In the dynamic world of retail technology solutions, Ian Moore, Founder and Head of Services at Excellent Zephyr, stands out as a leader with a clear mission.
With years of experience in ERP and integration projects, Ian’s journey began with a realisation of the lack of dedicated service providers for retailers.
As the pandemic spurred a surge in eCommerce, he saw an opportunity to leverage his expertise to help fast-growing brands navigate the complexities of technology adoption and achieve sustainable growth.
What is your USP?
We have years of experience working with some of the fastest-growing brands within the retail space, specifically on ERP and Integration projects. We understand the challenges that retailers face on a daily basis and that’s why we’ve tailored the most effective services to help brands achieve their business goals.
What is the main problem you solve for your customers?
We work closely with our customers to understand their pain points, long-term roadmap and short-term goals. From here we implement the best solutions available on the market to help them achieve these. Our services are centred around optimising their three core business processes – Order-to-Cash, Procure-to-Pay and Record-to-Report.
What made you start your business – did you want to rock the status quo, was it a challenge or a gap in the marketplace that you could fill?
After working for 20+ years with Oracle and NetSuite solutions on various retail and non-retail specific projects I identified a lack of dedicated ERP service providers for retailers. Additionally, around this time the pandemic was happening and we saw a boom in fast-growing eCommerce businesses. This is when it became clear that I could use my experience to create a business that can deliver the technology solutions that these brands need to achieve successful growth.
What are your brand values?
We pride ourselves on not being another one of these generic corporate-style ERP service providers. We’re trying to think outside the box whether that’s in terms of marketing content, personal relationships with customers or exciting initiatives with our rapidly growing partners. On-top of this, we pride ourselves on delivering a top-quality with honesty and integrity!
(honesty and integrity)
Do your values define your decision-making process?
Absolutely, honesty and integrity are at the core of how we work with our customers.
Is team culture integral to your business?
We pride ourselves on being a very diverse bunch who are all working towards the same cause. We now have a five-person strong service team in Egypt, our Head of Marketing and Head of Partnerships in Spain and we’ve just hired an amazing Project Manager in the Philippines. This is on top of the continuously growing UK-based team.
If team culture is integral to your business, what do you do to go the extra mile to show your team you appreciate them?
We love to attend events, whether that’s partners, conventions or our own just like last year’s football tournament! Due to the nature of remote work we try to create an open culture where everyone has a voice within the business that is valued. We love to meet up with each other as much as possible and we’re also looking to fly out to Cairo to see the Egypt team in 2023!
In terms of your messaging do you think you talk directly to your consumers in a clear fashion?
I believe so because we’re constantly working within the retail space, so we know from first-hand experience what challenges they are facing. Our messaging is centred around their needs and their core business processes, so it’s definitely a language they can relate to.
What’s your take on inflation and interest rates – are you going to pass that on to your customers or let your margins take a hit and reward customer loyalty in these tougher times?
Technology projects can be incredibly expensive, we know that! That’s why we’ve identified this and developed a managed service at a fixed monthly cost. This way, during the impending recession, retailers can rest assured we’re not going to raise our pricing, and will continue to grow their business and get the solutions they need at a manageable cost that works for them.
How often do you assess the data you pull in and address your KPIs and why?
Just like our customers, we’re also growing fast! As we do this, we’re making a conscious effort to analyse our business performance and marketing data. We do this so that we spend funds in the most effective way to achieve the best results.
Is tech playing a much larger part in your day-to-day running of your company?
Aside from us delivering retail technology to our customers every day, internally we use several solutions to optimise the running of our business. We use NetSuite internally for all our financials, a marketing CRM, Asana for our Project Management and Slack for communications.
What is your attitude to your competitors?
We are completely focused on our own growth and operations but we’re aware that there are other NetSuite solution providers doing great jobs.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out in business?
Just do it! It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do so don’t be scared to pursue your ambitions. Also, when it’s the right moment, make sure you hire the right people who share the same passion for the business as you.
It can be a lonely and pressured place to be as the lead decision maker of the business. What do you do to relax, recharge and hone your focus?
Actually, we have a four-person strong management board where we bounce ideas off each other and discuss important decisions. Actually, it was a purposeful strategy to hire young and talented team members with a view to developing them for the long term. Outside of work I love to get out with my dog on a nice walk on the beach or in the countryside. I also make time to go to the gym because exercise is great for my mental health.
Do you believe in the 12 week work method or do you make much longer planning strategies?
As our growth has accelerated, planning has become more important. For 2023 we have put together a 12-month plan with quarterly reviews against our objectives.
What is your company’s eco strategy?
We’re a remote-first business and do all we can to eliminate all unnecessary travel and where possible use public transport.
What three things do you hope to have in place within the next 12 months?
We have a lot of exciting plans for the future. We want to continue developing internal talent, focussing on integration and automation technology to address labour shortages in the UK and establishing Excellent Zephyr as a leader of NetSuite for retailers.
Cherry is Associate Editor of Business Matters with responsibility for planning and writing future features, interviews and more in-depth pieces for what is now the UK’s largest print and online source of current business news.