Meubili: outsourcing is an ideal solution, provided you choose the right partner!
West-Flanders-based Meubili, which is a trendsetting company in the world of outdoor furniture, called on Combell to outsource its hardware. Since then, its ERP software, which is indispensable for sales and order processing, has been running smoothly and flawlessly. Yet another satisfied Combell customer!
Extending indoor living spaces in the garden
In recent years, indoor living has been increasingly expanding outdoors. People now have cosy lounges, luxurious garden furniture and fully equipped outdoor kitchens in their gardens. And they do not use them during the warmer months only, but also on cooler days, with the help of, for example, patio heaters.
Meubili therefore started specialising in premium outdoor furniture. In its three permanent sales outlets (Knokke-Heist, Zedelgem and Lapscheure), with more than 7,000 m² of showroom, and its pop-up stores, which are very popular in high season, Meubili offers a wide range of furniture produced by major brands. But the West Flemish company also works on its own designs, its own development and its own production. And, most importantly, it assists customers with advice for a complete 'turnkey' exterior design, so that a roof terrace or a small urban garden can also become a cosy lounge area where you can relax from early spring to late autumn.
Outsourcing hardware to Combell
“When customers enter our stores, you can see them glow, because they come to buy products that will add some fun to their lives”, comments John De Vogelaere, who runs the company together with Michel Van Weehaeghe. However, the entire sales process must be a fun experience as well, from the offer made to the customer to the delivery of the products. The ERP software DBFACT ensures smooth processing, from the purchase order to the delivery slip, and from stock management to invoicing.
Until a few years ago, this software was running on the company's own servers. However, the company managers eventually decided to outsource the IT systems, partly because of the scattered location of the various sales outlets. The first experience was rather problematic - there were problems with stability, connection and speed. And for a company like Meubili, which welcomes the majority of its customers during the weekend, it is a disaster when the system crashes or becomes unavailable.
For Meubili, stability is therefore crucial. “The connection to the central data point must work properly - not only for the permanent shops, but also for the pop-up stores. In the very near future, they will have to be equipped with the necessary infrastructure, connection possibilities and an Internet connection to the logistics system of the company.”
Meubili wanted to avoid such problems once and for all. “We listened to what the market had to say, and several people mentioned Combell. So, we got in touch with them, and were very pleased by the way they handled things, their family spirit, and their friendly attitude that is very similar to what we experience in our company. We felt immediately that this was it, that we had to work with them. Just as we are trendsetters in superior quality garden furniture, we believe that Combell is a trendsetter in hosting and outsourcing.”
Just as we are trendsetters in superior quality garden furniture, we believe that Combell is a trendsetter in hosting and outsourcing [John De Vogelaere, manager at Meubili]
Combell at the very heart of the company
And so, agreements were made for the migration to the Combell servers. In our time, migration is something that every company is afraid of. But it turns out that their fears are unfounded. “When you look at how the collaboration with Combell went, and how their collaborators managed to transfer our entire company in one day to a new data centre so that we could get started immediately, it is truly amazing!” John is aware that this is not an obvious situation. “You are dealing with several parties, such as the software manufacturer, the software vendor, the hosting provider and often other IT partners. If things go wrong, it is very easy to point fingers at each other. With Combell, that was not the case at all: no one is pointing fingers. All they do is look for a solution, which is ultimately the most important thing for them, but also for us, as their customer.”
The ERP software DBFACT and Microsoft 365 (Office 365) are thus now running on Combell's servers via a remote desktop system. The salespeople all have their own login and can use their own account right away, even when they work remotely, in the pop-up stores for example. “Combell is at the very heart of our business. Without our ERP system, we would be unable to work”, John testifies. “Thanks to Combell, the system runs in a stable and quick manner: all our sales outlets run at the same speed. Our collaborators are no longer frustrated by systems that crash and are therefore extremely happy. And since we no longer miss any sales, our business is also more profitable!”
24/7 support, also during weekends
The fact that Combell is available 24/7 for support in case something goes wrong (including on weekends) is a major relief for Meubili, although the company has not experienced any problems so far. “What we like so much about Combell is that they contact us regularly without asking us, to hear if we are still satisfied, if the stability is still good, etcetera.”
John is therefore very satisfied with his decision to work with Combell - and with outsourcing in general. “We went for outsourcing because we are talking about a lot of information, which has to be stored securely. Combell's data centres are absolutely stunning in this respect. If we have any problem with our data, all we need to do is contact them. They will then solve the problem in no time and restore the data to its original location.” Outsourcing was the right choice for him, especially because there are multiple stores and no central point, which means that employees must be able to do their work anywhere. John concludes: “Outsourcing is the way to go, but only if you choose the right partner. And we found ours: Combell.”
Outsourcing is the way to go, but only if you choose the right partner. And we found ours: Combell. [John De Vogelaere, manager at Meubili]
Are you curious to learn more about other customers who have optimised their business through outsourcing?
Are you still working on your own infrastructure, or are you still looking for the right partner to outsource your hardware? Have a look at our customers' success stories.
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