About TBS Oxford
Established in 2008, TBS Oxford is an independent cutting tools distributor, suppling high performance and specialist cutting tools to customers throughout the Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and West Buckinghamshire areas. The business began when the owner was made redundant; with £1000 to invest, he bought himself a car and used his contacts to begin building relationships with suppliers and started selling tools. Over a decade later they have a small team and a quality reputation among their growing loyal customer base. TBS Oxford is now more than just a supplier; they provide a support and consultation service to ensure their customers have the right tools for the job that’ll boost their efficiencies and improve processes.
Partnered with OGL since: 2020
Company Location: Oxfordshire
Company Website: https://www.tbsoxford.co.uk/
TBS Oxford previously used QuickBooks to manage their wholesale operation, but after reaching the system’s limits they looked to invest in a software solution that would provide scalability, flexibility and automation to allow the team to focus on growing the company. To meet future business goals and to become more efficient in their day-to-day processes, TBS Oxford knew they needed a future-proofed ERP solution that would automate existing manual processes and enable them to scale without additional resource.
The owner of TBS Oxford explained, “Our future plans are to continue to grow the business. We want to look at better ways to market ourselves and we want to diversify and expand the sales operation with an eCommerce website for some of our key products. I’ve always had these plans for the business but never the resource to do them and we’re now in a position where that is a possibility. One of the key restrictions for our plans was the underpinning system we had wasn’t big enough, bold enough or resourced enough to handle what we were trying to do. QuickBooks couldn’t grow with us, and the things we wanted to achieve couldn’t be done at the scale we wanted and with the levels of control we needed. We now have Profit4 as the hub of our business; everything revolves around Profit4 and everything in the future will too.”
Looking at the challenges TBS Oxford experienced with their previous system, he explained: “QuickBooks was just too small. It got the business through the first ten years, but we hit a limit. We reached the limit of the number of part numbers you can have on the system and at that point I knew I needed a new system. I used to sit in the evening deleting unused lines from QuickBooks so the next day I could do my job and add on new products that our customers wanted to purchase, which is a nutty situation to be in. With Profit4, there is no limit; we have all our products on there, plus many more now.”
TBS Oxford was spending too much of their time duplicating tasks and completing processes outside of the QuickBooks system which reduced their efficiencies. “You had to manually calculate discounts; there was no facility, unlike in Profit4, where you could type in the discounted price and it would display your selling price and profit margin. So that’s so useful to us now; it’s made the sales order process so much quicker. In Profit4 you can run shortages and automatically raise a PO but in QuickBooks you couldn’t, and the stock levels weren’t accurate either, so you had no real control over your purchasing. Profit4 combines everything we do and it’s a big-time saver.”
With the challenges faced in QuickBooks, TBS Oxford began the process of looking for a better, comprehensive ERP solution. “We did look at Sage, but we didn’t like that. We also looked at Merlin but that required a lot of additional infrastructure on top of the software cost.
“I was recommended OGL Software from a competitor of ours who uses it in their business. We got in contact with OGL, drove up to their offices to see the product in action and meet the team and we committed right then. We liked what we saw, and the solution didn’t require changes to our existing infrastructure because it’s all cloud based. This gave us the scalability we needed; we can scale without the huge infrastructure costs. We only need a simple PC because we’re not storing data on-site and we can even access it from a tablet.”
TBS Oxford had been live only a few months when they had their busiest month to date, turning over 20% more than expected. “Profit4 has made handling our busiest period easier. We’re not even using the system to its full potential yet; for example, we’re yet to upload our full pricing matrix. Once that’s done the order processing time will be even less.
“It’ll also mean anybody can do a quotation; it won’t have to go through me. With a small team, everybody needs to be able to do multiple roles. The information is currently all in my head so when that comes out and into the system, the business is protected.
“My favourite feature of the system is the one that saves me the most time and at the moment that’s the raising of our shortages. We can place an order and check for shortages at the end of the day which will send a PO straight to the supplier and it’ll be ready for the next day.
“We chose the system off the back of these features because it gives me that efficiency. Profit4 takes away the tasks that currently take up my time and frees me up so I can concentrate on selling more to customers and finding better ways to sell to customers, like creating an eCommerce website.”
When asked what advice the owner of TBS Oxford would give to other businesses who are struggling with limited systems and manual processes but are unsure whether to invest in a full ERP system, he said, “You shouldn’t be worried about any initial costs of implementing an ERP system, you should be worried about the hidden costs of what you’re doing right now. You’ll save so much time when you have the right system as it’s doing everything for you and doing it properly. I was doing things three or four times in QuickBooks, but now I can quote, convert to order and make a PO in half a dozen clicks; that would have taken me hours before. That’s the cost you need to worry about and to not change will hinder you more. The subscription model of Profit4 means the ongoing costs are small and actually, it isn’t costing us money because of the hidden costs it’s taken away.
About Broadbent Welding & Industrial Supplies
Broadbent Welding & Industrial Supplies is a new division of PAY Broadbent, an established business offering repair, maintenance, and refurbishment services to engineering and manufacturing businesses. Branching out to consumables, Broadbent Industrial Supplies started in 2019 offering high quality consumables, tools, chemicals, fasteners, and PPE workwear to businesses across the UK.
