Sampling International Success Story

“Since using Clarizen we’ve grown 80% in the last year; we’ve been able to absorb the increase without too much overhead. With Clarizen, we’re doing three or four times more quotes with the same number of people. Being able to control the many different and complex processes in one place has allowed us to grow exponentially.”

Anthony Lynch
Co-owner
Sampling International

Company overview

Sampling International is a global supplier of fabric sampling, swatch books and catalogues. The company specializes in window furnishings, soft and upholstery coverings and architectural hardware. Sampling International’s sales and project management teams are located in California and Sydney, Australia while production and manufacturing are mostly handled through the team located in China. Clients are primarily located in the US and Australia, while the company has recently expanded its activities to Europe. Anthony Lynch is one of three owners of Sampling International and is currently based in Australia. He manages operations over the entire product cycle from initial selling stages to manufacturing, quality control and delivery.

The challenge

Sampling International was founded four years ago and recently experienced significant growth. Previously, the teams were using Microsoft Excel and Outlook to manage their projects, but management felt that the feature-set was limited and the projects were scattered making it hard to manage all the operations across continents. Anthony realized that he needed a project management solution that would concentrate all the projects and timelines in one place for better transparency and project scalability. He looked into a number of SaaS solutions.

Concentrating all the projects in one place is crucial to Sampling International since the sales and project management functions include working with clients to coordinate the different components of the project. As the company’s larger clients work with external design agencies, Sampling International’s work involves handling processes between two organizations to coordinate fabrics, ship them from all over the world to one facility, and then align expectations and tasks with the pre-production, print, design and manufacturing teams in China.

Add to this the fact that at Sampling International, projects are handled across three continents and can become quite complex. Lynch explains, “Over the life of the project a lot can change. In some cases we work with 200 to 300 different fabrics from all over the world that we need to coordinate and import. Sometimes by the end of a project there are fewer fabrics because the client decided to drop the product or the manufacturer doesn’t make it anymore. It’s a fluid process all the way through.”

Requirements

  • Easy coordination for cross continent and cross supplier projects
  • A project management solution that would concentrate all the projects and timelines in one place for better transparency and project scalability

Why Clarizen

  • Quality control can be measured
  • Great User interface
  • Excellent customer service from Clarizen, “Clarizen’s customer service team was so much more responsive to our needs which in turn made it easier for us to get the system up and running.”

The solution

The team quickly adapted to Clarizen project management. Part of the implementation process included training meetings and sessions with departments that were involved with the projects. Lynch divided part of the deployment into stages for employees who have less experience of managing projects with professional project management methodologies.

Today, the initial stage of creating a price quote with new clients is entirely handled through Clarizen project management. The sales representative collects the client information and passes it along to the internal administrator who opens up a job in Clarizen. Then the assignment is sent to the quoting department that coordinates with the manufacturing team to build a quote. With Clarizen, the entire process is completely transparent for management.

Sampling International has been growing at a fast pace from 15 employees to 500 in just over four years. The company has leaned on Clarizen’s robust project management solution to help manage this growth, “Since using Clarizen we’ve grown 80% in the last year; we’ve been able to absorb the increase without too much overhead. With Clarizen, we’re doing three or four times more quotes with the same number of people. Being able to control the many different and complex processes in one place has allowed us to grow exponentially.”

Results

  • Transparent processes over three continents
  • Price quotes from sales are passed onto project managers all within Clarizen
  • “Since using Clarizen we’ve grown 80% in the last year; we’ve been able to absorb the increase without too much overhead. With Clarizen, we’re doing three or four times more quotes with the same number of people.”

Fast Facts

INDUSTRY:
Design

LOCATION:
USA, Australia, China, Europe

PREVIOUS SOLUTION:
Excel and Outlook