Puhdistamo customer case
“Since the go-live of our ERP system and the connector, the Shopify connector seems to be the best performing part of the total ERP project.”
ERP system: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS
E-commerce platform: Shopify Plus
Puhdistamo – Real Foods Oy, produces and sells functional food, supplements and drinks. Supplements are the baseline of their sales, but they also sell sports products like electrolytes, proteins, energy drinks and snack bars like chocolate bars and protein bars. The products are really healthy, and Puhdistamo is focusing on premium products to deliver to their customers. Currently, their products are mostly available in Finland and Sweden in physical stores. To have a wide reach to sell their products in all of Europe they have a Shopify B2C webshop that’s integrated with their Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS ERP. Martti Tapanila, Business Controller at Puhdistamo is sharing his thoughts on the integration process and the daily use of our Shopify connector.
Can you introduce yourself?
“My name is Martti Tapanila, Business controller at Puhdistamo – Real Foods Oy. We are located in Lempäälä, Finland. I have been working at Puhdistamo for 2 years now. One of my tasks has been the implementation of the Shopify connector to integrate Shopify Plus with Microsoft Business Central SaaS. We have been collaborating with our partners Fellowmind Finland (ERP partner) and Tinx-IT (Integration partner) on different kinds of ERP related matters.”
What is your role at Puhdistamo?
“My role as a Business Controller is quite diverse. First of all, I am looking after the development of performance reporting at Puhdistamo. I am also managing our Swedish subsidiary finances and reporting to the executive management team. Additionally, I have been responsible for co-managing our ERP implementation project of Business Central and I’ve been overseeing the implementation of finance, sales and reporting activities including the E-commerce connector.”
So, if I am correct, you are also working on the internal processes?
“Yes exactly, and also developing them. We didn’t have too many processes at first due to us being a growth company. Simply put, there hasn’t been enough time nor have there been sufficient resources to implement proper processes in different parts of the organization. Starting from finance to operations, there was quite a lot to do.”
How long does Puhdistamo exist?
“The company was founded 12 years ago. The current growth phase started around 5 years ago. In the beginning, it was quite a small company with small operations that were focused on its webshop and having premium products that were being sold through the webshop. We have grown to a company that is focussing on a business-to-business strategy that sells mainly to resellers. The growth has come from resellers who are the bread and butter of our operations. Besides that, we are currently focusing more on our own B2C webshop.”
What kind of products does Puhdistamo sell and where are they sold?
“We sell functional food, supplements and drinks! Supplements are the baseline of our sales, but we also sell sports products like for example electrolytes, protein, energy drinks and snack bars like chocolate bars and protein bars. Our mission is to provide the best quality products. We focus on premium products to deliver to our customers.”
“Currently, our products are mostly available in Finland and Sweden. In Finland, you can find our products in almost every physical store that sells food. You can think about grocery stores and speciality stores that are focused on providing healthy products to their customers. Around 80% of our total revenue comes from Finland.”
“In Sweden, our products are available in the speciality stores in the big cities and webshops. We are working on getting a similar kind of availability in Swedish grocery stores as we have in Finland. At the moment, 70% of our total product line is available in Sweden, representing about 20% of the total turnover. Some fractions of the total turnover come from other countries in Europe.”
“Online through our Shopify B2C webshop all of our products are available in all of Europe and shipped from Finland. This way we have a wide reach to sell our products!”
Does Puhdistamo produce the products?
“Yes, we produce most of the products (70% of the sales) ourselves.”
Does Puhdistamo also focus on sustainability?
“Yes, we have made some first steps for an internal sustainability project. For now, it is in its starting phase, but we think it is an important objective that we are definitely going to focus on in the future.”
How did Puhdistamo get in touch with Tinx-IT for the first time?
“We first heard about Tinx-IT through the consultants from our ERP partner Fellowmind. Basically, they said that they have successfully been working with Tinx-IT and suggested that we should go for the Shopify connector that Tinx-IT offers.”
What were the main E-commerce challenges prior to the integration between Shopify and Business Central?
