Shaji Auto Paints Trading LLC
First Bit helps UAE paint & coatings industry leader reduce outstanding accounts receivable by 10% and improve accounting efficiency
Managing Director at the Shaji Paints
Before implementing FirstBit ERP, the company used multiple solutions — Sage, Excel, Bitrix24 — for financial, sales, purchasing, inventory, and customer relations management. Each branch office ran its own, disconnected Sage Peachtree instance. Thus, gathering customer data and preparing consolidated statements from different branches required a lot of time and effort. Not able to robustly control finances and operations and lacking data transparency, the company kept losing money. Accounts receivable kept growing, and branches kept spending money inefficiently due to a lack of control from the HQ.
Project Goals and Tasks
The company decided to go with the FirstBit ERP system — along with the GROTEM / Agent app for sales rep automation — and invited First Bit’s Dubai office to implement the project.
It quickly became obvious that the project posed a lot of challenges that had to be solved fast. Shaji Paints team clearly understood the need for automation, was highly motivated and ready to adapt to changes, and wanted quick results. Because of this and the software customizability, the First Bit team decided to go with an agile approach.
First Bit quickly deployed FirstBit ERP on its cloud servers — which saved the client time and money on purchasing and configuring hardware — and migrated the company’s data from the Sage database.
Being a customer-oriented company, Shaji Paints decided to first automate everything that had to do with managing its clients: sales, purchasing, CRM. Further automation involved:
- Finance management;
- Inventory management;
- VAT accounting;
- Sales reps.
✔ The company reduced its accounts receivable by 10% through cash management automation — while the business kept growing. It now has special procedures for approving credit limits and can see the profitability of every invoice when posting it. When shipping goods, it can monitor whether there are overdue or uncashed cheques for that customer. As a result, there are now 70% fewer customer requests to put cheques on hold.
✔ The company now issues customer quotes 2 times faster because all communications take place in the same system. It can also calculate each quote’s margin automatically to prevent unprofitable deals. Once approved, quotes automatically go out to the relevant contact person.
✔ The company’s clients report better service quality and turnaround times, with all data readily available from a consolidated source.
✔ VAT is calculated in line with the UAE tax law, so the company is safe against fines for its inadvertent violations.
✔ The company can now enjoy transparent accounting and prioritize cash flows using the purchase order approval and planning subsystem.
✔ The company can now offer competitive prices while retaining sufficient profitability by automatically calculating discounts based on order size and market situation.
✔ The company has lowered spending and write-offs for sample goods without affecting sales volumes. Sales representatives now can give away samples and set their focus based on automated profitability forecasts.
✔ All company processes now run faster thanks to improved communications and the new notification system, which reminds employees to approve a document, cancel or hold a check, complete a task, etc. The team can now discuss any document in its dedicated chat room without wasting time on back-and-forth phone calls or searching for documents across multiple systems.
✔ Mobile sales reps can now work faster thanks to the GROTEM / Agent app while keeping all meeting data in sync. A sales rep can access all information about products, clients, and tasks in the mobile app and easily upload it to the central database after the meeting is over, so no piece of info is ever lost or forgotten. Team members can view their KPIs, access product prices, or create tasks. They can also send quotes to the client directly from their mobile device, saving more time to focus on actual client relations.
✔ Thanks to automated purchase orders, the company now has an improved inventory flow and can avoid out-of-stock situations by creating orders automatically based on product usage. A manager can still correct the data manually if needed.