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Online platform boosts manufacturer's niche market

“Before we were drowning in paper and now that we have gone paperless, we have created a better physical space for the business, not to mention cost savings and reducing our environmental footprint."

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NGC Windows managing director Tom Foster checks orders on his new Beacon system which the business worked with 2IQ to create on their TradeIQ platform.

After 40 years of steady growth, NGC Windows has maintained its strong position in the window manufacturing sector by consolidating its business processes into an online platform which aligns with the company’s future goals. The Christchurch-based company designs, manufactures, and installs windows for commercial buildings and architecturally designed homes throughout the South Island.

NGC Windows worked with 2IQ to create a tailored operating system on 2IQ's TradeIQ platform, called 'Beacon', which is designed for custom manufacturers, and they are now planning to share this system with industry partners. NGC Windows managing director Tom Foster says 2IQ made the entire process enjoyable as they were able to quickly understand their business processes and provide appropriate solutions in a timely manner.

“What I liked about the 2IQ team was that they quickly understood the needs of our business. Their questions were always thoughtful, and they listened very carefully to determine how we wanted to use the system.

“We now have a very intuitive user interface which everyone in the business can use regardless of their level of IT literacy.”

NGC Windows began implementing its Beacon system two years ago and the business has now completed 80 per cent of the process with a paperless operation in place since the start of this year.

“Before we were drowning in paper and now that we have gone paperless, we have created a better physical space for the business, not to mention cost savings and reducing our environmental footprint.

“Another crucial factor is everyone being able to access the same information at the same time which minimises errors. It creates a seamless system where people are not struggling to find that important piece of paper or searching for key information.”

Having an advanced online system also acts as an incentive to attract and retain key staff in a tight labour market, says Tom.

“Our team is really enjoying working with current and emerging technology. Being part of something new and exciting is important when you are wanting to showcase your business to staff. Having the ability to learn new ways of working is vital for career development.”

Tom says he would recommend 2IQ to other businesses seeking to move their systems online due to the team’s ability to provide an IT solution that matches what a company is trying to achieve in both the short and long term.

“I was surprised at how capable they were of understanding our business model and where we want to take our company in the future.”

Tom is looking forward to sharing the Beacon system with his peers in the custom manufacturing sector. He believes that the system will enable New Zealand manufacturers to gain a competitive advantage over imported products.

“We need to focus on efficiently providing customer-specific solutions to remain competitive and having tailored IT options in place will help us to do well.”

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NGC Windows fabricator Frank Manuel and NGC Managing Director Tom Foster review aluminium frames using the Beacon system.