|Company Name: BookPal|
Location: Tustin, California (United States)
Industry: eCommerce, Book Publishing, Distribution
Odoo Users: 14
Apps: CRM, Sales, Inventory, Purchase, and Accounting
Implementation Partner: Bista Solutions, Inc.
Implementation Timeline: 6 Months
Venturing out to multiple sources to learn how to make more-informed business decisions can be extraneous for any company, and its team members.
This kind of arduous journey can lead to inaccuracies, confusion, and a wealth of exhaustion.
BookPal was no different, with its valuable data and internal processes spread across different, incompatible platforms. In short, their business model was becoming increasingly problematic, and they quickly realized they were in need of a drastic change.
So, the BookPal team set out in search of a new solution, with the main goal of finding a centralized platform that could be integrated with other important systems.
The Bista Solutions team, an Odoo Gold Partner and five-time Odoo Best Partner award recipient, assisted BookPal with their venture, which ultimately resulted in decreased inaccuracies, efficient reporting metrics, and improved business procedures.
BookPal is a leading online bookseller that offers easy book purchasing solutions to businesses, schools, and various organizations. The company was founded in 2005, and is headquartered in Tustin, California.
BookPal's mission is to help people and organizations "be their best" through the power of books, making them an ideal resource for schools, non-profits, corporations, and a myriad of other groups.
Their website offers a variety of books in different genres, including business books, educational titles, children's books, and so much more. BookPal also provides customized book recommendations, personalized services, and fast shipping options.
The company has been recognized for its relentless commitment to customer satisfaction and top-tier quality service. In addition, the BookPal team often partners with publishers and authors to offer exclusive content and book promotions.
Key Challenges and Requirements
The BookPal team faced multiple challenges before the Bista Solutions experts stepped in. Going into the endeavor, the folks at BookPal had an island of applications that weren't integrated, making traceability one of their primary issues.
At the time, the team was handling sales through BigCommerce and Salesforce, while their accounting was managed in Xero. This made it extremely difficult for the team to have an interdependent workflow, and it was abundantly clear that they had to rework a few things to overcome this costly series of hurdles.
The BookPal team needed a single system that could handle all of their operations. That's why, managing CRM activities, sales, operations, BigCommerce integration, procurement, inventory, dropship, shipment tracking, and accounting with Avalara Tax integration were the BookPal team's key requirements.
They planned to "go live" as soon as they could get their routine operations managed under one application, Odoo. And they were able to do so with the amazing help of the brilliant people at Bista Solutions.
In June 2022, the Bista sales team was contacted by the point-of-contact from BookPal, Tony DiCostanzo (Founder and CEO at BookPal).
The team at BookPal had found Bista Solutions through an online search, and reached out to them for assistance. After the initial contact, a virtual Business Analysis process was conducted to assess their unique needs. The Bista team evaluated BookPal's requirements, and suggested Odoo as a comprehensive solution, which could fully integrate all their operations on one, user-friendly platform.
The implementation process started after the project was signed in June 2022. The entire implementation was done virtually, without any in-person meetings, due to circumstances brought forth by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Bista Solutions assigned a team of experts to work on the project, including a project manager, some functional consultants, and a handful of technical consultants. The implementation lasted for six months, from June 2022 to February 2023.
During this time, Bista Solutions provided training to the BookPal team online. They connected almost every day for two months, making sure their team members understood how to properly (and efficiently) use Odoo.
The main challenge that occurred during the implementation process was training the client, and educating them on how an interlinked department works in an ERP application. Up to this point, the BookPal team had been using independent applications, and switching to a single, fully-integrated platform required a disciplined and accurate workflow.
As the client continued to familiarize themselves with Odoo, their understanding (and expectations) for the system grew, resulting in additional customizations and automations - all of which were designed to streamline various processes and fully leverage the capabilities that Odoo's award-winning system has to offer. While the project scope increased due to these requested changes, the Bista Solutions team was able to handle everything efficiently.
The BookPal project had some custom modules, as well, including a multi-shipment module that was enhanced to handle different shipments based on location, quantity, and delivery date, an Avalara Tax integration with auto-tax exemption, and BigCommerce integration.
