When a family business continues to prosper after 49 years of trading, it’s a clear indication that they are operating at peak performance. With thousands of items of stock, and a fleet of 25 vans out on the road, it’s critical that the systems supporting R & J (Builders Hardware) Ltd make the most of the best available technology.
Nicola Bury, granddaughter of the original founders of R & J runs the office, and manages the ordering systems and accounts of this company with a workforce in excess of one hundred people.
Five years ago, having chosen to upgrade their out-dated system, R & J went live on Logma’s OneFit Software Solution®.
“We looked at all the major suppliers at the time, but they all had very structured systems that needed every element tweaking for our niche situation, which wasn’t what we were looking for. The difference that we found with the Logma team was that they came to see what we already had, then we co-developed the solution that we needed based on Logma’s advanced OneFit Wholesaling Solution®. And we continue to develop the system together – in fact I believe that our current drivers’ systems are better than many courier systems out there.”
In a bid to make the most of innovative technology, R & J are currently in the process of upgrading their Point of Delivery system from handheld devices which have been used as part of the OneFit Solution® for the last 4 years, to smartphones. This builds on improvements made in 2015, when R & J moved from mainly courier deliveries Nationwide (with just 4 own vans) to growing a fleet to the current level, with secure van loading procedures. OneFit® introduced closely controlled Order Processing and package loading logistics using Bar Coding, Route Planning and Proof of Delivery fully integrated to the back office OneFit®, satisfying customer service at the same time as managing high levels of security. In addition, an improved Driver’s Report and manifests meant drivers no longer needed to take delivery notes with them.
But it’s not just the deliveries that have been optimised with OneFit®. The processing of orders regularly took half an hour with the old system. From day one of using OneFit® they now take approximately 10 seconds. R & J adds “I timed it once, and our quickest order was processed in just 3 seconds.
This has made huge differences in the warehouse. “There is now a continuous flow of orders from multiple-channels. We have complete traceability of who packs what, leading to more individual ownership and the additional bonus of the warehouse staff being able to finish on time. It has also given us room to grow as a business” explains R & J. Growth has been achieved year on year since OneFit® has been implemented both in terms of volume of sales and maintained margins.
OneFit® is the brainchild of Logma’s highly experienced Directors Audrey & Ron Odell and their team of senior consultants. They have worked for over 30 years with Manufacturers and Wholesalers, designing and delivering the most suitable of the latest technologies combined with practical and highly efficient workflow software solutions. OneFit® software is based on a sound and proven standard platform that can be tailored to fit each customer’s unique situation.
Audrey and her team also understands the challenges of running a family business, having set up Logma working with leading names in the software industry some 39 years ago. “We knew that R & J like most SMEs couldn’t afford downtime to install a new system, so we offered them the flexibility to switch over using Logma’s proven implementation process. This provided the customer with control whilst achieving the minimal risk levels necessary for small to medium sized operations. Despite our own growth we maintain a small business approach which allows us to be agile, and customer-centric in everything we do.”
R & J confirms this by adding “The Logma team are easily accessible, and at the beginning they worked with us just one step at a time to get us where we needed to be in the long term. Five years on, I feel we are now enabling them to develop the modules further as we co-create ideal solutions for our business knowing we will get a return on our investment – the sign of a truly innovative and rewarding partnership.”