From spreadsheets to a robust admin panel: LayUp & Forest Admin Case Study

LayUp is the leading South African digital recurring payments system for e-commerce and Point of Sale. Read why the company chose Forest Admin as their central hub for customer operations to help them deliver exceptional customer support.

From spreadsheets to a robust admin panel: LayUp & Forest Admin Case Study

Executive Summary

LayUp is the leading South African digital recurring payments system for e-commerce and Point of Sale. To make sure the company keeps delivering exceptional customer support and maintaining a competitive edge in the digital payments industry, LayUp needed a robust admin panel to manage the customer operations.

After quick installation and configuration, Forest Admin became LayUp’s central hub for all internal operations. It has proven itself as an invaluable tool for LayUp, offering configurability, efficiency, and flexibility while enhancing data management and customer support processes.

Forest Admin touches every aspect of the business - said Marc Katzwinkel, the Operations Manager at LayUp - as the entire team except a few external consultants uses Forest Admin on a daily basis.

About LayUp

LayUp is a digital recurring payments system for e-commerce and Point of Sale, focusing on financial inclusion through alternative payment methods like Lay-By, subscriptions, and pre-orders.

Tailored for enterprise and SME businesses, LayUp simplifies interest-free installments, enhancing the customer experience and boosting businesses' revenue. LayUp seamlessly integrates with major e-commerce platforms like Woocommerce, Shopify, and Magento, providing easy-to-install plugins. For larger merchants, LayUp offers a customizable API for a seamless online checkout or Point of Sale experience.

With LayUp, businesses can quickly implement digital recurring payments, eliminating manual follow-ups and payment plan management.

The challenges LayUp faced before using Forest Admin

LayUp needed an admin panel to manage customer support and other operations. Their main requirement was to have a user-friendly interface for non-technical team members to edit the database.

Initially, they used Excel for their operations. However, they soon realized the need for a tool that would allow them to directly edit data in the database and streamline customer operations, which Excel couldn't provide.


How LayUP uses Forest Admin

Managing Customer Data
LayUp depends on Forest Admin to manage various aspects of customer data, an essential function for their support operations. The back-office serves as a centralized hub where user data, such as their payment plans, order and refund information, can be swiftly accessed by identifying users through a single identifier, e.g. their mobile number.

User data stored in LayUp's database is seamlessly displayed within Forest Admin's table view. The support team frequently uses this to lookup users, monitor their data, and edit the data if needed. In such a setup, there is no need to use an external CRM - all customer operations take place in Forest Admin.

An example of a data view on Forest Admin from one of our demos. Forest Admin doesn’t access user data.

Given LayUp's role as a digital labor payment gateway, understanding the status of payments - upcoming, missed, due, successful, and failed - is vital. That’s why LayUp has found Forest Admin segments particularly useful, as they are designed to systematically visualize data according to specific sets of filters. Read more about segments.


Roles and permissions
One of the standout features LayUp leverages within Forest Admin is the Roles and Permissions system. By configuring separate team layouts and roles, LayUp ensures that access to data is tailored to specific needs. This precise control over permissions enhances data security and team efficiency.

An example of smart actions permissions based on user roles.

Read more about roles and permissions system on Forest Admin


Smart Actions for tailor-made operations
LayUp has fully embraced the power of smart actions within Forest Admin. The team utilizes this feature to perform various tasks, such as amending products linked to customers and products, extending payment plan durations, and manually updating order states: order requested, deposit paid, order placed, order paid or canceled. These smart actions streamline the management of orders and ensure that the process aligns with the company's needs. For LayUp it is also important to make sure these actions are immediately saved in the database.

A screenshot from a demo showing examples of smart actions.

To cater to their merchants' unique needs, LayUp is also using Smart Actions to manage cancellation criteria and verify bank details. This ensures smooth transaction processing and risk mitigation, especially for new users and merchants.

Learn how to create the most popular smart actions for customer support operations

Data Visualization and Reporting
While LayUp uses other data visualization tools like Looker Studio, Forest Admin remains their primary source of truth. The platform offers an extensive dashboard that displays essential metrics, including the number of payments, verified users, orders, and more. It also helps LayUp visualize connections within the data, making it easier to track related information, such as canceled orders, merchants, and users, even when stored across multiple tables.

An example of a dashboard created on Forest Admin from one of live demos. We don’t access user data.


Efficient Team Collaboration
From a customer support perspective, LayUp appreciates the ability to log activities on records and leave notes for team members. This functionality ensures seamless collaboration and a detailed record of interactions with customers.

I use Forest Admin extensively every day. Despite not being technically inclined, I find it highly beneficial. It allows me to access our database through an API integration and provides visibility without requiring technical expertise. From managing dashboards to making edits in the database, Forest Admin is incredibly valuable for me and my role. We have also found it to be highly customizable. There is nothing we haven't been able to build in Forest Admin.  - Marc Katzwinkel, the Operations Manager at LayUp.

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