Family-Run Import-Export Business Thrives Through Diversification

Founded in Malta in 1972 by Gul Mohnani, Universal Import & Export Ltd was created to import textiles and textile-related machinery to serve the local market. As the local market grew, so too did Universal, becoming the industry’s leader within five years supplying everything from needles to machines and from sewing threads to fabrics. Ultimately, it opened a retail outlet, showroom and office building.


COMPANY

Universal Import & Export Limited

LOCATION

Paola, Malta

INDUSTRY

Wholesale Distribution

EMPLOYEES

23

NUMBER OF USERS

12

REVENUE

3.4m Euros (2018)

SYSTEM REPLACED

Sage Pastel Evolution

OTHER SOLUTIONS CONSIDERED

TradeGecko, BrightPearl

NETSUITE PRODUCTS IMPLEMENTED

NetSuite
CRM

IMPLEMENTATION PARTNER

Softype

LOCATION

India

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“Our company has grown in an average of about 10 percent per year since we implemented NetSuite in 2015. It’s really been a big benefit for us to become more lean with our purchasing. The real-time reporting, not only for inventory, makes decision-making a whole lot easier!” Stefan Mohnani, Director, Universal Import & Export Ltd

Shifting Market Creates New Opportunities

Success through adaptation
As the textile industry slowed and businesses moved abroad seeking cheaper labor, Universal had to adapt and diversify. The company began importing packaging and labeling consumables and machines, and gradually adding adhesives, health and safety, and electronic and scientific products widening its target market to span multiple industries, whilst maintaining its focus on serving industrial manufacturing B2B customers.
Adding manufacturing, services pays off
To further diversify, Universal added light manufacturing for the medical industry and a services arm that provides technical support for the machinery in all the industries the business serves. Although the main customer base is in the Maltese islands, the company now ships overseas, operating from a 1,000-square-meter warehouse supported in part by a 3PL provider.
Looking to the cloud
As Universal grew and diversified, its existing Sage system for managing the company began to buckle under the strain and as the server that ran the on-premise system aged, the company elected to implement NetSuite over TradeGecko and BrightPearl as a modern, comprehensive, cloud-based system.
Second generation success
The family-owned business, now in its second generation, can continue to expand and diversify with NetSuite managing its financials, inventory and customer records. Management will also be introducing an ecommerce channel with NetSuite SuiteCommerce.

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