“We were using an old and simple ERP platform that was only suitable for small companies. We used a simple connector that was basically moving the balances between the already existing Shopify webshop and ERP platform. The connector was functioning only one way, from Shopify to ERP, and only told to our former ERP how many products should have been shipped on the Shopify orders. Also, we were stuck on using only paper prints from Shopify when handling picking and packing. In practice, this meant that our handling processes for B2B and B2C customers were completely different and separated processes. Fortunately, we have now outgrown the old ERP with its basic connector and started using Microsoft 365 Business Central.”
“The most important thing is that the connection between Shopify and Business Central is dependable.”
“The whole idea is to make things simple and reliable.”
What kind of features are you using of the Shopify connector?
“The most important thing is that the connection between Shopify and Business Central is dependable.”
“All of the product management is done in the Shopify interface. The most crucial flow for us is the fully automated order flow from the Shopify webshop into Business Central. We also depend heavily on the functionality that updates the balances (inventory) of products back and forth. The inventory of our warehouse is updated on a BIN level, which makes this inventory update connector functionality more sophisticated. We also feed Shopify with order status updates coming from BC. Whenever an order in BC gets updated to either “send away” or “shipped away“ an update message is sent to the customer with information like tracking code, which postal service, what’s in the shipment etc.”
“Another feature that we use is that when an order is placed, the customer information will be stored on a universal customer account in BC. We do separate the customers by name and e-mail address. We have so many customers, therefore it is not interesting for us to register all of them as unique customers in BC. The whole idea is to make things simple and reliable. The connector offers a lot of additional features on top of BC of which we’ve used only a select portion up until now. That’s been a deliberate choice as we wanted to have a setup that was as simple as possible.”
“Since we’ve had it working for the first time it has been fully functional. There have been no significant errors in any way since we have gone live.”
How would you describe your experience with the Shopify connector?
“Since we’ve had it working for the first time it has been fully functional. There have been no significant errors in any way since we have gone live. Since the go-live of our ERP system and the connector, the Shopify connector seems to be the best performing part of the total ERP project. There have been only some errors since then and these have been caused by human errors on the Shopify side. So, the basic functionality of the connector has been trustworthy and dependable which was the main goal of this project!”
What is the profit in terms of time?
“First of all, the biggest win is having LOT number tracking. (LOT number = the production batch number. The idea is to be able to differentiate products based on which batch they were produced/purchased etc.) We didn’t have LOT number tracking previously in our old ERP, which means that we used to send products without LOT number tracking. Now that we have the proper ERP (BC) system in place, we are able to include that. Basically, Tinx-IT made it possible to connect Shopify with Business Central so that we can use LOT number tracking. It enables us to work faster and more efficiently. The people that are working in our warehouse don’t have to figure out where to pick the products because they now get the correct information, which means that they pick the corresponding LOT from a predefined location or storage bin. In the future (goal is 2023), we can use different kinds of picking methods like using EA and barcode scanners and do the picking more digitally.”
What is the main goal for Puhdistamo in 2022 related to the webshop?
“The main goal is to get everybody in the organisation that has something to do with the webshop process to be on top of what they are doing. This means that everybody knows what should happen, got familiar with BC, knows what kind of input and output is coming from the Shopify connector, get more professional and improve the picking and shipping process. The focus should be to work as efficiently as possible in all webshop related processes. Fellowmind is also helping us with these kinds of processes.”
What do you find the most impressive about the Tinx Shopify connector?
“The first part is that dependability is very good. I must say that the way that it has been working has exceeded my expectations. I mean, being the finance guy, I am usually a critical person and during the test phase there were quite a bit of issues, and the go-live date was coming rather quickly. But both during and after the go-live, there have been no significant errors in any way.”
“The second part is that the support which we received via Tinx’s own support desk has been really great. Usually when I contact the support desk of any kind of service that I’d be using I would basically expect some level of service but not a great result on the first try. The Tinx-IT customer service has been super useful for us. For example, you guys have been available in the latter part of the day (outside of business hours) this is something we value quite significantly. I’ve been in contact with your colleague Sam, René, Kasper and Erica. Also, the reply time has been quite quick. We didn’t have to wait for a reply, and your availability was excellent.”
If you had to tell someone working at another company about Tinx-IT, what would you tell him/her?
“I would tell that Tinx is dependable and trustworthy. When you are in contact with them, they will help you within a short timeframe and you can rely on them.”
Tinx-IT E-commerce Shopify connector