A few years ago, Illume Partyware was at a turning point of growth. A time to make the choice to ‘stay as they are’ or instigate change to transform the business and embrace the next phase of its lifecycle.
For Louise Lazendic, Founder & Creative Director of Illume Partyware it was a chance to hold on to her values of family and creativity while letting technology do the heavy lifting for a while. Today, Illume Partyware is run entirely on cloud based technology and here are her insights as to why it was the right decision and how it enabled her to scale her business to a new level.
Why the Cloud, you’re a Designer?
The Cloud is about me staying a designer and doing what I love. I started this business because I love to design, I love to see people happy and I love to see beyond what is now. As we grew the mechanics of the business were constantly pulling me down paths of staffing, logistics, accounting and suppliers. To stay an industry leader I was forced to look at what I wanted the business to be like in 2, 5 and 10 years time and what my role in it was going to be.
How did you know where to start?
I have always actively seek advice and assistance from mentors, business conferences, and other industry business leaders. Technology is a critical part of any business, whether it’s as simple as using a computer or design software, or planning how to deploy Software as a Service (SaaS) in your business. My biggest advice is to do it in stages. Start with your least critical business system and slowly transition one system at a time as each is successfuly implemented.
What do you have on the Cloud?
The Cloud for Illume Partyware was about pulling the global team together. The internet gives one central point of access regardless of country, time zone or role. We have now moved all the systems and software we need to run the business, including our telephone lines, to the Cloud; Document Management, CRM, Project Management, Accounting and Software to name a few.
Did the transition reduce costs?
Yes, both tangible and intangible. Obvious cost reductions were in things like phone bills, hardware and IT infrastructure and even software, as we only use what we need. Intangible savings came predominantly in the form of time, a very valuable commodity in my life! By streamlining business processes, I now spend less time chasing things down and more time creating!
What has been the biggest advantage of moving to the Cloud?
Time with my family. As a mother of two children and a wife, it has always been a top priority for me to be there for my family. As my business grew I promised myself I would always be there to drop the kids to school, pick them up and be there for them in the afternoon. Technology in the form of the Cloud has enabled me to keep that promise while balancing my own passion.
Has the Cloud changed the way you do business?
Absolutely. We live in a mobile world and Cloud technology allows you, not only to store things on the internet, but be able to work from anywhere, on any device and at any location. It means staff have access to what they need and aren’t waiting on me to provide it, which means Illume Partyware can move at a faster pace than we did before. I’m not having to wake up to accommodate suppliers in different time zones, as self-service technology allows me to only be involved on critical issues and this can be accommodated in my own work hours.
What would you tell others looking to make the transition?
Look at your business, decide what it is you need and how technology can help you achieve it. Companies of all sizes are undergoing digital transformation of some kind and while the Cloud was once treated with skepticism it is now a leading solution with many capabilities. I would say to others, embrace technology and what it can do for you, don’t be scared of it, understand it.
Illume Partyware is renowned for its elegant style, high-end designs and quality product. It’s a company that believes in celebrating life and prioritising family. It has 3 warehouses across; Australia, China and the United States with hundreds of resellers and a determination not to lose its personal service. Moving to the Cloud has enabled Louise to continue sharing her work with customers, do what she loves and be a mother and a wife.