Country: United States (Gulf Shores, AL)
Industry: Tiles, Interior Design
Apps Implemented: Sales, CRM, Inventory, Accounting and Studio
Number of Users: 6 Users
Company Size: 11 Employees
Implementation Type: Odoo Online (SaaS)
The global cement tile market is on a rise. The growth of its market is influenced by several factors, such as: durability and ease maintenance, growth in the real estate sector, technological advancements, and increasing popularity across the US and Canada. Over the course of the next five years, the market is expected to grow at CAGR of more than 4.12%. And one of the key players in the industry is Villa Lagoon Tiles, an US market pioneer and Alabama based tile distributor and manufacturer.
The History of Cement Tile Designs
Though the origin is still unknown, it is speculated that the art of crafting encaustic cement tiles began as far back as the early 1800’s. The first known reference is from a factory in Barcelona, Butsems & Co, in 1857. Now, over 160 years have gone by, and the technique of how to craft these tiles has gone unchanged. The tiles are 100% handmade, naturally dried, without the use of a kiln (a furnace or oven for burning, baking, or drying, especially one for calcining lime or firing pottery), resulting in an environmentally friendly production method.
Today, cement tiles are used across the globe, in both floor and wall design. The tiles are very popular in parts of Europe, Central America, and of South America and Asia. In the US they were very popular in the 1920’s when they were used in thousands of landmark public buildings. In the past few years, they seem to be regaining popularity in parts of the country, especially in Alabama and Florida. You may have heard of them referred to as Cuban Tiles.
Behind the Scenes of Villa Lagoon Tile
Villa Lagoon was established in 2008 when founder and CEO, Lundy Wilder, was researching tile designs for her own Gulf Coast home in Alabama. During this process, Wilder realized how cement design tiles, though still widely popular across the globe, were virtually unknown in the United States and difficult to source locally. Rather than turning to imports for her home design, Wilder saw this as a potential business opportunity, and a way to bring the tiles for her personal project. During this process she founded Villa Lagoon Tile.
Over the past ten years the business has grown exponentially and the company now sells designed tiles all across the US and even overseas. They have over 300 different tile designs available online, and over 60,000 sq ft of inventory ready for sale. From their humble beginnings in 2008, Villa Lagoon now boasts large international clients such as Disney Resorts in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and a casino in Macau. Locally, they have worked in projects of all shapes and sizes,from small residential apartments to large hotels.
Apart from all the pre-designed tiles available on Villa Lagoons website, shoppers can also customize their own tiles by selecting a pattern and adjusting the colors and layout to their preference.
Learn more about Villa Lagoon Tiles and their beautiful designs here: https://www.villalagoontile.com/
The Good Struggle
Prior to Odoo, Villa Lagoon Tile, just as many small-medium size business, used to manage their inventory through Google Doc spreadsheets. Every time a sale was made, a salesperson would have to go and manually change the numbers on the spreadsheet. Simple as that. However as the company started to grow - both in sales and number of employees - managing inventory and human errors became difficult and very time-consuming. John Adams, Director of Technology, would spend hours correcting spreadsheets, and training employees to try to minimize their margin of error.
As the company continued to grow, John knew something needed to change. He started to research inventory applications that would solve their problems and fit Villa Lagoon’s budget. As well as an inventory solution, John was also looking for a sales solution that would speed up the sales generation process, since it was all being done manually.
Another one of John’s major issues, was the fact that his customers wanted to buy tile per square foot, but all his inventory and production/buying was done in units. So the solution he was looking for would needed to be customizable to his business.
John came across at least a dozen options before he decided to go with Odoo. The idea of having a fully integrated solution, with a low entry cost really caught his attention. All of these factors combined with the new Dealership Program that the company had just implemented, made managing inventory through a spreadsheet in times of high demand, impossible. And that’s when John decided to try Odoo.
“The only application that was close enough to fulfill all of our needs, would cost us $15,000 to get started. Apart from the fact that this was a very industry specific solution.”
How Odoo Helped Villa Lagoon Tile Increase Efficiency
At first, Villa Lagoon’s priority was to implement the Inventory and Sales applications to help John solve his inventory tracking issues and reduce the sales order processing time. Seeing an opportunity to increase sales and strengthen his relationship with his customers, John also decided to implement Odoo CRM, Odoo Accounting and, the Studio tool. Since he has a technical background, he saw the opportunity of customizing some of the features to fulfill the company’s needs. Something he hadn’t seen available at any other business software company.
“For the more complex customizations, Studio is a great prototyping system!”
Together with the help of Mateus Delai (John’s Odoo Project Manager), John was able to develop features that allowed customers’ to buy tiles by square foot, and at the same time have these items tracked and organized internally per unit. John is also planning on customizing his reports in a way that he will be able to better track which types of tiles - shape, size, colors, and patterns of the tile - are selling the most. That way he will be able to develop new designs that his clients may like, and to reduce production of tiles that are not selling as much.
The Odoo Sales app helped John solve one of his major issues: reduce sales order generation time. Though implementing Odoo Sales was a simple solution, it brought big results to the company. Reducing sales order time from 30 minutes down to just a couple of minutes, allowed his team to focus on their clients and helped them increase sales.
“The Odoo’s generation of sales orders is… the efficiency there is incredible. That alone, the sales module and creating the sales order is worth the subscription price.”
At the moment, Villa Lagoon’s top priority is having better control and organization of the flow of their products. Since the company operates both FIFO and LIFO systems depending on the size of the order, having total control of their stock is extremely important. The Odoo Inventory app helped John and his team finally find out how many tiles they actually have of each design, which helps them forecast when to order new tiles and it also saves the company money by helping them not make unnecessary purchases. It is also helped John better utilize Villa Lagoon’s warehouse space and organization, which has improved shipping time - Something very important when you have over 60,000 square feet of tiles in your warehouse
The Sky is the Limit
Moving forward, Lundy and John plan to continue developing the US market while exploring big projects overseas. To make that happen, they must make sure that all of their internal processes are running smoothly. For them, this is not just organizing inventory and operations, but also working on their relationship with current and potential customers in order to increase sales and scale the business. This is where Odoo CRM may play a very important role in Villa Lagoon’s future.