EWD-Compass has been helping companies in the Netherlands to import and export to and from China and Vietnam since 2009. A very complex service, because EWD-Compass has to meet the demands of customers from various industries, whilst maintaining continuous crystal clear communication switching between the various parties involved. And we haven’t even started to talk about the time, language and cultural barriers, plus the Chinese firewall that can make things extremely difficult for companies to operate smoothly.
So it was really essential to find the perfect software system solution. This became one of the biggest priorities within EWD-Compass at the end of 2019. They started looking for a system in which everything could be included. Since 2009, EWD-Compass has been helping companies in the Netherlands to import and export to and from China and Vietnam.
Joost Eeuwes (Director EWD-Compass): “Beforehand, we worked, it sounds very old-fashioned – mainly with Excel sheets. We sent these to our customers every week. At the infancy of our company it was a great way of to work, but now that we have grown beyond 15 FTE and have a larger portfolio with larger customers. It turned out to be no longer a watertight method. We wanted to create insight for the customer, so that they can find out which delivery is located where in the process at what time. And what is also important: the information must be up-to-date at all times of the day.
In addition, we were looking for a system that could support us in the provision of information to our own EWD-Compass employees, so that they may help out on a project or simply take over in the event of illness or vacation. To do that, the entire system had to be automated. The process starts with a request from us, followed by the search for products. Then you have quotations that are linked to the requests and search history, then ultimately the chosen products, the production itself and the transport, plus the final check. Codeless has managed to capture this complete process in one clear and accessible system. Now, our customer really does have 100% insight into everything. This ensures a professional appearance on our part, the feeling of control on the customer side, and it also saves us an incredible amount of time.”
Joost Eeuwes of EWD-Compass talks about this: “We found it difficult – something I think several Codeless customers run into – to articulate exactly what we needed. Because Codeless is not in the business of EWD-Compass and we do not fully understand everything Codeless can do. We would have preferred to state our wishes very simply on one A4 sheet of paper, but that turned out to be difficult. That is why we decided to go to an external software consultant who specializes in standard ERP packages. We thought we needed such an ERP package. That turned out to be partly true. But our actual wish turned out to be an ERP package Plus. The external software consultant soon found out everything after a few interviews. Their conclusion? “There are three companies in the Netherlands that can really help you further.” And so we requested three quotations. With Codeless we got the best feeling. A conversation followed.”
In no time, Codeless was able to translate our wishes and ideas of EWD-Compass on paper into a suitable software system and presented this during one of the very first appointments. It was a flexible system that really matched the EWD-Compass requirements, and one which everyone can log in to, including the transporter. Joost Eeuwes: “How we work with Codeless thus far is actually like this: we propose something and ask ‘Is this possible?’ And the answer is almost always ‘Yes, it is possible.’ That is fantastic for us.”
The complete system was delivered in less than half a year. Exactly as promised. Joost Eeuwes says about this: “Codeless keeps its promises. If they say “it will be ready on Monday” then it will be ready on Monday. That is very nice. Moreover, it is very nice that they explain everything on paper in a simple language, while the system behind it is certainly complicated. However, as a non-software engineer, I also understand the process. And I really think that is their strength.”
Another plus, as far as Joost Eeuwes is concerned, is the involvement of Codeless: “Our main concern with the implementation of this system was whether it would work in China. That was a big effort for everyone, including Codeless. China’s firewall is holding back a lot; also ERP systems. Many of our customers have a regular ERP system and cannot log in with it when they are in China. I cannot afford that problem with my system. Codeless understood this and took it into consideration. When I had to go to China at the beginning of this year, Codeless proactively stated: Lets use this moment to test and try as much as possible. That quickly ensured that we saw what was already going well and which minor adjustments still needed to be made!”