Flowrox is a global supplier specialising in flow control, pumping and environmental solutions enhanced with IIoT solutions and intelligent systems.
Founded in 1993, the company was originally called Larox Flowsys and started out as a subsidiary of Larox, a family-owned filter manufacturer. In 2011, the company’s name was changed to Flowrox, but the company is still wholly owned by the Vartiainen family.
The head office of Flowrox is located in Lappeenranta, and there is also a branch office in Kouvola. Flowrox has subsidiaries in the United States, Australia, South Africa, Russia, Chile, China and Sweden, as well as sales representatives in more than 220 offices in 81 countries.
The company’s strong growth strategy is based on expanding supply and focusing on service business through acquisitions and traditional core products. New developments include analysis and remote monitoring systems for valves, pumps and filters. Flowrox Smart Solutions services provide real-time information on the performance and maintenance requirements of devices, which can be easily accessed with a computer or a mobile device with the Flowrox MalibuTM cloud service.
Global visibility for all information
Petteri Taavitsainen, Development Manager for Operative Model and Architecture, and Teppo Kiuru, Head of Business Control, describe how Flowrox ended up acquiring the NetSuite business platform.
“Our growth strategy was the driving force here: business and business management are becoming increasingly complex. In practice, this means selling of different products, growing service business, new subsidiaries being founded, growing sales network and increased diversification, management and quality control of delivery chains. Managing all of this with the old IT architecture would have eventually become practically impossible”, Taavitsainen states.
“At the beginning, we had one CRM system and five local ERP systems in different countries. It was clear to us that we should move towards a single, global business platform. In terms of data management and usability, providing work efficiency, it is essential that all operations are supported through a single platform while utilising shared master data”, Kiuru adds.
The decisions were given careful thought. All of 2016 was spent on assessing the options. Management Team was involved in exploring options for a new business platform. Finally, the choice was made between three different platforms “With the benefit of hindsight, we can say that we made the right choice”, Taavitsainen states. “In the end, Staria was chosen during the final negotiations.” Ultimately, the question was, how the project and its risks were seen and how both parties wanted to manage them. Staria convinced us that this was a joint project, in which both parties had to succeed and manage the risks together.
Kiuru continues: “In regard to NetSuite, the amount of international references was convincing. Our decision was also influenced by the fact that we knew NetSuite is working in regions such as North America and Australia.”
Significant benefits in reporting
During 2018, Flowrox went to production with NetSuite in Finland in October, the United States in November, Australia in December. China and Russia went live in January 2019. During 2019, NetSuite will also be implemented in Chile, as part of the company's development activities in South America.
With the help of NetSuite, Flowrox can manage its reporting globally with data that is consistent and available regardless of location. Consistent data provides great benefits, especially in business reporting. For example, sales management has already become easier, as all sales-related data is easily accessible and ready to be used in reporting. Same applies to supply chain management: global stock report views and demand planning enable more swift deliveries to customers.
“Our weekly, monthly and annual reports used to involve lots of manual work with numerous Excel sheets. Group reporting in particular is easier with NetSuite. We save human resources in data consolidation, as we don’t need to gather the data from subsidiaries in separate Excel sheets anymore”, Taavitsainen states.
Plenty of opportunities still ahead
Almost all of Flowrox's approximately 160 employees are already utilizing the same tool, i.e. NetSuite, in their work, be it purchasing, processing sales orders, production planning or completing work orders at the factory.
In addition to the current benefits, Taavitsainen and Kiuru see many more future opportunities with NetSuite, such as in price list management, quotation process and partner portals.
“In the future, senior management will also save a great deal of time, when reporting serves their needs better than before. Information is in a more useful form than before, both in NetSuite and in the Power BI reports derived from its data. While looking at actual figures, we can also forecast the future better”, Kiuru thanks. “We expect NetSuite to provide us even more benefits”, Taavitsainen and Kiuru conclude together.