A journey to be proud of

Loaf manufacture and retail a range of furniture in a 'laid back' informal style. Based in London and founded in 2009, they have grown fast such that they generated around £55 million in revenue during 2019. They operate 8 'shacks', like showrooms, which allow customers to try out their products in person. Although the company began with the founder’s search for a bed, their business is now mainly comprised of upholstery sales. These can be customised with over 150 fabrics and all upholstery is made to order.

Rapid Growth

Loaf’s previous Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution was custom built and hosted on the same platform as their website. This worked well for them until the business was generating sales of £25 million. Given the growth trajectory they were on the business then decided it was too risky to continue with a bespoke ERP. They wanted to find a system that would:

  • Scale well with the business growth
  • Integrate with their existing logistics and e-commerce systems

Having been impressed with the functionality of Dynamics NAV, as well as with the profile of customers that TNP had, in 2016 Loaf decided to become a customer of The NAV | 365 People (TNP).

Standardising operations

Today, Louis Adamou, E-Commerce & Technology Strategist at Loaf says, "we’re confident this will still be the platform we are using in a number of years". The confidence they have in their partnership with TNP is reflected in the volume of work they have completed over the last 12 months. Whilst much of this system development was originally planned to take place over the next 3 years, Loaf decided to accelerate the schedule. Louis said, "we’ve got a really transparent relationship and we greatly appreciated the support you guys have given us this year, especially with COVID-19".

"You are a really key partner for Loaf and that in itself says everything you need to know"

Given the shift to online that has been driven by the pandemic, one of the projects that got pulled forward was the integration of Klarna’s consumer finance product into their business. Klarna is a banking technology that enables retailers to offer flexible payment terms. Bruce, Solution Architect, who’s been at TNP since 2015, was a crucial part of the project. He spent time understanding how Klarna should work for Loaf’s customers, then worked backwards. This helpfully highlighted additional areas for improvement in other operational processes.

Louis says, "I’ve got total confidence in Bruce. Not only has he helped us implement Klarna, which will be commercially very valuable for us, he’s also taken it upon himself to challenge us to work better and be more conscious about how we work".

Future

Loaf is keen to take a larger portion of the £5 billion upholstery market in the UK, whilst meeting their ethical targets by continuing to only make to order.

In the next few years, the plan is to complete an upgrade from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central to take advantage of the increased functionality. TNP will continue to support Loaf and the two companies have formed a cohesive joint team.

Louis concludes, saying, "TNP have helped us move forward quite considerably in the last 12 months. I couldn’t fault the relationship".

 

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