Freefoam is the leading manufacturer of a wide range of innovative uPVC fascia and soffit products. The company also produces gutter systems, external cladding and interior panelling systems for the building industry in Ireland, the UK and Mainland Europe.
Founded in Cork, Ireland in 1990, Freefoam has grown into a multinational organisation with multiple sites across the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France and Germany. The company operates two large scale 24/7 manufacturing plants in Ireland and the UK. Sales are primarily done through certified installers and building contractors, however, Freefoam also sells some products through established retail providers such as Jewson, Point.P and Leroy Merlin.
In the early years Freefoam used Sun Systems as their backend software for all Nominal Ledger, Sales Ledger and Stock Control functionality. As the business grew they found this system was not meeting their requirements and was quite difficult to use. By 2005, Freefoam decided that it was time to upgrade the business management systems and started a search for a suitable ERP. Freefoam needed an ERP that could provide multi-lingual, multi-currency and production functionality as well as providing core accounting and stock control.
After an extensive search of the ERP marketplace, Freefoam chose HansaWorld and went live with the ERP application in 2006. At first the company only used Sales Ledger, Nominal Ledger and Stock Control functionality. However, as staff confidence grew, the company added additional functionality such as modules for Manufacturing, Warehousing, Webshop, Barcodes and Labels. Ease of use and ability to train staff in short time frames led to widespread adoption of the ERP throughout the entire company.
According to Kevin O’Donovan, Finance Director at Freefoam, “In the past we had been constantly adding ad-hoc systems to get over problems, leading in the long run to further and more complicated issues. We no longer have these issues with the fully integrated, modular nature of Standard ERP. We are now using Materials Planning and Forecasting modules to speed up processes, while all deliveries and appointments are also recorded in Standard ERP”. Today Freefoam has over 50 users of the cloud based HansaWorld application. Kevin adds that, “The top three advantages of switching to HansaWorld have been, 1. Ease of use 2. A well designed mobile solution that grows and meets our needs 3. Intuitive reports.”
Recently Freefoam upgraded their HansaWorld Data and Security Plan to the highest level available - Level 4. The new Level 4 plan gives Freefoam greater confidence with additional backups, database copies, journalling and reserve system now available in the application.
Using HansaWorld Standard ERP has given Freefoam the confidence to expand and grow their business in existing and new marketplaces. The multi-lingual functionality of the system allows users in the UK and Belgium, for example, to look at the same screen in their own native language. Through a RestAPI, Freefoam can also fully integrate with third party applications such as TrueCommerce for EDI communication with Leroy Merlin and QlikView for additional in-depth Business Intelligence (BI).
An added benefit is having the full time support of HansaWorld business partner Syntec Solutions. With 24/7 operations it is very import to Freefoam that Syntec are there to lend support at short notice when needed. Kevin O’Donovan concludes, “We have been using HansaWorld’s ERP and business software applications significantly since 2006. Over that time our turnover has increased by 300% and we find HansaWorld a wonderful company to partner with. As we have developed HansaWorld has developed with us.”
“We have been using HansaWorld’s ERP and business software applications significantly since 2006. Over that time our turnover has increased by 300% and we find HansaWorld a wonderful company to partner with. As we have developed HansaWorld has developed with us.”
Kevin O’Donovan | Finance Director