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NZ Landscaping Supplies

According to John Eady, General Manager at NZLS, deploying a new management software platform was a vital part of the efficiencies and tools that led to such impressive growth.

Now with five locations across Auckland, NZLS supplies big-box hardware chains, city and regional councils, and large landscape and building contractors with soil, compost, sand, mulch, scoria, bark, masonry, and all other raw materials needed to make outdoor areas look spectacular.

If you’ve been to a public park, commercially landscaped garden, or filled a new flower bed with bark and mulch in Auckland in the last decade, there is a very good chance NZLS had some involvement in the materials used.

Business case

In their first years, NZLS managed their business using a local ERP solution known as Infusion. Although it was functional, it had started to hit capacity limitations. “We knew that we were quickly outgrowing our existing ERP solution when we realized that there was an actual limit to the number of invoices the system could create,” says a representative from NZLS. “The developers had never anticipated that invoice numbers would get that high, resulting in a natural cap.”

NZLS ran their ERP solution on-premises, with one single server common to all branches, putting the company at risk of system downtime and data loss: if the server crashed, all branches were impacted. “We had an instance where I’d performed a full backup of the system and a few days later the server running the ERP solution crashed. We could have lost everything,” says a representative from NZLS.

The final straw was the abundant inefficiencies generated by the system, such as multiple handling of individual documents and poor visibility on overdue accounts. “As an organization that processed around 10,000 documents per month, we found that many of these were being handled 2-3 times,” says a representative from NZLS. “Our cost of accounting was substantially eroding profits and with very poor visibility across inventory and overdue accounts, it was beyond time to make a change.”

More challenges emerged when NZLS wanted to open new branches: the platform simply couldn’t support the process. The management team started looking for a solution that would ensure:

  • Operational efficiency
  • Robust inventory and financials management
  • High transaction capacity
  • Support for multi-location operations
  • Reduced risk and improved security

The solution

After a cost and functional alignment and benefit review of systems available on the market, the company decided on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and LS Express. LS Express is an online Point of Sale (webPOS) system for small and medium retailers using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP. “The prime reason why we selected LS Express as the POS solution was the interface with Business Central, and the capacity to accommodate the administration requirements of our various customer channels,” says John Eady, General Manager at NZLS. Some key factors behind this choice included future longevity, ease of upgrade, and scope for scalability.

When the team at NZLS started mapping their requirements, they compared each department’s existing user environment functionality, including existing workflows and limitations with the new system processes. “We knew our stakeholders had varying degrees of system migration experience and differing learning styles,” says Eady. “To provide the best opportunity for our team to provide feedback, we arranged interactive software assessment sessions, encouraging a review of how the new processes and workflows would work for them, in their area of the business.”

During this process, NZLS realized some aspects of the solution that were essential to their day-to-day operations would need customizing. NZLS purchases materials in tons but sells them in cubic meters and works with different customer price groups and payment methods, which require customizations around inventory and pricing. “We knew that external expertise was needed to help us work through the problem and create a fix for it,” says a representative from NZLS.

Upon meeting the team at Acumen Consulting, a local LS Retail partner that was recommended, NZLS knew that they had found the right company to partner with. “The team at Acumen Consulting not only understood the challenge immediately but seemed excited to tackle it and devise a solution for us,” says a representative from NZLS. “It was a complicated process but through it we uncovered lots of ways that the system could be tweaked to suit us and the way we operate as a business.”

The team at Acumen Consulting and the NZLS in-house IT team managed the implementation in all NZLS locations. “This challenge and the subsequent interaction with Acumen established the capability and robust support relationship we continue to enjoy and rely on today,” says Eady.


After implementing the new solution, NZLS enjoys levels of efficiency they never experienced before. The new ERP system has enabled them to manage day-to-day accounting needs across the varying departments and vastly reduce accounting overhead, while the POS has significantly simplified their business operations. Other benefits for the company include:

  • Complete inventory and supply chain visibility – In LS Express, the inventory is automatically updated as soon as a sale occurs anywhere, which means NZLS always gets a clear picture of how much inventory they have. The company can easily identify which products they need to order to meet their customers’ needs.
  • Tailored product quantity and pricing module – Besides supporting multiple payment methods for B2C, B2B, and B2B2C transactions, the software and customizations developed allow NZLS to manage multiple units of measures for a single product and apply different customer price groups. “This customization maintains gross margin integrity, removes random discounting and is scalable for volume orders and the various layers of volume customers,” says Eady.
  • Seamless transactions and exceptional customer service – “Satisfying our customers’ and suppliers’ unique interaction requirements is a significant differentiator in our marketplace,” says a representative from NZLS. NZLS’ customers can choose the type of account payment that suits them, such as EFTPOS credit cards, electronic bank payments, and charge accounts. “Their invoices are emailed to them at the time they purchase, and they receive a thermal docket that describes what they have purchased,” says a representative from NZLS. If customers have a charge account, their statements are automatically emailed to them on the 5th of each month, and if they wish, they can have a reminder email set to be automatically sent to them on the 17th of each month to assist them with paying their account by the 20th.
  • Tailored staff interfaces – Several members of the teams responsible for the bagging of products have disabilities, so helping them work and contribute stress-free is particularly important to NZLS. “The software enables customization of the screens used to record this process with a simplified, user-friendly interface making everything easier for them but ensuring accuracy,” says a representative from NZLS.
  • All key business information is available anywhere, anytime – As part of the implementation, NZLS migrated from their on-premises server to the cloud and are very satisfied with the results. This means that the company’s data is always maintained and up to date across all their POS devices. “We enjoy higher uptime since moving to the cloud,” says a representative from NZLS.
  • Limitless scalability – “The result from the deployment is a platform that we are in complete control of, has the functionality we need now, and the scope to evolve as the business continues to grow,” says a representative from NZLS.

LS Express covers all the fundamental areas required by NZLS to satisfy their customers. The company now plans to use AI to provide customers with an even more advanced and customized experience. “With amazing local support and expertise from Acumen, the decision to move to LS Express and Business Central has already paid off ten times over and will continue to do so,” says Eady.

NZ Landscaping Supplies Business Central and LS Express engage with our suppliers and customers in a smart way. Our customers and our suppliers have varying process requirement standards and formats for invoices and reports. Business Central and LS Express can meet these needs by accommodating the required process, document, and communication setup for each entity.
John Eady, General Manager
NZ Landscaping Supplies Using Business Central and LS Express supports our DIFOTIS reputation as a quality, consistent, reliable, timely and accurate experience for our customers.
John Eady, General Manager

LS Retail implementation partner

Acumen Consulting

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