Ten years of loyal partnership in a business is the best characteristic of the hosting provider’s reliability. Kapla Vriksha, the Moscow-based company, has been using SIM-Networks services for ten years. We interviewed the CEO and founder of the company and asked him to tell us his success story.
We provide to the Russian market a variety of tools and machines for woodworking, appliances for power tools, as well as consumables. We have a huge range of products so that the buyer, with our help, gets everything that he needs for carpentry.
Our company name is from Sanskrit. There was a time in my life when I was a great enthusiast of Ancient India. And when I’ve been opened my business, this hobby unexpectedly pointed me towards to choose the right name of my company. It should be memorable, unique, and referred to in our business area. Since my business is related to woodworking, I thought that the company name should contain an allusion with trees or woods. I hoped that people could bind the connection between the name and occupation of the business in their minds.
Vriksha in Sanskrit means tree. I thought that this could build associations. And I’ve remembered that in Hindu mythology there is a magic tree that fulfills dreams — Kalpavriksha, in Sanskrit — कल्पवृक्ष, the ‘Tree that makes wishes come true’. And so the name of our company appeared, reflecting the concept of our work with clients: we fulfill their desires, providing them everything that they need for woodworking.
In 2009, when we started the business, we created our website. Initially, we choose one of the free hosting resources, which were quite a lot at that time. Why did we choose free hosting? Because we didn’t understand how business on the Internet works. Nowadays it’s obvious that retail in stores operates according to offline-trade rules, but Internet retail is according to another rule. Different audiences, different approaches to promotion, marketing is different. But at the start of our business, we didn’t know all these nuances, and the first our aim was saving money. We thought that free hosting would satisfy our needs. But we’ve understood our mistake soon.
We faced a lot of troubles with the connection fails, and our website very often caught lag. All these issues are not good for business growth. So, we’ve decided to find a hosting provider to deploy our web site on his platform. The values we’ve needed were: reliability, good communications, high uptime, fast, and competent support. While I monitored various offers from many hosting providers, I’ve paid attention to SIM-Networks. This company offered professional equipment of Enterprise-class, connection to leading European communication providers, location in Germany, reasonable and good price. Also, SIM-Networks has multilingual technical support round-the-clock. As I’ve considered, all these points favorably distinguished your company from other foreign providers. Therefore, the choice of SIM-Networks was made easily, and for ten years, we did not regret it.
Initially, we’d ordered a virtual dedicated server (VDS), and deployed there our website and ERP system. Soon after the migration to SIM-Networks hosting, we updated and renewed our website.
My business was growing very dynamically. We had numerous suppliers across both Russia and the border, and the range of product positions in the online catalog was growing rapidly. So, ERP system loading was respectively increasing. The ERP system can usually weigh down the operating system, especially during the group transactions making. As a result, the program complex can freeze for a long time. Once upon a time, apparently, a kind of critical load mass had been accumulated, and 1C slowed down our website operating. This situation was untenable, and we began to find out the way to solve this issue.
I was lucky to meet a brilliant system administrator, a real professional who worked in a large media concern. He agreed to consult us and helped me to analyze the problem and find an effective way to overcome it.
It emerged that we initially administrated our virtual server incorrectly. We’ve put all eggs in one basket, as they speak. I mean, all our applications were deployed on the one-and-only virtual platform and used the same capacities and computing resources. While business growth was relatively modest, the system loading was insignificant, and apps worked on the VDS without interfering with each other. But as the customer base, product range, number of transactions grew, the shortage of virtual capacities form had come.
As I said, the ERP system loads the processor heavily. During group transactions making, the ERP system absorbed all 100% of our virtual server resources, but at the same time, the website and database suffered due to the lack of RAM and CPU resources. The system freezes for a long time, and that fact annoyed my employees and upset the customers of the online store who could not purchase during these periods.
Our technical consultant recommended we rent a more powerful physical server and migrate all our infrastructure there. And we’ve ordered a Dual configuration of a dedicated server in SIM-Networks. We had been deployed about a dozen virtual machines using the VMware hypervisor on this dedicated server. This way allowed us to allocate a separate virtual server for each application — website, ERP system, database, managing server, mail server, terminal for RDP connection of thirteen remote workstations, etc. This decision immediately raised the productivity, efficiency, and the quality of our work. When there is no application conflict, no program takes away resources from the other ones, and work becomes comfortable and calm. And you can focus on business, rather than solving software problems.
Currently, the current infrastructure totally satisfies our needs. But it doesn’t mean that we do not plan to develop further.
Over the past ten years, the business environment in which we operate has undergone significant changes. Starting our business in 2009, we were focused on the fact that we can offer our customers the equipment and tools of manufacturers from different countries and at competitive prices. It was our competitive advantage that distinguished us from other companies in our market segment. Our competitors often practiced the “tunnel” approach — as a rule, firms purchase tools from one manufacturer and sell only them, and their consumers have no options to select. But we always strived to offer an exceedingly wide range for covering a wide audience. From 2009 to 2016, my business grew very rapidly, by 50%–100% per year. But during this time, the conditions have changed, and such current market players as eBay, AliExpress has radically changed the competitive environment. The time has come for us to change our business philosophy, too.
Previously, we had two large retail stores, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and an online store, where sales were carried out mainly through the order form on the website. In the current concept of sales, we shift the focus to communicating with customers by phone — such a way of sales gives more opportunities to offer the customer exactly the solution that can fully satisfy his needs.
A lot, tens of thousands. Also, we propose various promo offers, hot deals, we have a loyalty program, and an affiliate program.
Yes, it does, and this situation is right, in terms of development. In 2017 we updated our website, and due to incorrect SEO settings, our positions in the search results failed. I had to radically change the marketing strategy and SEO approach in order to regain the previous SEO position of my business. I should tell you that our goal is to be at the top of the list in each product category that we offer. And I’m proud of we succeed.
Sure, we plan to increase our server capacities when the time comes. Probably, one day, we’ll try to migrate to the cloud. Why not? Our experience makes us be flexible. We’ve changed our approach to development, become more prudent, and pay more attention to analyzing the state of the market and its prospects, and we continue to grow. I think, in the foreseeable future, we will add additional resources to the configuration of our dedicated server.
My opinion is still good. I’m satisfied with the server, and the stability of its work, and I’m satisfied with the pricing policy. I am very impressed with your Company’s attention to customers. There are situations when I need to defer payments, and your financial department always goes forward. It is excellent when both sides are open for dialogue and ready for mutual aid. It is vital in the current business environment.
It is a reliable, customer-oriented, and flexible service that always meets the wishes of the client.
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