrite the program as needs arose. "Our system was almost proprietary in that the developer who wrote it was the only one who could make changes putting us in a precarious position," said Moccia. "With Ignify eCommerce, system administrators can easily make changes with the user-friendly Manager Panel, which is set up to be used by any non-technical personnel. Our previous system had administrative pages like Ignify's Manager Panel but it wasn't the same animal. There was certainly much less control." What's more, because changes now require less manpower and resources, site maintenance is now exceedingly more cost efficient.
One such way NEATO has seen an important increase in flexibility is through the Marketing and Promotions module. Instead of submitting change requests and waiting for a developer to edit the site, NEATO's site administrators and marketing staff can now log on and personally edit coupons and promotions on the Manager Panel. The Marketing and Promotions Module features a way to quickly add coupons, mark their type of discount, and show or hide them based on availability period, in addition to assigning automatic discounts to specific SKUs, all from an easy to understand dashboard. "Now, our site is easily expandable and editable, and we value having that sort of flexibility," stated David Kennaugh, NEATO's director of sales and marketing.
Outstanding customer service and knowledgeable support team
Because of the scale of the project and the amount of changes happening within NEATO while the implementation and upgrade was in process, the project was not without its challenges. "The whole thing was beyond challenging because we were trying to do so much," said Moccia. "We had lots of things we were doing and lots of thing we were running off our website and we were doing it all without an IT staff."
NEATO turned to Ignify when using other outsourced IT resources were not sufficient, and were impressed with the team's constant communication and availability when challenges arose. In fact, NEATO was so impressed with the customer service provided by the Ignify eCommerce implementation team that they subsequently signed a support contract for additional IT needs. "Ignify is a great company to work with. They are very responsive and proactive," Kennaugh says.
Following these whirlwind of changes, the NEATO staff can now enjoy the benefits of its back office and e-commerce site overhaul. Neato.com is receiving significantly more hits and page views and most importantly more orders. With the site's newfound flexibility NEATO is already eyeing other areas to expand. They have partnered again with Ignify to update the company's UK site, and Ignify most recently has been called on to create a new online storefront for the Fellowes brand as well.
For More Information
For more information about Neato and Fellowes, Inc, call (800) 984-9800 or visit www.Neato.com and www.fellowes.com.
For more information about Ignify products and services, call 1 (888) IGNIFY5 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site at: www.ignify.com
For more information about Ignify eCommerce visit www.Ignify.com/eCommerce