The LiteBulb Group, an organisation that designs, manufactures and distributes innovative brands and products (‘Blue chip’ clients include Disney, Mattel and Universal) to the global retail market (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S and WHSmiths etc.), is using Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform to provide Salesforce integration for its core business systems: Salesforce, Sage 200 and PIMRa (its bespoke product development solution). Specifically, this was to push and pull data, such as product availability, stock levels and orders, between the three systems. Many processes have now been automated, providing improved visibility of product data, as well as enhancing customer management, order workflows and reporting.
“We wanted a solution that we could put in the middle of our systems which would automate the talking between them. Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform is very visual in how it works and therefore very simple to use. You can easily see what you are doing. It gives us the ability to easily change when the tasks run and how often they run, as we change the business. As you are using it you start to think, I can automate this, I can automate that. It just opens up lots more opportunities.”Ruth Ballinger, CIO, LiteBulb Group.
Salesforce Sage Integration: Pushing Product Data into Salesforce and Sage 200 from PIMRa
With Salesforce acting as the key sales and customer database, all new products, updates and their availability need to be uploaded to the database. As soon as a product reaches a specified status in PIMRa, Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform automatically pulls the details from the database and then pushes them into Salesforce and Sage 200. The BPA Platform then automatically checks Sage 200 for stock levels and updates Salesforce with this information.
“Everything to do with setting up new suppliers, developing and setting up stock, happens in the product development system, and then Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform feeds all the relevant information into the other two databases. The BPA Platform takes all the information from PIMRa and Sage 200 and puts all the product details and stock levels into Salesforce so that people know what products they have got to sell and how many units are available to sell.”Ruth Ballinger
Synchronising Customer Data between Salesforce and Sage 200
LiteBulb wanted the customer data created and held in Salesforce to be synchronised with Sage 200. The BPA Platform has therefore been designed to automatically download any new or updated customer information into the operational data area. It then performs a workflow process to clarify the details before the customer can be created/amended in Sage 200. Additionally, any orders created in Salesforce also needed to be downloaded into Sage 200.
“Anything to do with customers and sales gets put into Salesforce and the BPA Platform makes sure that all that information ends up in Sage 200 or with the warehouses. We’ve got various tasks that we have written in the BPA Platform to control the actual data. We are using it to download reports of, for example, how much we’ve got ordered for different products, and then converting them into SQL databases which can be queried more easily for reporting rather than trying to report directly from Salesforce.”Ruth Ballinger
Automating Order Workflows from Sage 200
After an order has been placed in Sage 200 a workflow is created in the BPA Platform and sent to the warehouse. The warehouse returns the despatch details. When the workflow has been completed the BPA Platform will then despatch the items in Sage 200 and raise the invoices.
“The main project we are working on at the moment is the taking of sales orders from Salesforce – going through lots of controls and checks, to ensure they are ready to go – pushing them into Sage 200 and then sending all the instructions to the warehouse. We then get all the details back from the warehouse, such as tracking numbers, and then push all the invoice details back into Sage and into Salesforce.”Ruth Ballinger
The BPA Platform’s ease of use and flexibility has provided the LiteBulb Group with the perfect solution for its initial project – delivering the automation and seamless integration that was required. However, it has also opened up a whole range of new opportunities that the Group is eager to explore.
“The biggest ROI for us, in terms of saving man hours and resources, will be in the last stage of the project, which we haven’t started to write yet. All of our POs will be raised on the PIMRa system and once we have got those automatically going into Sage 200 that’s going to be a massive, massive saving. We are sort of building it as we need it. I don’t think you’ll ever get to the end of what you can actually achieve with Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform. You constantly find more things that you want to automate. Our shopping list of work just grows and grows and grows.”Ruth Ballinger