Bista Solutions successfully integrated all the client's applications, including BigCommerce, Avalara Tax, and BrainTree Payment integration, all while eliminating their dependency on Salesforce and Xero.
With all of those useful changes in place, the BookPal team is now able to manage their CRM activities, sales, operations, procurement, inventory, dropship, shipment tracking, and accounting with Avalara Tax integration, all on the Odoo ERP platform. It was quite an improvement, to say the least.
From Bista's perspective, the project was unique because it required the Bista team to work more extensively with the client on defining new business processes based on Odoo's interdependent workflow. Bista Solutions successfully navigated the client’s nuances, and delivered a powerful solution that met (and exceeded) all of BookPal's requirements.
Since welcoming Odoo into their business model, the BookPal team has reported that they are beyond satisfied with the implementation process, and are currently benefiting from having all their information in one place. This, alone, has saved them approximately 30% of their time. In turn, Odoo's implementation has resulted in increased productivity, accuracy, and easy traceability.
Needless to say, the implementation has made their workflow far more efficient. In fact, the team reported that they are now able to allocate their resources more effectively, due to the streamlined workflow that Odoo provides.
Additionally, the BookPal team has noticed there has been a vast improvement in communication between departments, resulting in better coordination, which has led to increased satisfaction among employees.
With the implementation of Odoo, the BookPal team is now able to manage customer data more effectively and provide timely customer service, which is expected to result in increased customer satisfaction over time.
Currently, BookPal is in the process of implementing new add-ons, like Dashboard, Quoting Integration, and Odoo’s Expense Module, which are being developed by the Bista team. These new modules are expected to further enhance the functionality of their system, making it even more efficient and user-friendly.
Ultimately, the implementation of Odoo has been an absolute success for the BookPal team, resulting in improved efficiency, productivity, and better communication amongst departments.
The team is now able to manage their operations more effectively, and with the addition of new modules, they are poised to continue their growth and success in the future - and it's all thanks to Bista Solutions and Odoo.
The following is a quote from Tony DiCostanzo, CEO at BookPal:
Launching a new ERP solution can be extremely painful. It requires the coordination of teams from across an organization for weeks or months, to define requirements, outline processes, and extensively test the system to ensure going live is a seamless transition from any legacy software the company used.
Recognizing the potential challenges of implementing a new ERP solution, like Odoo, we conducted a lot of upfront research before deciding on Bista Solutions as our Odoo implementation partner.
From the very beginning, we knew we had made the right choice. There was clearly a level of knowledge about Odoo from every team member that just wasn't there with the other five companies we had interviewed.
While discussing requirements, most companies simply answered with a confident, "Sure, we can do that,'" but the answer lacked substance and detail.
The team at Bista, instead, provided the "how" they would do it that solidified, in our minds, that not only did they know what they were doing, they had already done it hundreds of times before.
Despite the confidence we had in the Bista team, we still expected the process to be challenging and full of roadblocks or compromises. That was certainly the case when I was rolling out SAP for a large entertainment company.
I can honestly say, though, as I reflect back on the rollout, it was wildly easier than I expected, simply because the team at Bista comprised of Murali, Nikita, Mukul, Divesh, Hardik, Freni, Vidya, and Hardik were amazing to work with.
From day one, they guided our team through the requirements process, executed on customizations flawlessly, and turned around work extremely fast. Not to mention, just being a great group of people.
If your organization is considering a new ERP solution, like Odoo, I highly recommend Bista Solutions, as I look forward to working with them on an ongoing basis, as our business continues to scale, and our needs evolve.
About Bista Solutions, Inc.
Bista Solutions is an Odoo Gold Partner in the United States, and has won Odoo Best Partner in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2021, and 2022.
Bista Solutions, Inc. is a digital transformation firm that helps companies digitize their business processes with enterprise application implementations. Founded in 2007, Bista has implemented software enterprise applications for companies in various verticals, such as manufacturing, retail, metal fabrication, industrial repair, healthcare, auto parts, telecom, promotional products, arms & defense, cannabis, and more.
Learn more at bistasolutions.com