Fermob Automates Container Tracking and Increases Sales by 28%


Dawsonville, GA USA



Business Type:

Wholesale & Distribution


NetSuite ERP & SuiteCommerce 
Container Management for NetSuite

Redefining public space an eye-catching affair

If you’ve ever been to Paris and sat in a bistro chair watching the sidewalk life, or paused for a break while strolling through the Jardin du Luxembourg, you’ve experienced Fermob. In addition to being the original producer of some of the most iconic French designs in recent history, their brightly inspired work also transforms urban spaces throughout the United States. In New York City alone, Fermob’s Poppy Red and Cedar Green chairs provide respite in Bryant Park, Times Square, and the High Line. The intelligent eco-design of its moveable seating allows for a natural fit into a multitude of environments. Beyond that, it transforms the way residents inhabit the city. “Even though our model isn’t based on selling directly to the public, we have a remarkable way of getting into public spaces,” explains Jared du Plooy, Systems Administrator at Fermob USA, a national distributor of the multinational company. “We will continue to see our products achieve higher saturation in different markets, as we increase our investment in brick and mortar.”

Tracking the life of a container is no easy feat

It might seem that Fermob’s creations have travelled effortlessly through time from turn-of-the-century France—or, or more accurately, from the company’s massive plant in Thoissey across the Atlantic. The fact remains that the life of a container can be difficult to track. Vendor information, lot numbers, “in transit” status, information about the container, cubic metres used and available, and the value of the items arriving at port are all indispensable parts of a complicated puzzle. Prior to implementing NetSuite in early 2015, Fermob USA used a variety of tools to determine these data points, which are critical for order processing. One of these was tools Everest, a database that Fermob USA hosted locally on servers. “It was archaic and weak on data visibility,” recalls de Plooy. “It had order processing capabilities but no CRM and no large-scale reporting services. You can’t use a paper-based Excel system to track a container across the ocean. Our customers want product in a variety of configurations, and it’s difficult to have all options in the inventory. We have to get what they need quickly. Lead time can mean winning or losing a sale. Estimating on blind data and the risk of not delivering on time simply isn’t an option.”

“Working with GURUS on a custom implementation, we quickly came to realize they had a firm grasp on what we required, not just our current needs, but especially our future ones.”
“Jared du Plooy, Systems Administrator at Fermob USA

‘Being honest about where we needed to be’

“We approached NetSuite, who had the solutions we needed to gain this kind of efficiency. Working with Gurus on a custom implementation, we quickly came to realize they had a firm grasp on what we required, not just current needs, but especially future ones. They helped us cycle quickly through a few iterations to make sure everything worked as we needed it to.” Fermob USA was able to recognize the customer service benefit resulting from this, as well as to capitalize on it. “For us, this was about being honest about where we needed to be—in a position to scale up. Now the data we communicate to our customers is more accurate, and they’ve noticed. In 2015, we saw a 28% growth in sales, and this may very well be related to our decision to automate order processing, which ultimately leads to a happier customer.”

Results for the originator of the French bistro chair

  • Greater visibility into container tracking, and a repeatable strategy for quick resolution of tracking errors
  • Dramatic decrease in order lead time, less burden to maintain a big inventory
  • Sales increase of 28% since implementing NetSuite to automate order processing

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