Vodafone retailer replaces five systems with one

Published on the 05/09/2012 | Written by Velocity Global Ltd


  • Digital Mobile


  • Retail


  • Replace Digital Mobile’s disconnected legacy business management systems with an integrated solution


  • Pronto Xi Enterprise Management System (EMS)
  • Yellowfin Business Intelligence


  • Integrated company-wide reporting
  • Increased productivity and accuracy
  • Improved inventory management and debtor control
  • Enhanced pricing compliance
  • Visibility company-wide via reporting dashboards


Velocity Global Ltd
W: www.velocityglobal.co.nz

New Zealand
E: chris.morris@velocityglobal.co.nz
T: +64 9 358 4445

When disparate and disconnected legacy systems began slowing down its business, Digital Mobile turned to Velocity Global and Pronto for an integrated business management solution…

Digital Mobile is Vodafone NZ’s largest premium dealer, operating over 75 locations nationally.

Founded in 1993 the company has a reputation for excellent customer service, but by 2009, its disconnected business management systems were struggling. “We had five independent systems for managing the business,” says CEO Justin Lobb. “The financial management system wasn’t integrated with our point-of-sale system, which wasn’t integrated to our Vodafone provisioning tools which weren’t integrated to our CRM platform and so on.”

Coordinating the systems often meant manually re-entering data from one to another. “It was time consuming and subject to errors.” Evaluating their options, Lobb’s team went looking for a solution that could consolidate the company’s business management processes. “We set about finding a system that would allow us to operate wherever possible under one platform.” The ‘must have’ list was extensive. “It had to have all our financials in one location.

It had to deliver CRM and point-of-sale, it had to have inventory management and it needed to integrate with our website.”

Three platforms made the shortlist, but Pronto (supplied by Velocity Global) was a step ahead due to existing deploy-ments in Australia. “Most mobile phone retailers there are operating on Pronto,” says Lobb, “so it already had some of the unique capabilities we wanted and we could see it working at a couple of sites.” Also critical to Digital Mobile’s selection process was the choice of implementation partner.

With Velocity Global being part of the Velocity Group internationally, Lobb says he had confidence in the company’s expertise, but was also looking for a true partnership throughout the process. “What appealed about Velocity,” he says, “was that they weren’t so big that we’d wind up being a small customer and not get the right attention. They were large enough and experienced in the platform but also small enough to allow us to make our mistakes as we both went through the process.”

“It had to have all our financials in one location. It had to deliver CRM and point-of-sale, it had to have inventory management and it needed to integrate with our website.”

Justin Lobb, managing director, CEO, Digital Mobile

And, as Lobb explains, part of the process is about making choices – and realising that although anything is possible in IT – a good implementation partner will tell you straight what the consequences might be.

“Chris (Velocity Global CEO Chris Morris) was very good at saying ‘sure that can be done, but it’s going to be expensive’ or ‘here’s what a workaround might be’.” In the case of Digital Mobile’s CRM solution, it was clear that concessions would have to be made.

“We’d been using Salesforce,” says Lobb, “which is a fantastic CRM product but it didn’t integrate with anything – it didn’t keep track of our inventory and it didn’t manage our debtors. Conversely, the Pronto CRM platform is good but not industry-leading so we analysed the pros and cons and said ‘can we implement Pronto as a fully integrated system’ and we absolutely could, but with the understanding that there would be some compromises. CRM is a compromise but overall our productivity went up – because we didn’t have to do re-keying and flat file transfers anymore.”

Team building made easy
Interestingly, the Pronto implementation allowed Digital Mobile to develop its own internal staff resource. “We took employees out of various parts of the business and turned them into the Pronto team,” says Lobb, “and they went through documenting existing processes and writing up a new process with Velocity – making sure any customisations were implemented to match. We ended up with a broadly skilled core team – not just a few people who know the system end to end.” Velocity were very active in engaging with Digital Mobile’s Pronto team, Lobb says, following up on issues promptly and attending every management meeting.

“They were committed to making sure their team and ours were talking regularly and were never at cross purposes.”

Velocity also committed to an important technical ‘must have’ that Lobb identified as a potential hurdle for future deployments. “One of golden rules we had,” he says, “was that the system we implemented would not have a single source code change. Part of our agreement was that any work done didn’t compromise our ability to go from one version to another.” At Velocity, Chris Morris says this was easily achievable as Pronto comes with a tool set that avoids changing any core code. “Every business is somewhat unique, but Pronto allows us to craft a solution for a customer that fits their business as closely as possible – without modifying the core of the product.”

More in store
With Pronto POS, CRM, inventory management, ERP & financial reporting installed and integrated, Lobb says Digital Mobile now has one platform for its entire business.

“We have a complete view of every transaction,’ he says, “and there’s so many upsides. We’ve been able to reduce our overall headcount. Our inventory management costs have fallen dramatically. We’ve increased the productivity of our retail teams and we’ve reduced discounting with stricter control & compliance.”

For management reporting, Digital Mobile uses dashboards developed by Velocity using Yellowfin Business Intelligence – giving Lobb and his team ‘at-a-glance’ company-wide reporting. “Using the new operations dashboard we can immediately see if a store didn’t complete its daily banking or didn’t get a stock take done, and because the CRM is integrated with our debtors ledger, customers who haven’t paid previous bills can’t get stock from us because it pops up with a credit hold, so our debtor control is much improved.”

Looking ahead, Lobb says he’s just commissioned Velocity Global to manage an implementation of Pronto at an unrelated business.

“It’s more than we need for this other business,” he says, “but we’ve gone with them because it allows us to get very consistent in our approach and we now understand where the opportunities are to leverage Pronto. We’re really pleased with it and this decision is a testament to both Velocity Global – and the Pronto system itself.”


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