Starting as they mean to go on: Brussels-based OHIS choose Netsuite and Shepherd

Industry: Lifting Equipment
Location: Belgium
Employees: 6
Client since: 2019


OHIS is a young Belgian company, started with a team of 3. Just over 18 months later, with staff numbers soon set to reach 8, OHIS now provides lifting solutions for a variety of customers and industries in and around the Brussels area. OHIS decided from the outset to forego admin-heavy business practices, instead choosing to adopt Netsuite as ERP and, with its proven track record and innovative approach, Shepherd was a clear choice for OHIS’ equipment maintenance management needs.

OHIS started trading in October 2019 and serves a number of sectors in and around Brussels in their native Belgium as well as a few clients in neighbouring France. They provide lifting equipment ranging from lifters for 20kg sacks of ingredients in the food industry, to hoists for healthcare applications and even cranes for heavy lifting on production lines some of which can reach load-bearing capacities of 800 tons. OHIS provides services including sales, maintenance and repair.

The founders of OHIS were sure of two things: the goods they planned to sell and that they would run the company like a modern 21st century organisation from the outset. Experience in prior jobs had taught them the importance of smooth operations and the dangers of being dependent on simplistic management solutions that would mostly likely be no longer suitable within their first year.

ERP Selection: a single decision with long-term implications

This meant selecting an ERP from the very beginning to provide a viable, scalable, and adaptable system. Not limiting themselves to the likes of book-keeping software, OHIS also wanted maintenance management capabilities.

“We met Shepherd and …. after a few demos, we thought it was the right solution.”

Their Netsuite Integrator (sales representative for Netsuite) first introduced the small team to Shepherd CMMS. This was followed up by demonstrations by Shepherd’s CEO. Impressed by both what Shepherd presented them and Shepherd’s attitude to working relationships, OHIS chose the Netsuite/Shepherd package instead of competitor systems like SAP or Odoo.

At the outset, OHIS had an idea of what their requirements might become but could not fully predict how that need would evolve. As a result OHIS wondered if Shepherd would always fit their needs.

However, Shepherd’s way of thinking and product demonstration convinced them this was unlikely. Shepherd’s approach is to develop and adopt ideas based on the needs their clients express rather than the client having to work around a given solution and its limitations. This allowed for a positive, cooperative working relationship developed between the two organisations.

“Sheperd’s way of thinking was a way of thinking I liked a lot”

With OHIS’ combination of delivering goods to clients as well as on-site maintenance and repairs, Shepherd CMMS has certainly made things easier. Despite the relatively significant up-front investment in getting Netsuite and associated partners, the benefits in the case of Shepherd are clearer by the day now that OHIS has multiple technicians to follow. OHIS also enjoys a complete sales pathway and precise geolocation, all through the Shepherd system linking to Netsuite.

Honesty and transparency: foundation of a productive partnership

While the broader dynamic is a positive one, it is the relationship between OHIS and their Shepherd contact in particular that is really good. Shepherd’s attitude is characterised by enthusiasm and an eagerness to ensure their client has everything they need as soon as they need it. That said, while Shepherd may offer a solution, OHIS can decide if adopting it there and then is really the best option for them. Once more, open discussion is key.

OHIS had experienced some stability issues at the outset with the newly launched mobile app, with not all information being fed to NetSuite as planned, but Shepherd does not believe in hoodwinking clients by claiming all is well and nor does it attempt to suggest it is user-error if it is not. Instead, their transparency gets issues sorted faster and confirms a sense of partnership. This honesty is something OHIS values greatly, confirming their trust in Shepherd is well placed.

Future opportunities

With a proven philosophy of ongoing cooperation long after the solution’s initial installation is complete, choosing Shepherd has given OHIS confidence that their needs will continue to be met. Knowing future changes will be taken into account means OHIS need not limit its ideas or options for fear of lacking the systems to support them.

“We are still a small company… if, on the operational side, we get bigger and bigger, with more people, we will use more of the functionality from Shepherd”

Having taken the decision to invest in 21st century solutions from the outset, OHIS can now enjoy greater degrees of flexibility and adaptability in its business decisions.

If you would like to enjoy similar confidence in your business operations today as well as any future developments in your future, why not get in touch with your Netsuite Representative or contact Shepherd directly to learn what they can do for you.