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.

See TBS Oxford's case study in the media: 

TechSparx- TBS Oxford selects Kidderminster-based OGL Computer’s Profit4 to drive expansion

Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber- TBS Oxford selects OGL Computer’s Profit4 to drive expansion

BDaily- TBS Oxford achieves record sales with IT software overhaul

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

Insider- Record period for cutting tools distributor

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.”

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