Why Business Central and Shopify serve your customer
“If you are struggling with webshop integrations, then this is the solution to consider.”
IT company Fellowmind employs about 2,000 talented tech and industry professionals in six European countries. They serve companies in Europe across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, energy, and retail. Fellowmind is a European leader in Microsoft Business Applications, Cloud Infrastructure, Data & Analytics, and the Modern Workplace landscape. They operate in The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Poland and have about 40 offices in these countries.
Tinx has started an official partnership with Fellowmind Finland and is currently serving three mutual customers. Why has Fellowmind Finland chosen Tinx as an integration partner to serve their customers? What is the experience of the Tinx E-commerce Connector and collaboration in general? Plenty of reasons to get an answer to these questions during an interview with Antti Lidström, Competence Lead at Fellowmind Finland.
Would you like to introduce yourself?
“My name is Antti Lidström. Currently, I am working as Competence Lead in Fellowmind Finland in the Business Central team. I have been working for Fellowmind for five years now. I started as a consultant, and after that, I was a product manager. The company has grown fast. We started with 130 people, and now we are with almost 500 people in Finland, of which 33 colleagues are working in my team. We started with 15 people in this team, so we have doubled the team’s headcount in the last five years.”
How would you describe Fellowmind and the core business of the company?
“Well, the core business of Fellowmind Finland is very diverse as we work in six different countries, with each country having their own specialisations. In Finland, we have several different expertise areas, for example, Analytics, Business Central F&O, innovation and apps and more. Our main customer segments in the Business Central team are manufacturing and retail businesses. And then, we have a scaling industry of growing customers, service businesses, and more. Our retail business is constantly growing, so we need proper solutions for integrating the webshops that our customers are using into Business Central. Just like our mutual customers Puhdistamo (read the customer case here), Projecta and Prima Pet Premium.”
“We are working with a huge Microsoft stack and are also working with Cloud for Retail. We focus on data-driven business and bringing all this data to the cloud. We are the only company in Finland that can build a whole platform for the cloud, including POS (point of sales). So, we will also focus more on the retail business!”
What are important objectives for Fellowmind?
“We want to build scalable solutions for our customers. When their business is growing, our solutions need to grow accordingly. Also, the solutions need to be reliable. So, we must build flexible solutions. And if we look further to the customers of our customers, we need to make sure that their experience of the service they receive is also as smooth as possible.”
For example: “If an end customer is buying a product on the webshop of one of our customers and the customer experience has been improved, it could be that something in the order process has been changed. As an ERP partner, we need to adjust this order process also in Business Central to make sure that the end customers are experiencing the order process better than before. So, in that way, we are constantly improving.”
How did Fellowmind come into contact with Tinx?
“About 1,5 years ago, we made some online investigations about several connectors and compared different solutions on the market. We found out pretty soon that there were not so many flexible solutions. With the Tinx Connectors, we are very happy to see the different data flows from the webshop to Business Central and the flexibility of the connector.”
Which is more popular among your customers: Dynamics NAV or Business Central (in combination with which webshop platform)?
“We recommend our customers to choose Business Central implementations because NAV is ageing up and would need to be upgraded to Business Central anyway at some point. Business Central also offers many more different features compared to NAV. And it is a more scalable solution.”
“Business Central SaaS version is also much easier to implement than NAV. Additionally, the costs are relatively low. So, for small and medium-sized businesses, it is a great platform to use. It is also easier for us to implement than NAV since Business Central SaaS is always up to date concerning the different features.”
“The main webshop platform that our customers are using is Shopify. Some of them are also using WooCommerce. Regarding Shopify, we have also looked at the Microsoft Shopify Connector. I didn’t consider this as an option for our customers because it doesn’t scale enough. You can modify it a bit, but not as much as we need to cover the needs of our customers. There are so many business processes that need to be handled that the standard connector just can’t cover them all. For example: retrieving the Shopify pickup points IDS. Although it is super easy to implement, it doesn’t work in changing the business processes.”
As a partner of Tinx, what kind of solutions does Fellowmind offer to customers?
“It really depends on the webshop platform of the customer. For now, of course, the Shopify Connector is our main recommendation. It is a good solution for both in terms of integration and customer experience. For the customers, it looks nice, is easy to work with and has good, flexible add-ons in which we can fetch the data and transfer it to Business Central.”
“Flexibility and scalability are the main reasons to choose the Tinx solution.”
What are the main reasons for choosing Tinx’s solution?
“Flexibility and scalability are the main reasons. We can adjust the processes the way the customer has planned in their processes. We can work together on things such as: what is the best practice? What is the best way on a technical level? What kind of customer experience can we deliver? We combined these questions and made the solution the best way to work for the customers with the technology we are using.”
Which integration flows of the Tinx connector do the customers use?
“Definitely, the basic order flows, mapping the items. For example, at Puhdistamo, we bring up the picking point ID to our end shift connector to provide that information to the nShift portal to know exactly what the pickup point is. That’s running pretty smoothly, and it is working well. Also, the tracking code we deliver from the end shift connector to the Shopify webshop. The integration connects with different platforms. Also, the inventory handling is custom-made because Puhdistamo has a webshop area inside the warehouse location. So, they have one big warehouse for B2B customers and also for B2C webshop customers. Actually, they are working with two zones to divide the stock levels in one warehouse.”
“Then, there are also the expiring dates of the products that were not working correctly with reservations in Business Central, so we have speeded that up and made tight configurations about the picking process. Puhdistamo also has different packaging among its products, like boxes and pieces, and every box has a different expiring date. It is like a big puzzle, but we have solved it pretty well!”
What are the benefits of the Tinx connector?
“Flexibility and monitoring. If a customer is skilled on an advanced level in Business Central, they can solve errors themselves. We will always see errors made by humans, so it really helps when the customer can easily track in the error log where the error is coming from and fix it very fast. After the fix, the synchronisation works again, and the customer doesn’t have to call an external consultant like me, and it really saves money to fix small errors yourself. It also helps the customer to understand what is causing errors and why.”
“Actually, there is not so much that you can’t do if I think about the business process itself. A lack of imagination is the only limit.”
How do you experience the contact between Tinx and Fellowmind?
“We have a pretty good collaboration. I was more in the background for the two projects, Projecta and Prima Pet Premium, but for Puhdistamo, I collaborated with your consultants, Sam and Kasper. In the first project, we learned a lot from each other, for example, what is possible in Business Central and Shopify. It was eye-opening for both parties. For example, Unit of Measure handling is a feature that has been added to the Connector since it was handled during one of these projects. It is nice to see that this feature is also helping Tinx at some point.”
What do you find most impressive about Tinx’s product?
“I’d say we have a pretty good relationship. I enjoy working with you guys. Most of my contact is with Erica (development) and René (support). Sometimes with Bob when it concerns presales.”
“Usually, the integration is the only bottleneck, but in this case, I haven’t seen that.”
What do you find most impressive about Tinx-IT’s product?
“Flexibility, monitoring, and the fact that you can easily adjust it to the customer’s business processes, like doing different phases. If you want to send something to the customer, you can make a power app or flow and make it happen. Actually, there is not so much that you can’t do if I think about the business process itself. Because you have all the necessary information to launch the power automate from that, and what you want over there and scale it process-wide. A lack of imagination is the only limit. Usually, the integration is the only bottleneck, but in this case, I haven’t seen that.”
What would you tell someone from another company about Tinx?
“If you are struggling with webshop integrations, then this is the solution to consider.”
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