Azerty - Microsoft Dynamics 365

Azerty: a perfect platform for IT professionals

Monitors, mice, and motherboards are piled high in the warehouse of hardware web shop Azerty. CEO Jeroen te Wierik strides energetically past the shelving unitsas a red carpet is rolled out to celebrate employee milestones. The company is based in Raalte – nestled in between Zwolle, Deventer, and Almelo – and has grown considerably in recent years. It now competes with the major players in the world of online electronics retail.Remarkably, Azerty has never actively promoted itself or advertised its products.“We have grown by simply doing our job well. Our strategy? We believe that a deal is a deal, we work with passion, and we innovate where necessary. Simple, but effective.”

Alphabetical order

Azerty, where have we heard that before? Jeroen: “There are many discussions in forums about the origin of our name, and how to pronounce it. Is it ‘Eezertie’, as you would pronounce it in English, or ‘Azèrtie’, as you would say it in Dutch? For those who really want to know: Azerty is a type of keyboard commonly used in France and Belgium. The first letters in the top left are A, Z, E, R, T, and Y. In the Netherlands, most computers have a QWERTY keyboard. But that starts with a Q, so wasn’t really suitable as a company name; when we started in 2004, the rankings on kieskeurig.nl were still in alphabetical order. And we wanted to be at the top! Extremely unfair, obviously, and Kieskeurig has since changed its approach. But we took advantage of it for a while.”

Growing without advertising

So, the name ‘Azerty’ was a nifty trick to get to the top of important lists, ,but apart from that, the Salland-based web shop hardly does any advertising. Jeroen: “We provide IT hardware for experts, a critical target group. Our business and private customers know what they want and expect high quality. We do everything we can to serve them in the best possible way, and we go to great lengths to do that. If anything goes wrong with an order, we visit them in-person to make sure that the order is delivered as agreed. Even if it’s just a hard drive, we jump in a van and come to you. It’s this kind of dedication that has helped us to win the loyalty of our customers. Our vision has always been: as long as we keep our customers on board, we will grow.”

Picking up the phone is still worthwhile

By focusing on personal attention for customers as a strategy for growth, Azerty isn’t aiming for 100% efficiency: “Unlike other online players, we can still be contacted by phone. Customers who have questions or complaints can just give us a call, and we usually solve the problems while we’re on the phone,” says Jeroen. In an era when more and more companies are switching to contact forms, ticket systems, and automated chat functions, that may sound old-fashioned. But Jeroen is a firm believer in his approach: “We don’t want customers to have to adapt to our customer service process, no matter how efficient it is on paper. Customers like to tell their stories, and we can respond straight away if something is wrong. This way, we can quickly defuse frustrations and prevent customers from walking away angry. And calling fits in well with how we deal with conflicts here in the East: calmly and reasonably. Emotions don’t always have to run high.”

No loose ends or glitches

Azerty’s phone line and dedicated service are one thing, the quality of the products is another. The web shop doesn’t always have control over this. Jeroen: “To some extent, we are, of course, an intermediary: we bring product X from supplier Y to customer Z. We try to deliver good products, but sometimes a component is faulty. When that happens, all we can really do is quickly engage with the supplier, which we do. When we assemble PCs ourselves, we do have control over the product. We set high standards: there must be no loose wires or screws in a PC that goes out to the customer. They must be able to rely on our PCs and our process. We basically want to be the perfect platform by: offering good products, excellent service, and, if possible, a spot of sunshine.”

Next steps

To completely round off our platform, Azerty invested in an advanced business software package: Microsoft Dynamics, a complete ERP system. Jeroen: “For the move to Dynamics, we used the big bang approach: we switched to the new system in one go.That was quite risky. What if something went seriously wrong?The switch didn’t go exactly to plan, but with Broad Horizon’s help we were able to implement improvements quickly. They work according to the same principles as we do: a deal is a deal, and something is only good when it works properly. So, our collaboration was enjoyable and effective.”

You can only grow if you have satisfied customers

“The teething problems have now been ironed out and we are taking full advantage of the system. We use NAV as an internal tracking system for orders, among other things. Because the software registers every step in an order, we can pinpoint exactly where and when mistakes were made – by us or by a partner. Not to place blame, because we are not interested in pointing fingers and we stand firmly behind everyone who works with us or for us. But because we want to stay sharp and further refine our process. With Dynamics, we can implement process improvements at a very deep level.”

Now that Microsoft Dynamics is up and running, Jeroen is already thinking about the next step: “We want to achieve higher turnovers with a wider range of products and services. But the vision is the same: you can only grow if you have satisfied customers.”

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