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Based in Manorhamilton, Leitrim, Merenda manufactures wood veneer products that go into surface and edge coverings for furniture makers and fitout contractors. The product’s nature makes it important for staff to show quality photos to customers and prospects on iPads.
MD Ronan Haslette explains: “for what we make, it’s all about the strength of the visual. We can show images of a project we did for another client, and the customer makes the connection between what they need and what we’ve done for someone else. If you’re talking with someone and you have their undivided attention, that’s where the strength of the visuals come in.”
Merenda stores its photos and presentations in shared DropBox folders. This allows salespeople to access all materials at the same time, even in different locations. As a result, the company depends heavily on reliable high-speed connectivity - mobile broadband from Three. Many of Merenda’s 23 employees work on the move, accessing email, conference and meeting apps, as well as DropBox.
“Without the data plan we have from Three, we wouldn’t be able to get up-to-date presentations on DropBox. It’s about using and maximising the mobile work opportunities,” says Ronan.
What started as a family business has now spread to 12 countries worldwide, including the UK, the US, the Middle East, New Zealand and Canada. Merenda’s salespeople burn a lot of shoe leather visiting customers due to its connection to the construction and interiors industries. As time goes on, Ronan predicts the company will rely on Three mobile connectivity to keep the business moving in the right direction. “We’re using it a lot more,” he agrees.
“This is a critical time for small business. You need the support of other services that a small business doesn’t have the wherewithal to develop. If you use technology in the right way, you can really maximise opportunities. Now it’s moving into the online space and your online presence needs to be stronger and customer touch points need to cover all platforms.”
Merenda’s plans for 2018 include moving its important business and ERP systems to hosted cloud services. “In my view, small, internationally trading businesses like ours will become more and more reliant on mobile and broadband connectivity because more and more business services are going on to the cloud,” adds Ronan.
“The relationship with Three is a mutually beneficial one that we believe will develop and become even more important for both as time goes on.”
The relationship with Three is a mutually beneficial one that we believe will develop and become even more important for both as time goes on.