SoundImports: from reactive to proactive purchasing

SoundImports exchanged purchasing based on gut feeling for an automated and scalable process.
website SoundImports EN




Exact Online
SoundImports logo

Read in this story:

  • Quick growth from 6 to 125 orders per day
  • Maintaining stock levels is a core task
  • Seamless connection with Exact Online
  • Optiply ensures more strategic engagement

Key results:
40% less time spent on purchasing
6% increase in service levels

“Thanks to Optiply I have saved 40% of my time on purchasing, time that I can now spend on the growth of SoundImports.”

Martijn Ouwerkerk

Oprichter, SoundImports

A market gap led to the enormous growth of SoundImports. With purchasing as a core business, but having organised this process by gut feeling, how should one act when the need for scaling starts to arise? Martijn and Koen, owners of SoundImports, talk about how they went from intuitive purchasing to an automated procurement process by implementing Optiply into their workflow. With great results.

soundimports koen and martijn

SoundImports: the online store for DIY speakers and audio parts

Martijn Ouwerkerk started SoundImports from a small studentdorm, with an abundance of energy and a promising business case. During an internship in the United States, he discovered a gap in the market for European Audiophiles and built the right network to take hold of this opportunity himself. It soon became clear that Martijn had hit the mark. Soundimports quickly grew from 5 orders per week to an average of 125 orders per day. In 2016, Koen Pronk came on board and a lot has changed since then. Martijn and Koen now work daily on improving their business,webshop, service and user experience. All with the aim of becoming the leading one-stop-shop for self-build audio parts in Europe.

“FD Gazellen” award

The main focus, on strong inventory management, has allowed SoundImports to grow enormously. In 2020 they received the “FD Gazellen” award. This is an annual list of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the Netherlands, drawn up by the “Financieel Dagblad” (the Dutch Equivalent of the Financial Times). Not only was Soundimport on this list, but they were ranked as the 11th fastest growing company in the country. Koen explains the importance of the stock levels for this growth: “Maintaining stock levels is really our core business. We are in a unique niche and precisely because of this we can increase customer loyalty by always having our products available. Insufficient stock levels are not only reflected in the turnover, but also in the customer experience and the number of support questions. Nowadays, you want a webshop to have your products available immediately. We want that too Q and that is exactly what we strive to obtain on a daily basis.”

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Increasing procurement challenges

An enormous growth and a strong focus on the purchasing process. There are always new challenges in every growth phase; “I was really busy. I needed Koen to come on board, but this still didn’t alleviate the pressure. Purchasing took a lot of time and time is extremely expensive. All information related to purchasing was in my head and everything inside your head is not scalable.

With each process we ask ourselves “Can we still manage it if we double up?”, this was not the case regarding our procurement”, says Martijn. Koen adds: “In addition, you always run into challenges regarding liquidity and financing during a start-up and scale-up phase. So we always had to ask ourselves the pressing question “More money or better purchasing?” And better purchasing turned out to be the clearest of answers.”

boxen soundimports UK

Seamless connection to Exact Online

“The integration between Exact Online and Optiply was arranged in no time,” says Martijn. “The tricky part was switching to a new way of purchasing. I had to get used to a new way of thinking. I used to do my procurement, for example, by digging through the website and keeping Exact next to it. It could take several hours to analyse and place an order at one single supplier only. The Optiply solution has taken over this time-consuming research for me! From the start, Optiply immediately began analyzing two years of usable data. I noticed a difference in how I managed the process after just 1.5 months.”

“Optiply is a great addition to Exact. With Exact I still had to add a lot of information myself, while Optiply automatically ensures that this kind of dynamic data is always updated and ready to go. I can rely on this completely and even get a notification when I have to purchase in order to maintain the right stock levels.”

“Optiply is a really nice addition to Exact. While at Exact I still had to fill in a lot of information myself, Optiply ensures that this is ready dynamically. I can simply rely on this, I even get a trigger when I have to purchase.”

Martijn Ouwerkerk

Oprichter, SoundImports

From reactive to proactive purchasing

“I conduct a daily check on which orders I have to place. Whether I have to order from national or international suppliers, this all works fantastically. Optiply selects the best shipping option for me and the purchasing advice is always available in the dynamic agenda. It is precisely this dynamic trigger that makes Optiply unique and has helped me a lot to change my purchasing process from reactive to proactive.”

Soundimports audio
SoundImports logo

SoundImports exchanged purchasing based on gut feeling for an automated and scalable process and achieved:

40% less time spent on purchasing
6% increase in service levels

A transferable and scalable process

“As we mentioned earlier, purchasing is our core business, Implementing Optiply has allowed us to make this core scalable and in addition, transferable. Before, I was buried by the workload of all the procurement activities, now I can easily manage it, even now that we have expanded. And, I expect to manage with ease as we continue to grow.With most suppliers I blindly trust Optiply for my procurement order. I would in fact trust Optiply more than I would trust a new buyer!” says Martijn with a laugh.

More strategic engagement: goal achieved

When asked whether Optiply has contributed to a goal that Koen and Martijn would not otherwise have expected to achieve, Martijn wholeheartedly answers “Yes”, he says: “My main goal was, and is, to work on the strategic growth of the company. To reach this goal, I have to be less operational and thanks to Optiply I have saved 40% of my time on procurement. Time that I can now spend on the growth of SoundImports.”

Koen agrees with Martijn: “Besides the fact that we now also have achieved more liquidity that enables us to accelerate growth, we can really work on our goal of becoming the best one-stop-shop where all the needs of our customers are met. We are always looking to find new suppliers and products through our own research, but also by asking customers what they might need in the future. We now really have the time to work on this, approach such suppliers and make great deals with them.”

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