Listawood Promotional Products is a leading manufacturer of promotional merchandise with over 21 years of manufacturing experience in the business gift market. They supply a wide range of promotional merchandise, including USB flash drives, mouse mats, refrigerator magnets, ceramics, travel accessories and liquid-filled products such as aqua key fobs.
Listawood employs over 150 staff in the UK and is based in Norfolk, with production facilities totalling around 70,000 square feet. In 2001 an office was opened in Amsterdam, enabling the company to offer customers in Europe the very best customer service. The European sales team is fluent in German, Dutch, French, English and Spanish, so customer service can be provided in those languages.
Listawood has an unbeatable reputation for customer service and has won seven Supplier of the Year awards in 2008 and 2009: BPMA Supplier of the Year, Sourcing City Supplier of the Year, Promota Gold Supplier of the Year, Advantage Group Supplier of the Year, IBG Supplier of the Year, Envoy Supplier of the Year and Recognition Express Supplier of the Year.
Recently we spoke with Steve White, Company Accountant, about using the M1® manufacturing ERP system in Listawood's operations.
The customization is one of the reasons we chose M1
"We need a system that will cope with the complexities of our product portfolio," says White. "We supply anything from a mouse mat to a digital photo frame and we need a robust system that can be customised to handle this. The customisation is one of the main reasons why we have chosen M1. Other systems in the same price range didn't allow such levels of customisation. M1 has made it a lot easier."
A fully integrated system was vital to allow us to grow
"As a company, we had made the decision that we would operate using one system. Previously, we had an accounting package and a separate CRM solution, each from different suppliers and each with associated maintenance costs. With M1 we got a complete system: scheduling, purchasing, CRM, job costing, payroll, inventory. M1 has allowed us to automate every part of our business.
"The promotional gifts industry is booming and we wanted a system that could support our plans for rapid growth. We chose M1 because it was built on a modern platform and we knew we would not be faced with any short-term systems decisions."
The service package gave us the confidence that any problems would be solved quickly
"Another thing key to our needs was reporting. Our previous system did not allow instant reporting and, because the two systems did not communicate with each other, it meant that we duplicated work. With M1, we can access large amounts of data from one database in a user-friendly format that highlights trends and variances. We had training on Crystal Reports and it was invaluable. The trainer was excellent and we now create our own reports, which in turn means that timely decisions can be made."
Asked what his favourite feature was, White replied, "The dashboard feature is very useful. It tracks KPIs. This function is used at all levels of our company."
And the top three reasons to buy M1 he'd tell a colleague? "Well, of course, the first one would be cost of ownership. It is cheaper than the other systems. And also that the system is easy to use and the reporting capabilities really are endless. Best of all, ECi's policy of continual enhancement means we can add new features to our software and because it is based on .NET we know we'll always have the latest-and-greatest tools that will help our business maximise its potential."