A group of friends, passionate about sailing, living in the same city. That's how Quebec's Voiles Max Marine started. Now, they've been helping others set sail for a little more than a decade under the leadership of Maxime Loiselle, a naval architect by profession. Hundreds of hours of navigation expertise and a passion for the sport of wind inspired them to start their own sail shop. With all this expertise, starting a company in the same domain was a no brainer, but creating efficient planning and business processes took practice.
The team at Voiles Max Marine focuses on manufacturing and repairing marine sports activity equipment in and around Canada. They deal with equipment like surfing kites, boards, wind surfing sails, masts, sail boats, and anything else that surrounds the sport of sailing. Selling spare parts for many different types of sail boats has become one of their major sources of business. Customers often visit their showroom to see and purchase the variety of sails they deal with and get quality work they can rely on.
With over 3,000 items and SKU's in their warehouse, they faced mounting constraints with the customized software that they were using. It was complicated and was time-consuming, especially with all the different items that had very similar names. After the initial software was developed and deployed, they required several advances and upgrades, which always involved costly fees, as it was custom-built for them. They were ready for a change and looking for something that was simple to use, easy to understand, and offered a refreshing user experience, so that even seasonal employees could quickly learn it.
While they were searching for a new software to manage their inventory, a partner of Mr. Maxime visited him in the shop. During conversation, the partner opened his phone and checked his inventory availability, which surprised Mr. Maxime. This piqued his curiosity, so he researched more about Zoho Inventory. After a comparison of the available options in the market, their final decision was to switch to Zoho Inventory.
Some of the advantages he found that encouraged them to switch include:
The operations manager, Mr. Francois Farineau, says, "It was very user friendly. It took me just a few days to get accustomed to the software. It's really, really easy."
During the early days, the founder wasn't sure what the company would need, but he was felt reassured that, with a suite of 40 different products, Zoho's tools could help him run and scale the company more efficiently.
Mr. Maxime Loiselle says, "When we started at the beginning with Zoho Inventory, it was pretty easy. It's like plug and play."
Venturing Into Other Zoho Products
After using Zoho Inventory for less than six months, the company had boosted their sales. They decided to try Zoho Books next. They were impressed with the all-in-one accounting software, as well as the seamless integration between Zoho Inventory and Zoho Books.
To get more detailed data on their sales operations and simplify different functions into a single operating system, they tried Zoho CRM. Currently, the company is performing basic functions using Zoho CRM, but they're confident that it will help them scale their business.
Mr. Maxime Loiselle says, "It didn't even take half an hour to transfer data from Zoho Inventory to Zoho Books when setting up the integration."
The smooth integration between inventory management and accounting was one of the key factors for Mr. Maxime to invest more in Zoho products, as it reduces the work involved in running the business. So far, the team is enjoying the customer support and frequent feature additions from the Zoho Inventory team.
Now happy users of Zoho Inventory, Zoho Books, and Zoho CRM, the team is excited to explore the other products and is confident they can count on Zoho when searching for business solutions in the future. The scalability is something they very much look forward to, as their teams and the business continue to grow.