Oy Maritim Ab, the largest importer of boat equipment in Finland, has used Digia Enterprise ERP for many years. The ERP system integrates all the functions the company needs, from the warehouse to points of sale. Combining digitalisation with traditional sales channels serves different customer groups well.
In my opinion, the most important thing in ERP is ease of use and versatility. We have many departments, such as our store, wholesale, warehouse, maintenance and office. Effective communication between them is vital. All our employees use the ERP system.
Kim Tigerstedt, CEO, Maritim
Oy Maritim Ab, which sells and imports boat equipment, breaks the mould in its operations.
The Finnish company is over 100 years old and engages simultaneously in consumer sales, wholesale and B2B sales. In addition, the strongly seasonal nature of the boat business poses its own challenges to predicting and organising operations.
Maritim’s ERP system has required plenty of customisation and flexibility, as the company handles orders from different types of customer groups in different channels. Maritim has now been using Digia’s Enterprise system for close to a decade. Over the years, it has been adapted to the company’s changing needs. Maritim is part of the Etola Group. The whole group uses the same system.
“The world has changed tremendously over the past ten years. We’ve gone from an analog to a digital environment, and customers now know how to utilise the Internet in an entirely different way. We have to stay at the leading edge to ensure that our customers get their products quickly and easily,” says Kim Tigerstedt, CEO of Maritim.
“In my opinion, the most important thing in ERP is ease of use and versatility. We have many departments, such as our store, wholesale, warehouse, maintenance and office. Effective communication between them is vital. All our employees use the ERP system.”
Maritim’s customer groups include Finnish boat equipment dealers, boat manufacturers, other industrial companies and private boaters. The company also exports to Russia, the Baltic countries, Poland and the other Nordic countries.
“We have 450 dealers and more than 250 goods suppliers around the world. Thanks to our geographical location, it’s easy for us to engage in business in Russia, which is a major market area for us,” says Tigerstedt.
Maritim embraced digitalisation early on and now has advanced web-based service processes in place. Customers are directed to place orders and request offers online. Thanks to this, the whole organisation has immediate access to this information and can act fast.
“If you’re one of the first to venture into the new world, you’ll thrive. Although we’re an old company, we have a youthful organisation that understands the importance of digitalisation,” says Kim Tigerstedt.
Maritim has focused on service flexibility and smooth deliveries by developing its delivery process, information flow and order channels, for example. The company has modernised its warehouse management so that orders are directed to the warehouse, where automated pickers integrated into the system pick the products.
“Previously, customers placed their orders by phone or fax. During peak season, it could take as long as a week to deliver an order. Nowadays, you can check the inventory status on the webshop in real time and get the product the next day,” says Tigerstedt.
“Customers demand speed, easiness and reliability in deliveries, and we do our utmost to satisfy them. Before digitalisation, our service performance was 73%, and now it’s 98%, which is really good.”
Because Maritim serves many different customer groups, it’s vital for it to have diverse service channels. The company has a webshop as well as a brick-and-mortar store and wholesale outlet in Lauttasaari. All the channels work through a shared system. If a customer buys a product from the store, the number of items available changes immediately in the webshop, too.
“The process must be seamless from the customer perspective. For instance, a consumer can order a product from the Internet and pick it up from the store or pickup warehouse. If a product is defective, we will provide a replacement promptly. Focusing on the customer experience is extremely important for us,” says Tigerstedt.
In addition to digital marketing, Maritim still publishes thick product catalogues in hardcopy format. Not all of the company’s diverse customers use tablets, but instead prefer to leaf through brochures. In Russia, for instance, hardcopy brochures are important. And when you’re boating, you don’t always have an online connection, so catalogues serve a purpose on trips in the archipelago. Taking different kinds of customer situations and needs into consideration is a key part of the company’s operating culture.
Tigerstedt says that the boat business is currently enjoying a slight tailwind. Maritim intends to keep investing in webshop development and ease of service. “We have to constantly keep our eyes open to what’s going on in the world and how order channels will change in the future,” says Tigerstedt.
Maritim feels that Digia is a good partner for the further development of systems and processes to meet future needs. The companies have worked together in good spirits. The ERP, running on Digia’s hosting service, has proven its effectiveness for years.
“We want to retain our position as the leading player in our business in Finland. To do this, we must be able to evolve and keep up with the times. We also seek to bolster our position in Russia, the Baltic countries and the other Nordic countries. We’re powering ahead,” says Kim Tigerstedt.