Partnered with OGL since: 2020
Company Location: West Yorkshire
Company Website: www.broadbentsupplies.uk
Profit4 helps wholesale start up, Broadbent Industrial Supplies, grow and drive profitability
Broadbent Industrial Supplies began their journey using Xero to manage their customer, product and financial data. But with prior experience of OGL Software in a previous company, it was key for the owner to invest in the right digital foundation early on to create the most profitable operation from the outset.
As a small business looking to grow their revenue, the owners needed a solution that would be cost effective, flexible to their needs, with the scalability and long-term potential that would see Broadbent Industrial Supplies through the decades; “with Profit4, I know I have the platform to grow, adapt, diversify and be flexible and that’s exciting.”
The owner explains, “a previous company I worked for used OGL Software but not to its full potential in terms of the stock management capabilities. That was a bugbear of mine, as a sales rep; we had this software that could control your stock, but we didn’t use it. That’s why I got in contact with OGL when the time was right for Broadbent Industrial Supplies, because I knew the potential the system had to help a business with stock management, as well as all the other wonderful things it does.
“With Profit4, I know I have the platform to grow, adapt, diversify and be flexible and that’s exciting.”
“My business partner was worried financially about making the investment in a full ERP system, because for a small business like us, Profit4 can feel like expensive, but it isn’t for what you get. And let me tell you, running stock on Xero is not an easy thing to do, it was taking up all my time. I got quick on Xero but you have to go into loads of tabs just to reorder something for a customer, everything just took ages and my only alternative to investing in software was to hire and add a wage to the business just to assist with admin.
“I fully believe in automation and implementing Profit4 hasn’t come at any expense of staff because I really believe people buy off people. It just means the staff I will have will be fully equipped to do what they do in a better and more productive way, which makes us all more money. It’s key to get people into the business to do business, not backend processes. And as it happens, I’ve got a driver starting and I’m looking to hire a salesperson. The business is taking off and the figures look good and that’s largely thanks to Profit4.”
Profit4 has enabled Broadbent Industrial Supplies to focus on growing the business and provides the team with a digital platform that creates lean stock processes, efficient customer service, ease of use for the employees and importantly the platform to expand and grow in the future. “Profit4 helps me set my sales strategy for the business and helps me stay in control. A lot of my competitors are still doing things on pieces of paper or using basic software packages, but now I’m streets ahead of those businesses because Profit4 is so adaptable and it’s helped me grow.
“I was determined to get the most from Profit4 right from the start, so we did a complete stock take before importing any data into the system. You have to put the work in, and I always recommend getting your stock in order because when that was uploaded, and I could first see my stock levels and valuation report it was fantastic. I now have visibility of exactly how much money was in the building, what my rolling stock looked like and what I needed to order. Having an accurate and real-time stock data base is your oracle; it tells you everything you need to know, and it essentially runs the business for you.”
“Having more time to focus on business development has resulted in an increase in turnover and profit and they are the numbers that matter.”
Broadbent Industrial Supplies use Profit4 to run their entire operation, from their trade counter to their accounts and in the future they’re looking to integrate an eCommerce website. “Just thinking about how I used to do the invoicing before Profit4; I’d have to take a pile of paper, look them up individually on Xero, mark each job complete, raise an invoice etc. In Profit4, it’s a simple tick box and I can send them all, it’s amazing. It’s little things like that that make a massive difference to small businesses. With all the time and money you save from automating your admin tasks, you can invest it back into sales and marketing to grow the business. Profit4 has already paid for itself in the amount of time its saved me, because if I was still using Xero to run my business now I genuinely would have given up, because with the sheer volume of products we get through and a growing customer base, Xero would not have allowed me to have a life!
“Having more time to focus on business development has resulted in an increase in turnover and profit and they are the numbers that matter. I wish I could quantify the efficiency savings but we’re just simply more efficient, we’ve been able to hire more staff and with the right fundamental processes and systems in place it alleviates some of the pressures of running a business.”
“The support from your software provider is key. The training was brilliant because they are online and flexible, it meant I could still run my business whilst doing the training. Absolutely everyone at OGL has been fantastic and helpful and crucially, are easy to deal with. My advice for anyone looking to invest in ERP software is go for it with a partner like OGL; the support is there, training sessions are adaptable and positive change helps businesses grow, and Profit4 has been a positive change.”
See TBS Oxford's case study in the media:
Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber- TBS Oxford selects OGL Computer’s Profit4 to drive expansion
Business in the News- TBS Oxford breaks sales records and gears up for expansion
Business & Innovation Magazine- TBS Oxford achieves record sales figures helped by software investment
The Business Magazine- Cutting tools distributor TBS Oxford achieves record sales figures
“I’d be the first person to recommend Profit4 to businesses looking for an ERP system. For any type of business that is buying and selling it’s perfect. We like the interface, we like the feel, we like the people, and we like the support, what is there not to like?!”
“You shouldn’t be worried about any initial costs of implementing an ERP system, you should be worried about the hidden costs of what you’re doing right now… to not change will hinder you more.”