Family-owned automotive company keeps competitive advantage and continues to grow with Phocas advanced data analytics
For 60 years, the Morelli Group has been providing the automotive industry with trusted products and service, eventually growing into what it is today: the UK’s leading independent automotive refinish supplier. Morelli Group has 200+ employees and distributes more than 4,000 products to locations nationwide.
The company is still 100% independent and family-owned and as it grows, so does its need for ways to maintain its competitive advantage.
A growing technology stack but data analytics stalls
In 1999, Michele Laybourn, commercial director at Morelli Group introduced Vecta, the company’s first analytics tool.
This software plugged the gap that they needed back then and worked well. However, as the company grew its need for more advanced technology grew too. Morelli Group took the plunge and upgraded its old ERP system to the specialist automotive ERP solution, MAM, with Vecta still providing the analytics needed.
“There were a few compatibility issues between MAM and Vecta especially in the early days of MAM integration, but our IT team worked hard with MAM and Vecta to make it function as the sales team expected,” said Michele Laybourn, commercial director at Morelli Group.
Driving full-throttle into the future
Morelli continued using Vecta for business analytics alongside MAM, but in 2016 Phocas business intelligence (BI) emerged a better match for Morelli and its MAM ERP.
The team was quickly sold on the solution’s ease-of-use and the intuitive way it made analysing data fun.
“Phocas salespeople stayed in communication with our IT trying to book a demo, but because we were implementing MAM a different analytics package was of no interest to me and completely on the back burner! Eventually they wore me down and I agreed to see the system. It really was a box ticking exercise for me - so much so only one member of our IT team attended. By the end of the meeting we were signed up.”
After just two years, Phocas is used by more than 70 employees at Morelli Group, highlighting the software’s simplicity.
“The combination of having a useful and accurate set of data in front of you that you can analyse with point and click is incredibly user-friendly,” said Michele.
Running like a well-oiled machine
Since implementing Phocas, Morelli continues to improve.
The Group started using the software to analyse sales results and make decisions backed-up by data to set a course of action to make adjustments to positively impact the bottom line.
“The main focus has been looking at our sales, drilling down into individual products and seeing how overall spend varies year-on-year.”
Phocas’ ease-of-use and results-driven impact has led Morelli to expanding its use; taking full advantage of the whole-of-business solution.
“We’re now starting to look at stock management and we’re looking to put other data into Phocas from debtors to purchasing and hopefully the full finance dataset at some point,” said Michele.
Phocas has become an integral part of the automotive supplier’s business, integrating seamlessly with its MAM ERP and warehouse management system.
“The whole software solution has improved us as a company and it would be a different situation if we didn’t have all of those systems working so well together,” said Michele. “If you need to analyse your data in a structured way, get Phocas and use it!”