An open, friendly relationship
Altfield was founded in 1982 in Hong Kong as antique dealer and then later expanded to distribute and retail fine textiles, wallcoverings and leather goods. They represent a number of exclusive brands and, from 1993, have produced complementary collections of their own. Altfield have 20 staff who work either from their London showroom or from their head office in Wiltshire. The company also have showrooms in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Macau. They carry 4,000 product lines, some of which have up to 30 colourways. This attracts a diverse customer base, with products making their way to 5* restaurants, superyachts, boutique shops and luxurious homes.
“There is so much that you offer to help support and develop companies on an individual basis. I know you deal with many bigger companies than us, but you make us feel like we are your only customer.”
Altfield receive between 10-20 orders each day worth anywhere between £100 or £100,000 plus. Whilst Altfield do hold some stock locally, many customer orders involve a back to back purchase order being placed on a supplier.
As the business grew, Altfield recognised that they needed to have all their sales and operations channels linked to one system. Having successfully deployed Dynamics NAV in their Hong Kong sister company, in 2012 Altfield sought to repeat the same trick in the UK. Unfortunately, the original Dynamics NAV partner that Altfield selected was a company that implements several ERP solutions. As a result, their implementation got very messy. Within a year, Altfield were looking for a new partner that had more knowledge and strength with the system. Ultimately, they chose The NAV | 365 People (TNP), because their sole focus is Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Seven years later, Caroline Aylward, Operations Manager at Altfield, reflects that, “you’ve been there since day one. I know that the company has grown but nothing has really changed".
“There is so much that you offer to help support and develop companies on an individual basis. I know you deal with many bigger companies than us, but you make us feel like we are your only customer".
Altfield have worked with their Engagement Manager, Christine Barnes, to ensure that she really understands Altfield's business. Christine has been working with Dynamics NAV for 17 years and has been at TNP for 7 years. Caroline says, “I feel I can say anything to Christine and if there’s an issue I don’t feel awkward about saying about it. She’s open to any concerns that we have and that makes a huge difference as well. There’s no hard sell. She knows what we want, and I know now, through her, what information TNP needs in order to help us most effectively.”
The UK lockdown during the spring/summer of 2020 exposed some opportunities to improve some of Altfield's business processes. Caroline worked with Christine and the team at TNP to scope the work required to support these changes. She has also embraced the free online training that TNP provide for Jet Reports.
Christine says, “I love working with Altfield. Our discussions are always productive - and a pleasure. I love looking at all their wonderful textiles.” Caroline concludes, “it’s just a really nice open, friendly relationship. But behind that there’s expert knowledge. We appreciate the communication, friendliness and professionalism of the people at TNP. We love how often they go above and beyond to meet our needs.”
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