Motis Went Open-Source to Make Firefighters More Effective

Headquarters: Canada (Hamilton, ON)

Number of Employees: 6
Industry: Manufacturing for Firefighting equipment
Apps Implemented: Manufacturing, Accounting, Sales, Project, CRM

Shaking Up the Status Quo

Firefighters continuously place their lives on the line by suppressing flames, performing rescues, and offering emergency medical services. These brave women and men repeatedly face occupational hazards ranging from toxic smoke, to scorching heat, and moving heavy hose lines. Motis seeks to shake up the firefighting industry by creating tools that help make firefighters' jobs both safer and more convenient. With Odoo's help, they can bring these tools to fire departments all around the world!

"S" Stands for Snagger

It all started when Luke Geleynse, a firefighter himself, was looking for and developed a better way to handle fire hoses. These "lines," as they're known, can be very heavy when they're full of water. Like something out of a 90s infomercial, he thought, "there has to be a better way!" He started drafting ideas for various tools, prototyping them, and machining them before creating Motis' flagship product: the Snagger Tool.

Motis' Snagger Tool
The Snagger comes in a variety of colors

The Snagger is an S-shaped tool designed by a firefighter for firefighters. With it, a firefighter can handle a charge, meaning "full," fire hose both safely and quickly! Not only that, but it can replace several other firefighting tools, thereby reducing an individual's load to carry into th blaze. For instance, the Snagger can be used as a hose wrench to break tempered glass, wedge open doors, remove drywall, and more. With the help of a marketing video that went viral, Geleynse and his business partner Paul Terpstra began the work of growing and scaling the business as quickly as possible.

Motis Opts for an Open-Source ERP

Once the expansion was on Motis' mind, the owners had to decide which business software and ERP to use.  According to Terpstra, "A Company [Motis'] size easily could've gone with a QuickBooks or something similar." Initially, they were early adopters of Microsoft's ERP, Business Central, which used to be called Dynamics 365. From the marketing materials and videos they had seen, it appeared to be a straightforward, easy-to-use solution for their needs, but it soon proved to be the opposite. Terpstra says it was difficult for them to use. Not only could Motis' owners tell it was something they would need to invest heavily in to maximize its potential, but they also, at the time, lacked the financial resources to set it up correctly and implement it. It was frustrating to see how powerful it could be, but without a partner to guide the process, it would be prohibitively expensive for the manufacturing startup.

Motis' Snagger handles hoses
A Firefighter demonstrates how the Snagger handles hoses

The high cost of Microsoft's ERP may have been a mixed blessing. As Terpstra explains, "For [Motis], almost everything we do is looking towards the future and how we can grow and scale. Our goal is to grow and scale as quick[ly] as possible." Fast growth would not have been possible with this pricey software. Once he accepted this minor setback, Terpstra renewed the search for an ERP that better fit Motis' brand and culture. Using a search engine, he discovered Odoo, an Open-Source ERP that seemed to check all of their boxes. After starting a free trial, and using the Belgian ERP, Terpstra sensed that "Everything about [Odoo] jived more with who we are." His initial impressions with Odoo were positive: he found it easy to use and liked its functionality. More importantly, everything is integrated.

“Everything about [Odoo] jived more with who we are.”

Paul Terpstra, Owner

This was a problem Motis ran into earlier when using QuickBooks. There were issues in the manufacturing side of the business in linking everything together. Previously, data would have to be re-entered up to 3 times per order, which created opportunities for errors. In the prior workflow, Shopify would push an order to a ship station, which then required entering the same information into their accounting software, before using yet another application to track sales. At Motis' scale, it is not prohibitively difficult nor time-consuming to enter all that information multiple times, but looking long term, it doesn't make sense for them in the future should they expand their sales force. What Terpstra liked about Odoo is the eventuality of not needing integrations because he can perform all of his business' needs within the platform.

Motis Keeps Moving Forward

Now that Motis has been using Odoo for a few months, the results are speaking for themselves. The company has already saved a lot of time in its business processes. Little things, such as using Odoo's CRM to avoid data-entry redundancies, will create a vast, long-term advantage. Other improvements include figuring out the actual cost of their products in Odoo's software. Once Terpstra downloaded the module to calculate the price of a bill of materials, he was able to see the true cost of every order and every batch that Motis ships to customers.  "It's accurate, up-to-date, and down to the second," gushes Terpstra. It's particularly exciting for him to look at costs and see how the company can drive its prices down. As a manufacturer, he is always striving to make cheaper, faster, and better products.

Motis also 3D prints Snagger truck mounts
Motis also 3D prints Snagger truck mounts.

With a stable, open-source foundation in place, Motis can make good on its desire to grow in the future. Already a global company, Motis continues to provide high quality and useful firefighting tools to fire departments across the globe. With a foundation built on solid ground, Motis can continue to develop and refine their breakthrough products for firefighters everywhere.

About Motis Fire Rescue

Motis makes the world's finest hose handling tool for firefighters! They can ship their Snagger tool to brigades all around the world!
Learn more at

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