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Interview with Mattis Orgel of Orb Interiors

Updated: Jun 3

1. Q: Could you tell us a bit more about how Orb Interiors came to be?

A: Nine years ago, I was a construction manager in Liverpool, overseeing various properties. During this time, I observed that the kitchen market was predominantly divided into two segments: low-end, cheaply made kitchens that were poorly made, and high-end kitchens that cost ten times more. The discrepancy in prices wasn't justified by the cost of raw materials alone. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the kitchen industry was lagging significantly in modern technology implementation. This lag resulted in substantial lost margins due to fragmentation across manufacturers, necessitating a lot of 'non-value-adding' personnel and frequent remakes due to product errors.

I noticed that larger companies made less money per head due to these inefficiencies. This realisation led me to found Orb Interiors with a focus on providing top-quality kitchens without the exorbitant price tag. By investing in software and processes, we aimed to automate our operations, minimise human error, and eliminate information fragmentation. This approach not only future-proofs our company but also allows us to grow without the typical pitfalls of larger corporations. Our software engine scales effortlessly with our workforce, ensuring that we remain lean and efficient as we expand. So far, this strategy has proven quite successful.

2. Q: Have you been working on any exciting projects over the years?

A: While it might not sound glamorous, our efficiency improvements over the past few years are incredibly exciting I think. We recently surveyed our delivery performance across our B2B arm, and found that out of £600,000 in recent sales, only one item, worth £21, was incorrect. In contrast, the industry average has a 56% error rate, meaning that for most kitchens, there would be at least one or some items missing. With a 99.2% on-time delivery rate, we’ve earned a 100% customer retention rate. Our commitment to excellence and word-of-mouth referrals have fueled growth in both B2B and retail markets.

3. Q: How do you see the future of Orb Interiors?

Whilst our growth so far has been organic, we are fine-tuning our software and processes so that we can soon start to implement a growth plan across the UK. On the international front, we are particularly interested in the US market, where we’re in discussions with a kitchen retailer to supply 12,000 kitchens annually. Our growth has been driven by a strong B2B focus, but we also excel in retail. To ensure sustainable growth and maintain customer satisfaction, we’re continuously refining our software and internal processes.

4. Q: Sounds like you have a really structured approach

A: Everything has a process here. From responding to e-mails, responding to picking up the phone. We need to feel comfortable that everything we do is as efficient as possible. We conduct regular internal stress tests to gauge our readiness for growth. For instance, 9 months ago 1 wholesale customer needed 102 kitchens in 2 weeks. We are a 14-person company but delivered and haven’t missed 1 item of that order. When the customer first reached out asking if we could deliver to his tight schedule, it took me 5 minutes to come back with an affirmative answer, as all I needed was to “ask the software”. This is why our software systems are so important as I want everything to be managed there. These systems detect and alert us to production slowdowns automatically, allowing us to stay lean and scalable without stress. Software does not care about how big the company is in terms of employees and is highly scalable. The first few years of running this company were stressful as the company was growing faster than we could manage. The more I started focusing and relying on processes linked to our software, the more successful we became.

5. Q: What team do you work with?

A: Our team comprises 14 dedicated individuals, including two designers, sales staff, software developers, process managers, a quoting specialist, dispatch workers, and three fitters. The majority are UK residents, all contributing to our streamlined operations and high standards.

6. Q: How does the design and manufacturing process work?

A: We typically use a production plant for one week a month, sending raw materials and digital files to the factory for automatic cutting and edging. Our two in-house designers handle the design work. The usual tender process for kitchen supply involves developers sending architectural plans and a brief of the desired look to kitchen companies. These companies then design and quote for the kitchens, a process that typically takes around three weeks for an average project of 130 kitchens.

In contrast, we can design, quote, and present the full tender pack to the customer within 24-48 hours of the initial tender request. We achieve this through specifically developed processes that expedite and automate as much of the process as possible. We’ve built a database of 1,200 generic kitchen and room layouts, which we can pull from and customise for any new kitchens. This approach eliminates thousands of hours of design work, as we only need to tailor each kitchen to suit exact needs rather than designing each plot from scratch. These template designs are continuously updated to incorporate the latest trends, ensuring that our offerings remain current and appealing to our clients. This streamlined approach ensures we stay ahead in the market and deliver exceptional service efficiently.

7. Q: When did Orb and ERPiQ (Hagit/Adar) cross paths?

A: We began with Priority ERP software three to four years ago and transitioned to ERPiQ when they launched their business. The team at ERPiQ has been incredibly helpful on the technical side, consistently delivering solutions tailored to our specific needs. They understand the complexities of ERP software and have been instrumental in optimising our use of Priority.

ERPiQ truly understands our business and is always available to help us out, which is a rare quality in software suppliers. Their support goes beyond standard service, offering deep insights and customisations that have significantly enhanced our operations. The people at ERPiQ are some of the brightest I've met—they know how to maximise the capacity of the Priority software in ways we hadn't imagined.

We have extensively reviewed other software programs, but Priority, with ERPiQ’s enhancements, is the most agile by a long shot. The software functions almost like a human- extremely responsive and intuitive. ERPiQ has tailored the Priority software to our needs far better than we expected, making it an indispensable tool in our daily operations. Their expertise has allowed us to streamline our processes and scale our business effectively.

8. Q: How did working with ERPiQ benefit your company?

A: Since partnering with ERPiQ, we’ve tripled our output and doubled our margins. Automation has drastically reduced manual tasks, freeing up time and eliminating the need for night shifts. Our cloud-based software acts as an extra team of managers, essentially understanding all departments along with their processes, ensuring that everything runs smoothly across the board. This eliminates the need for multiple managers who would normally oversee these tasks. The software's agility allows us to almost teach it what to look out for and what to do, much like you would a human, but without the risk of human error. This seamless integration into our operations has been transformative.


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