Urban Hardwoods creates custom, sustainably sourced furniture made from salvaged wood. A single piece may take up to three years to complete from tree removal to final creation. With three retail locations and a thriving online business, the company offers consumers and commercial customers both pre-made and made-to-order furniture pieces nationwide.
Vital to the company’s success is making sure that sales efforts are closely linked with their team of craftsmen and their specialized inventory. Previously, the company relied on manual pen and paper processes for sales and fulfillment, and antiquated software such as FileMaker for inventory management. However, as the company has grown, it’s recognized the need to update these systems to keep pace.
Key to this transition has been the deployment of SaaS tools and services like Salesforce, Smartsheet and Google Drive, that help their teams properly manage the sales process. However, the company quickly realized they needed to go beyond the native capabilities of these tools and make connections between them that could drive performance and eliminate inefficiencies. To accomplish this, Urban Hardwoods used Azuqua to integrate key applications and build powerful workflows.
A look inside Urban Hardwoods’ revamped sales process?
Today, the company sells through inside sales with brick and mortar showrooms and online orders, and through outside sales via designers, architects and more. All jobs, regardless of type, come through Salesforce (previously this information was tracked manually). In addition, the company uses Google Drive to create Look Books, which are visualizations of raw product inventory that sales and customers can look at when making a custom order. Together, Salesforce and Google Drive enable the sales team to communicate with customers and present real-time inventory options.
After a new opportunity is created in Salesforce, and raw material is selected, the team clicks a button and immediately sends all the product details through Azuqua into Smartsheet, where a work order is automatically created (this includes species, client, type, project details, etc.). The project management team then reviews all the information for accuracy and once verified, it’s turned into a transfer form that finalizes the order (this automatically includes all the Look Book details). Then the manufacturing team takes over and the piece is built. Throughout the entire process, workflows created by Azuqua ensure that all relevant information is synced across systems in real-time.
Given that sales are based on available inventory and customer selection of materials, it’s vital that inventory management be up-to-date. Once the salvaged wood is dried, it’s surfaced and sanded, then photographed, given a number and cataloged into the inventory management system. That information is then automatically synced via Azuqua into Google Drive and a Look Book is created. Once a piece of material is sold, and marketed in Salesforce, Azuqua ensures that all the other systems are updated in real-time to reflect the inventory’s status.
“On the sales and project management side, Azuqua’s saving us an enormous amount of time and eliminates a lot of errors, which used to trickle down to manufacturing and create even more problems. It’s also really helping with inventory management and ensuring we can evaluate performance to track profits, costs, resources and more.”
– Diana Alberghini, Project Manager, Urban Hardwoods
Key Business Benefits
Azuqua has helped Urban Hardwoods transform their sales process and dramatically reduce the time it takes to share information across teams and departments. In addition, the new workflows help with:
- Cost Tracking and Performance Management – New workflows enable teams to better track time against actual projects and properly track resource allocation, which allow leadership to understand real profit margins and track costs more accurately.
- Collaboration – Coordination between sales and manufacturing is streamlined, which reduces the frustrations associated with a lack of information sharing.
- Data Errors Are Eliminated – All systems sync the necessary data in real-time, eliminating manual data re-entry (typically up to 5 times per order), which often caused errors and misinformation.
- Geographic Expansion – Increased efficiencies created by the new SaaS apps and Azuqua workflows will play a major part in the company’s ability to support brick and mortar expansion into California.
- Saved Time – With less data entry and more efficient cross-team communication, the entire organization saves massive amounts of time.
“We’re not technical people. We don’t speak SaaS. The customer service at Azuqua has been amazing. They helped us get up and running fast, which was vital to ensure that this transition didn’t disrupt our business. And throughout this process, we learned how to build flows through the back-end system, and it’s really intuitive. Now, as we move forward, if we need to create a new workflow, we feel we have the tools to do that ourselves.”
– Nick Christianson, Sales Manager, Urban Hardwoods
Want to learn more about Urban Hardwoods use of Azuqua? Check out the on-demand webinar recording here.