Sweeping ERP Changes at Lindemann Chimney

Adrian Bridgwater, Guest Blogger

June 9, 2016

In the new digital age, some aspects of life still work in the traditional way. Lindemann Chimney Co.,  a chimney sweep company, chimney supply company with four warehouses across the US and a manufacturer of chimney sweep products, knows firsthand.

The firm was founded in 1969 in Chicago as a chimney cleaning business. Today, the firm has just under 100 employees and it is one of the largest chimney sweeping companies in the USA.

From an operational viewpoint, Lindemann initially managed customer order data(opens in new tab) across five separate QuickBooks files and had a combination of technologies including a Magento website and a custom install of Salesforce.com.

Poor integration, painful inefficiencies

The firm was struggling operationally due to the very poor level integration that existed (or indeed, was even possible) between the systems in place. In fact, according to David Ullmann, the company’s director of ecommerce(opens in new tab), 35 percent of customer data was duplicated, which was costly and lead to inefficiencies so that inventory was off by over 15 percent.

Lindemann’s overall data stack itself had been merged several times with no standards in place to guide it. Ullmann, used his session at SuiteWorld 16 to explain how Lindemann would tackle all these challenges and approach its data migration task ahead.

The firm needed to get all customer data imported ‘by individual division’ across its operation. The team wanted to ensure that the focus was very much directed on ‘cleansing’ the data rather than focus on the ‘import job’ in and of itself.

The company had to complete the move to NetSuite and train up 30 users at the same time, a figure that it would ramp up to 90 post launch.

Part of the migration off of Salesforce and the other inefficient systems is still in process, but the core move to NetSuite took place inside 30 days. At the same time Lindemann moved off of its Magento website onto SuiteCommerce.

Abandoning Salesforce

“The future on NetSuite for Lindemann Chimney Co. sees us abandoning Salesforce and building our calendar and field service in NetSuite, most of which we are doing in-house ourselves since NetSuite is such a flexible and easy to use platform,” Ullmann said.

Ullmann says that he and his team will now be able to triple its number of stock keeping units (SKUs) inside the next 12 months.

30 percent growth trajectory

“We now have the ability to process and serve more orders per day with the same headcount. This will allow us to continue our 30 percent year-over-year growth trajectory for years to come,” Ullmann said.

Every week, the company is coming up with new workflows and new ways to automate its systems, according to Ullmann. The firm will use its newfound business agility to expand its product line and expand even further.

More recently Lindemann has expanded its product and service offerings to include gutter cleaning and areas like dryer vent cleaning.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.

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