Using NetSuite to support the remote work environment
Always adaptable and ready to serve its customers’ changing needs, Insidesource creates modern workplaces that support companies and their employees. When the global COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift to remote work that’s yet to ebb, the firm sprang into action quickly.
Realizing the impact that the shift could have on the contract furniture industry, Insidesource began helping its customers outfit their employees with both office furniture and technology equipment.
To support this pivot, the company worked with ERP Success Partners to implement the NetSuite Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Integrated directly with Shopify, the platform would help Insidesource continue serving its customers as they made the shift over to remote work.
Carving out a foothold
Founded in 1991, Insidesource optimizes office interiors for well-known companies around the world.
“We were founded in Silicon Valley and built our business there during the early days of the tech boom,” said Bill Rossi, COO. After strategic acquisitions in Seattle and New York, the company carved out a foothold in those markets and later acquired London-based byBailey to better service global clients.
From its early days as a contract furniture provider, Insidesource evolved it’s offering to include design, custom product solutions and day 2 services. “Technology companies began putting an emphasis on reflecting their values and culture in their offices,” said Rossi, “and those spaces became focal points used to attract employees, differentiate themselves and showcase their cultures.”
Today, Insidesource works closely with clients and architecture and design firms. “We’re much more than just a contract furniture provider at this point,” said Rossi, “we partner with clients and A&D firms to help companies express their unique story by activating spaces through design. We explore space through a human-centric approach that supports employees wherever they work.”
Tackling big challenges
When the pandemic emerged and employees were sent home to work, their employers had to ensure that those associates could be productive and comfortable while working offsite. Some of them offered financial subsidies and allowed workers to purchase products themselves while others gave their employees a limited catalogue of commercial-grade products to choose from.
“Companies are concerned about ergonomic issues and want to make sure employees get the same level of ergonomic support at home that they’d get at a physical office,” Rossi said. To help its clients gain the desired levels of control, Insidesource quickly developed an e-commerce offering that included both standard office options and those available to home users.
Previously, Insidesource was using a vendor partner’s dealer portal but didn’t have a way for its own customers to go online, select products and then have their orders seamlessly invoiced, shipped and tracked. Insidesource wanted an ERP that would integrate directly with Shopify, which it was using for its e-commerce storefront.
“One of the major reasons we went with NetSuite was because it offered an integration with Shopify,” said Rossi. “That way, we could provide a frontend to our end user and also let NetSuite handle a lot of the backend automation that our previous system couldn’t manage.”
The right implementation partner
Leveraging an existing relationship with ERP Success Partners, Insidesource demoed NetSuite and decided that the platform met its needs. Rossi said the initial introduction to NetSuite had taken place years earlier, with the ERP implementation being fast-tracked when the pandemic hit.
“We saw that as the right opportunity to implement NetSuite, which was really made for this,” said Rossi, who adds that the service and support that ERP Success Partners provided throughout the process contributed to the overall success of the project. “We hadn’t used NetSuite before, so we were leaning heavily on ERP Success Partners.”
Working quickly, ERP Success Partners got Insidesource up and running on the platform within a very tight timeframe of just 4-6 weeks. “We had a very big customer that was asking us to get this up and running as soon as possible,” Rossi said.
Replacing manual processes
Using the NetSuite Connector (formerly FarApps), Insidesource transfers its e-commerce data from Shopify into NetSuite, with the latter acting as the company’s procurement platform. “Vendors and manufacturers use NetSuite to fulfill the orders that are running through Shopify,” said Erika Georgia, Insidesource’s E-Commerce Program Manager.
Georgia said ERP Success Partners also built out a number of customized workflows and scripts that have automated much of the company’s manual data entry. She particularly likes being able to customize searches and financial reports out of the system.
“That’s been a huge benefit for us since we’re managing corporate programs for our clients,” said Georgia. “Now we can analyze all the data per specific program, versus having to manipulate data ourselves on an Excel spreadsheet and try to put all of that information together.”