Case Study

Zoho CRM solution for Brightpearl

Find out how Cloud Distribution and Perceptium worked together to build a comprehensive B2B solution for the Brightpearl platform.

Whilst the majority of users of the Brightpearl system are Business to Consumer (B2C) retailers, there are a substantial number that are either entirely Business to Business (B2B) or have an element of B2B sales.

Cloud Distribution Limited, based in Reading, UK, is one such Brightpearl user. It works entirely in a B2B environment, specialising in new, innovative security and networking solutions. As such, it bridges the gap between software and hardware vendors, and value added resellers (VARs) by providing sales and marketing support, and pre-sales and post-sales technical training.

Brightpearl’s stock management, order management and multi-currency accounting capabilities make it an essential back-office business system for them, and has served their needs since 2014.

Cloud Distribution also use Zoho CRM extensively as a dedicated B2B customer relationship management solution. It provides a more comprehensive ‘front-end’ to their business processes, including B2B marketing, customer and prospect contact management, pre-sales support, support desk, sales forecasting, quote management and post sales account management.

Zoho CRM manages the sales and marketing processes right through to quotation acceptance, at which point, it needs to be created as a Sales Order on Brightpearl.

The complexities of their relationship between vendor, reseller partner and end customer, made the data capture required to complete a sales order quite complex, resulting in the creation of a number of custom field tabs on the Brightpearl Sales Order screen to record the necessary information.

This meant there was a significant amount of copying and pasting of information captured through the pre-sales process in Zoho CRM, and then repeated in Brightpearl for shipping, billing, credit control, and purchase order processing purposes.

As orders were shipped, invoiced and then paid, this information also needed to be passed back to Zoho CRM so that the sales team and account managers were fully aware of the current state of their sales orders and could talk to their customers from a well-informed position.

With nearly 20,000 products and services in their portfolio, often with frequent product feature updates, version releases, and fluctuating prices due to Cloud Distribution trading in three major currencies, maintaining the ability to provide sales quotations in Zoho CRM using up-to-date product information became quite a challenge because this data was sourced in Brightpearl’s system.

The need was clear – whilst Brightpearl would remain the master database for all product and financial data, Zoho CRM needed to be tightly integrated with timely, bi-directional data-flows.

Both systems are cloud based solutions offering API capabilities – so the basic infrastructure was in place to make it happen.

‘The first challenge was to decide whether we go to our Zoho partners and ask them to integrate with Brightpearl, or go to a Brightpearl partner and ask them to integrate with Zoho’ says Greg Harris, Operations Director and Co-Founder of Cloud Distribution.

‘Having considered our options,’ he continues, ‘we chose Perceptium Limited, a Brightpearl Technology partner. They had a good track record, understood our needs, and seemed very confident that, despite not working with the Zoho API before, they could integrate with pretty much anything, provided the API existed and had suitable documentation’.

‘We saw the fact that they hadn’t worked with the Zoho CRM API before as the greatest potential risk, so we broke the project down into phases and offered them the support of our Zoho partners if they needed it.’

Adam Davison, Sales and Marketing Director at Cloud Distribution, takes up the story.

‘The Zoho CRM system was my responsibility, and I knew that we would need to adapt some business processes along the way to make the best of a real-time integration. We worked through the phase 1 requirements, Account, Contact and Sales Order integration, through a number of calls and screen-shares, and Perceptium built out the solution and documented it as we went along.

It was an enjoyable experience, and I was impressed how quickly, and without outside help, they worked their way around the Zoho system and gained a clear understanding of what was needed.’

Adam continued, ‘When Phase 1 was delivered as a prototype, I was delighted with how closely our requirements had been met first time around, and how quickly Perceptium could learn, adapt, build and introduce additional features’.

As a result of the success of Phase 1, Cloud Distribution quickly moved on to Phase 2, which was to build an integration that ensured that products, product pricing and inventory availability was passed through to Zoho from Brightpearl, and in October 2017 the integration went live.

Adam Davison concludes, ‘We are very happy with how the project has gone, and very impressed with Perceptium’s capability to understand our requirements, be agile in their approach, and deliver value to our business’

To find out more, or to see how Perceptium can help your business, please use the link below.

Systems Integration and Consultancy