Making it Work

How a furniture store helped inspire the birth of a Galway software firm with 16 staff

With offices in Ireland, Britain and Australia, Ordorite is a leading software provider for furniture and bedding retailers

Stephen Connolly, founder, Ordorite: ‘Year on year, we’re growing our customer base by 40 per cent.’ Picture: Xposure

Ordorite, based in Galway city, provides furniture and bedding retailers with a cloud-based platform to enables them to run their companies effectively. The platform helps with customer relationships management, purchases, deliveries, warehousing and every other aspect of what they do.

The business was started by Stephen Connolly in 2006. It has 16 staff and has raised over €1 million in funding to date.

“It makes them more efficient, saves them money and makes them more profitable,” Connolly told the Business Post. “When a consumer buys a sofa, for example, every touchpoint along the way – including managing payments, delivery and transport – is managed through the system.

“I was always enthused by business and my dad had a furniture store. From my early teens, I was involved in the sector. Back then it was all pen and paper, but I went to college and studied software engineering.”

Having initially worked outside the furniture sector, Connolly was quickly drawn back into the business as his contacts from the industry sought out his technical skills. That led to him developing a cloud system specifically for that market.

“It was a blend of my own background and enthusiasm for software that helped springboard it,” Connolly said.

The business has been supported by Enterprise Ireland since 2016. Having initially built the platform for local customers, he decided to scale up and expand Ordorite.

“The Irish market is quite small, so the logical step was to launch into Britain. I knew I needed funding, so I approached Enterprise Ireland and got match funding. They helped us with feasibility studies as well,” Connolly said.

“I’ve been very lucky to work with some fantastic people there. They are very open and helpful throughout the process. They like to be kept informed, and we communicate with them a lot; they’ve good ideas and initiatives that helped us.”

Since 2016 the business has grown substantially, with expansion into Britain, the US and Australia, among others.

“As it’s cloud based, it’s very accessible. Year on year, we’re growing our customer base by 40 per cent. I hope we will be taking on another three or four staff by the back end of this year,” Connolly said.

“I can see us expanding substantially over the next few years. We already have clients in Canada, Spain, Switzerland and the UAE as well. The North American market is promising – we’re working on a channel partner exercise there and building out a team there as well.”

A new version of the platform is being launched later this month, and Connolly said this is an exciting way to bring cutting-edge software to the market.

“The platform allows customers to get value out of the solution quicker. It’s a modern and intuitive approach. With the new platform, it will allow customers to recognise the value sooner,” he said.