About 30 years ago in Vancouver, CEO (Chief Energizing Officer) Calvin Johnson started a home delivery business for Costco and named it Costless Express. Since then the company has undergone tremendous changes, including switching from a B2C to B2B model and rebranding the company to Lykki – inspired from the Danish word for happiness – to serve as an office supply and food distribution company.
To continue with almost three decades of success, Johnson realized that he needed to reimagine the company further and decided to take Lykki through a digital transformation. To grow and expand the business and stay on top of the competition, Lykki saw a dire need to upgrade its technological infrastructure. Specifically, it needed a solution that could automate the entire ordering process to make it as efficient as possible for both the customers and the business. After reviewing multiple options, Lykki selected Sage X3 and The Answer Company to be its strategic technology partners.
According to Johnson, this transition from being a traditional company to a technology company has allowed Lykki to continue providing a better customer experience and keep pace with the changing times. He recognized that in order to maintain and support growth, the company really had to rethink its whole identity. “We saw a huge wave of e-commerce competition coming for us and knew we had to make quick changes and innovate fast to survive. We gutted everything from server to desktops to software systems and invested in the technology that could get us where we want to be.”
Wanting to offer the largest possible inventory of products for quick deliveries with no inventory stock of its own, Lykki decided to partner with local warehousing and distribution companies to sell everything customers need through online inventories updated in real-time. This has allowed the company to stop storing products in-house, while operating 24/7 to deliver everything from bananas to binders to businesses all over the Metro Vancouver area. Additionally, with Sage X3 and The Answer Company, Lykki can deliver a larger product inventory in real-time and at a faster delivery rate.
Johnson said that Sage X3 appealed to the company for its inherent flexibility, scalability and modern web-native architecture. “Plus it met our checklist of must-haves in the areas of financial reporting, inventory management and purchasing,” he says. “The Answer Company is one of Canada’s top Sage X3 providers. They are experienced and capable and we felt confident in their ability to get the project done.”
“I can see where my competition will be in six months, because we embraced change and took risks. As long as the new ideas fit with your overall mission and values, I think it’s absolutely worth a try,” says Johnson. “But if your team is not trained and mentally prepared for new technology, your plan for expansion may fold and hit major roadblocks. It’s always important to be attentive to the employees to make sure they are fully prepared,” he continued. As a trained coach in Workplace Happiness, Johnson has a passion for creating amazing corporate cultures and suggests using as much communication as possible when embarking on such a transformational journey. He mentioned that on-going training and partnership with The Answer Company has helped onboard new staff and adjust them to changes as the business continued to grow.
Johnson also advises that having the right solutions in place and making sure you are investing in new technology at the right time will be beneficial to the business in the long run. Taking on more than what you are ready for can cause cash flow issues that may be detrimental to the business. Investing in the right technology at the right time definitely has its benefits. For instance, the automation of various aspects of the business in Sage X3 enabled Johnson to focus more of his time on philanthropic initiatives for the company.
“For many years, we had corporate philanthropy initiatives, but recently we decided to do something more impactful by launching Lykki for Good. Now for every dollar a customer spends with Lykki, we donate a litre of safe clean drinking water to some of the poorest areas of Nicaragua. We also launched our 1:1 Fruit Program: For each piece of fruit we sell we also donate one piece of fruit to a child in need.”
These initiatives have helped to rally enthusiasm from employees and customers alike, and it’s this strong focus on people, customers, and the ability to embrace constant change that Johnson attributes to Lykki’s success. “Everyone can identify with a higher purpose that Lykki is striving for and enjoy being active contributors to that shared goal. This is what has allowed Lykki to remain innovative, successful and highly competitive in the marketplace after many years of continuous transformations.”