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Dunster House Ltd

Dynamics 365 Business Central (NAV) and Qi Applications Development

Who are Dunster House Ltd

Dunster House is recognised within the UK as the biggest manufacturer and retail garden building specialist by turnover. Producing a large range of Garden Buildings including log cabins, gazebos, summerhouses, greenhouses, thatched gazebos and children’s play equipment. The company, who still manufacture windows for the DIY and building trade, has also expanded to include a growing offering such as Eco Toilets and humanitarian BBQ’s to provide the ultimate ‘one stop shop’ for anything to do with the outdoors. All items are manufactured at one of the 6 family owned factories to ensure their high quality and competitive cost.

The challenge

At the start of Dunster Houses’ relationship with Qi in 2005, Andy was in the throes of expanding his manufacturing facilities in line with demand and had started production in Eastern Europe whilst retaining his growing Administration and Customer Sales Team in the UK. Andy understood that with the correct marketing and product delivery module there was a massive potential in the UK to become the market leader in his field. Plans for their first additional sales centre in Flixborough were already underway.

Dunster House was already multi-sited with further UK depots planned. It was crucial for Andy and his management team to have a real time view of UK based operations and sales. The Sales Process needed to be streamlined to ensure that production schedules were efficiently fed through to the factories, customer payments collected appropriately and delivery/installation efficiently planned. As a retailer of large value items, the Dunster Team needed to have a full audit trail on each customer project to deliver the best service possible.

Dunster House’s use of Sage 50 Accounts and ACT! CRM did not easily allow for multi-site locations and it became clear that the growing Dunster House operation required an Enterprise Resource Planning tool to ensure the visionary expansion continued and was manageable.

The solution
Dynamics 365 Business Central (NAV) and Qi Applications Development

After a rigorous review process, the decision to migrate from Sage 50 to NAV in partnership with Qi Ltd. Andy Murphy, Managing Director, comments: “We knew at the time that we were rapidly outgrowing the capabilities of Line 50, we had already surpassed the recommended user limit and the system was groaning along at a snails’ pace.

When we considered NAV we looked at Exchequer, Chaos, and Sage MMS (200) and realised that NAV was the only solution that would do everything we needed, both then and for the future, without tying us into a single software supplier. We didn’t want our business to be wholly reliant upon our software providers’ survival so by selecting a Microsoft Product we knew this wouldn’t be an issue.

We also spoke to more than one NAV provider, but found Qi’s in depth knowledge and understanding of both NAV and the needs of business in general to be far greater than the other Companies and our subsequent success as a Company reflects that choosing NAV and QI was one of the pivotal right choices we have made as a Company.”

The outcome

Order entry time reduced by 75%

All departments have a comprehensive real time view of their Key Performance Indicators. Customer contact is key and the integrated CRM system enables the large sales force to understand the position of a customer project at any given time thus providing the best service possible to its customers.

The internal sales team uses NAV CRM to ensure each sale is project managed to on site build stage – including parameter restrictions to ensure that all aspects of the build have been assessed prior to the team arriving at site. They use NAV comprehensively across all their sites in the UK to ensure an integrated operation from sale, payment and build/installation.

Dunster House have fully integrated their website with NAV allowing customers to get a detailed on-line quote. Customers can then book their delivery slot as the quote, once confirmed, is converted into an order. The powerful planning in NAV will automatically provide the lead time and thereafter the delivery slots available.

All orders are paid for in full, prior to installation or delivery – a part payment is made at the point of customer order and the balance is collected prior to installation – this is all administered by NAV.

Andy estimates that orders are being entered in a quarter of the time following the implementation of Dynamics NAV and that the successful redeployment of time has enabled the sales team to do what they do best – sell to their customers.

Dynamics NAV has been implemented throughout the Dunster sites (manufacturing and distribution sites totalling 9) where staff members are invited to use and become proficient in areas specific to their activity. Dunster House recruits their team members based on their relevant skills rather than their aptitude to learn ERP solutions!

Following Dunster House’s recent upgrade to NAV 2018, the management team also opted to embrace the functionality provided by Microsoft to support them in meeting GDPR compliance.

"Qi are very good at providing solutions to anything we require from NAV – I can’t recall anything we haven’t been able to achieve which we require from the software. Also, they do this with a deep understanding of knock on effects in other parts of the business and offer well thought out solutions that overcome obstacles and don’t end up causing more problems elsewhere. I would thoroughly recommend them to any company."

Andy Murphy, Managing Director, Dunster House Ltd