Shape Robotics: Uniconta keeps track of both robots and finances

Small programmable robots designed for students from 3rd grade to university teachers, enable children and youngsters to grasp the challenges of the future. A robot named ‘Fable’, was created by the new Danish company Shape Robotics and consists of hundreds of components, purchased worldwide and is assembled at their facility in Farum. In order to better control their inventory and orders, the company chose to deploy Uniconta with reseller,  Concept Data.

It all began in 2011 with a PhD project at DTU (Denmark’s Technical University), which in 2015 was incorporated as a company supported by DTU and the Danish Ministry of Education. With Fable, students can assemble different modules in a myriad of ways, thereby moulding the robot’s body, giving it senses and making it move. Depending on their age and experience, students can program the robot with visual blocks (Blockly) or in a written language (Python). Today, the company has around 20 employees with sales equally distributed between Denmark and abroad.

Increased complexity led to new demands

“Initially, we used e-conomic to keep track of our finances, however, we could not register orders, manage our warehouses or inventory in the system, so we had to operate manually in an Excel sheet,” explains André Fehrn, Head of Finance and Administration.

“Things soon became quite complex to keep track of. Our range of products was expanding and our sales were continuously increasing, which simultaneously created systemic challenges,” Fehrn explains. “For example, we had to log all costs included in the program. Once a month we had to do a count and then pull it out of the program again. We were unable to see our margins or track the flow of goods.”

The pursuit to find a new system was spurred by a need for an easily customizable in-house system, whereby external consultancy hours could be kept to a minimum. It had to be an open system that could co-operate with other systems without much hassle. Effective inventory management was crucial for controlling the many subcomponents and final products. Uniconta demonstrated its capabilities by effectively delivering in all three areas.

Control the inner lines

“Not only can we draw product lists, but we can also draw part lists with the components of a product. We use this when e.g. reordering or when assembling an order. We use the sales order module to keep track of offers, order inventory, managing deliveries and billing. We now have a good handle on the details,” says Andre Fehrn.

In Uniconta, goods can be created, purchased and sold. You can check out reservations and inventories on a regular basis. The system works with financial inventory management – i.e. when you buy and sell, the stock is updated by quantity and value. It also keeps track of physical, whereby you can track the physical location of the item.

An unexpected advantage

Using Microsoft Odata, André can easily and securely exchange data between Uniconta and Excel. This enables him to easily find key values in the system and construct tables based on this data.

“If you have already made a standard, then you can update the whole lot in one click. I use it for my monthly report, whereby I can present a report based on the latest financial data – basically without lifting a finger,” explains André, who typically presents 10 systematic slides with current key figures at a time.

“I would describe it as an easy-to-run and continuous piece of Business Intelligence, which means there’s more time to interpret the numbers rather than finding them,” he says.

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