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Tuapeka tackle an ambitious growth curve with Adaptiv

Tuapeka was born in a home kitchen over 35 years ago. Today, the family-owned business is Australasia’s largest wholesale supplier of branded promotional products. Tuapeka takes immense pride in staying ahead of market trends and constantly seeks out new and innovative products, an approach reflected in its market-facing brand name: TRENDS.

Tuapeka employs over 500 staff across its head office in Mosgiel, Dunedin, and its Philippines-based customer service centre.

tuapeka staff

A spiderweb of solutions

Tuapeka’s dedication to leading, not following, has seen the company double in size over the last three years. With further ambitious growth plans, the business knew it needed to address its reliance on ageing technology. However, with all hands needed on deck to keep up with the daily demands of a fast-paced business, there had been little time to plan a forward path, let alone make it happen.

In early 2023, Tuapeka appointed Jonathan Elliott as its full-time CIO. His mission was to help untangle its multitude of on-premises IT systems and develop a strategy for delivering a robust technology platform to support future growth.

A map of the legacy environment architecture was completed and presented the business with a complex “spiderweb” of systems and data flows. While a few line-of-business systems were from vendors, most had been developed in-house to manage Tuapeka’s day-to-day needs to fit with their customer-centric culture. The result? More than 50 custom applications, many with standalone functionality and siloed data.

Too many sources of the truth

In addition to moving the business to a hybrid multi-cloud model (Azure, AWS and on-premises), another primary challenge for Elliott was that none of Tuapeka’s existing applications, including their on-premises SYSPRO ERP, talked to one another. That lack of integration made it slow and difficult to access the data the business needed for fast and well-informed decision-making and forecasting, let alone streamlining processes.

“There were many sources of the truth,” says Elliott, “so our people were often working with less than accurate information leading to assumptions that weren’t necessarily correct.

While Elliott evaluated a range of potential integration partners, he chose Adaptiv based on technology industry recommendations that they were the partner of choice for ‘serious integration’ projects.

A clever strategic approach

Elliott’s initial requirement of Adaptiv was to develop an integration strategy throughout a two-day workshop. During this time, Adaptiv engaged with senior Tuapeka stakeholders to introduce them to the business case for integration and establish the building blocks for a strategy based on their requirements and goals.

To identify which solution would best fit Tuapeka in terms of affordability, functionality, and usability, Adaptiv assessed several integration platforms before proposing using Boomi as the integration platform and Azure for API management and messaging.

Adaptiv delivered a proof-of-concept workshop to validate the recommendation, successfully demonstrating how Tuapeka would achieve consistent address validation by leveraging Google and data from SYSPRO.

“Based on my experience working on the technology partner side, I had expectations as to what that platform would be,” says Elliott. “But the proposal from Adaptiv to use Boomi simply ticked more boxes. It was efficient in terms of licensing, and combining it with the best of Azure was a clever strategic approach.”

Better, together

One of Elliott’s major requirements of any integration partner and platform was that Tuapeka’s team of developers could learn how to use the tools and take ownership of meeting future requirements internally.

Choosing Adaptiv and Boomi was a win on both counts for Tuapeka. “While we need a partner to support us when needed, I didn’t want us to be held hostage. We wanted a true partnership,” says Elliott, “and from day one with Adaptiv, that’s what we got.

“As Boomi is low code, we didn’t end up with a long-term dependency on someone else for day-to-day development and support. Thanks to how Adaptiv structured the engagement, our team became proficient at using the platform. Within months, they were sharing the workload.”

While Elliott provided an initial list of integration initiatives for Adaptiv and the Tuapeka team to deliver, the business decided to implement StockIQ, an inventory management and analytics solution. Due to the immediate value StockIQ would deliver once integrated with the ERP, it shot to the top of the list. Despite a challenging deadline, the collaborative approach taken by the developers on both sides saw the new solution delivered in record time.

From zero to best-of-breed hero

As of late 2023, Tuapeka has gone from no integration to a hybrid platform which provides seamless integration and data flow between its applications. Boomi will enable effortless scaling as the business introduces strategic new technologies to drive their ambitious growth plans, and fully support the business’s ‘best of breed’ approach to applications.

“We have challenged that idea that the ERP should be the centre of our universe,” says Elliot. “We want to use the best systems and tools for us; our Boomi platform underpins our whole strategy because it enables us to pick, choose, and integrate at will.”

What next?

Next up for Tuapeka and Adaptiv, says Elliott, is an Azure Databricks project following a “very successful data strategy project.”

“Now that Databricks is in place, we’re about to embark on our first phase of work, which is to build our first data dimension from our sales, product, and customer data. The project is a key strategic business initiative; the business intelligence capability we are building will transform the insights available to the entire business, and enable better decision making at all levels for us over the next couple of years.

“Once again, Adaptiv was recommended to us as a data specialist, and they have lived up to our high expectations.”

“Adaptiv has been very accommodating and easy to work with,” says Elliott. “They’ve shared their valuable knowledge and experience with us and engaged smoothly and professionally with our other technology vendors. If you’re after excellence, I’d have no hesitation in recommending them.”

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  • Christian Kelbrick Sales Director – Integration Tel (+64) 27 800 6806

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