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February 24, 2009

NetSuite CRM Solutions Sweeten Business for Edible Blooms

By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor


NetSuite, a provider of on-demand, integrated business management software suites for mid-market enterprises and divisions of large companies, has gained business from a major edible bouquet company with a large presence in Australia and New Zealand.
 
Edible Blooms is using NetSuite’s (News - Alert) solutions to power its end-to-end business operations from accounting/ERP to customer relationship management (CRM) and Ecommerce.
 
This new partnership is further evidence of how NetSuite is enabling companies to use one on-demand retail software solution to easily manage multiple locations with a sophisticated point of sale (POS) system.
 
With NetSuite, Edible Blooms will be able to reach its goal to use innovative technology to streamline operations and increase profits.
 
Before selecting NetSuite, Edible Blooms tried out MYOB, Xcart and home-grown CRM software.
 
Edible Blooms has been able to restructure its operations since going live on NetSuite in September 2008. It also gained unprecedented visibility into its business thanks to NetSuite's on-demand, Web-based architecture, which has enabled the company to move into new markets. In fact, Edible Blooms recently opened a fifth store in Auckland, New Zealand.
 
Edible Blooms was created by Kelly Baker, an entrepreneur who got the idea for the company in 2005 while traveling overseas. Later that same year, she opened the first Edible Blooms store in Brisbane, Australia and introduced the first EdibleBlooms.com Web site-both supported by the idea of providing edible bouquets with elegant presentation.
 
The company began making a name for itself by marketing fresh fruit bouquets, but expanded into creating bouquets of chocolates and cookies. According to the company, the best-selling gifts are bouquet-like arrangements of chocolate or biscuits.
 
And since its primary target is men, Baker also created "bouquets" of beers that are displayed in the shape of cakes. Sales have skyrocketed to date.
 
However, the company’s fast growth did present a problem: it caused Edible Blooms painful challenges with its business management software. For the first two years as a business, Edible Blooms relied on MYOB for accounting, Xcart for Ecommerce, and an in-house CRM system for customer relationship management. The information housed in these systems was server-based and siloed, and hampered Edible Blooms' growth. One example of this is when the executive team had to wait until the end of the month to get reports of the company's financials and order volume trends, which kept them from making important decisions. This was a major hurdle that the new company needed to overcome in order to continue growing.
 
"My business advisor told me that if I didn't get a better IT solution, she would simply quit!" said Baker. "She said it half in jest, but she was serious. Our whole premise in building this company was to do as much as possible with as few people as possible. We needed the best system out there. Once we learned about NetSuite, we realized that it was what we were looking for. It was the only way for a company like ours to growth and thrive."
 
As a fast-growing company, Edible Blooms selected NetSuite because it provided a system that would scale and be accessed from each of its growing locations and by employees on the road.
 
With NetSuite's Software as a Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) architecture, new users gain accessibility wherever and whenever needed, with no new capital requirements or software to buy and install. In addition, NetSuite frees Edible Blooms from the pain of having important business information residing in multiple applications, which wasted time due to duplicate data entry and resulted in hard to understand communications and slowed down reporting, and affected the company’s dexterity and growth.
 
NetSuite integrates accounting/ERP, CRM and Ecommerce into a single system so that employees can access real-time key performance indicators (KPIs) using role-based dashboards. Edible Blooms also liked that NetSuite affordably provides enterprise functionality that meets the needs of large wholesale-distributors and retailers, including multi-location inventory, advanced shipping and Amazon.com (News - Alert)-like Ecommerce functionality.
 
Edible Blooms went live on NetSuite for ERP, including financials and inventory management, CRM and SFA, and Ecommerce. All company stores in Australia - Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane - are utilizing NetSuite business management software, and inventory in each of the stores can be accessed from anywhere a store manager has a Web browser.
 
Another benefit from select NetSuite is that Edible Blooms executives are now able to travel between stores and log in from anywhere to stay up-to-date the company based on management’s perspective in real-time. In the short time since deploying NetSuite, Edible Blooms has already increased productivity in terms of more volume of orders handled in less time, and has seen higher production from employees.
 
"For the first time ever, our phone orders and Web orders are in sync," explained Baker. "We can easily trace or track a missing order. Our 20 employees are in love with NetSuite for that fact alone and our customers appreciate it as well. We now send our customers automated order confirmations via NetSuite that detail their order information and tracking number, and tell them where they can access it. It gives customers control of their order, which is a phenomenal way to grow business. We are extremely excited about continuing to expand the company into more cities and markets. With NetSuite, we will have no limitations."
 
To listen to the NetSuit /Edible Blooms podcast, please visit: www.netsuite.com.au/ediblebloomspodcast.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart



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