Sealey Power Products the supplier of tools and power products to the automotive trade has implemented Solarsoft's Web Sales, an online sales ordering system to allow customers to browse its online catalogue, place orders and gain full access to their accounts, buying history and order status. The new software, which is fully integrated with the company's core ERP system, also provided by Solarsoft, has removed the order processing burden on Sealey's telephone staff, resulting in a reduction in manual order taking and freeing staff to devote more time to technical assistance and customer service.
Sealey has a primary product portfolio of over 8,000 lines and a further 80,000 spare parts for those products are also available. All products can now be ordered via the new website. Having implemented Solarsoft's Web Sales system during 2009, Sealey now has 1,000 active customers using the system which has processed almost 14,000 orders in its first year of operation at a value of nearly 2million.
Sealey employs approximately 40 telephone staff, who typically spend the bulk of their time handling incoming sales calls. Iain Whitmore, IT Manager at Sealey, explains, "By deploying a web-based ordering system, we have been able to make far better use of the resources we have. Our telephone staff are now able to spend more time providing our customers with product advice and technical assistance, rather than having their time taken up with order entry. As a result, we are able to increase our customer service levels without needing to increase our headcount."
This emphasis on customer service is a key motivation for adopting the software. Whitmore explains, "Many of our customers were telling us that the ability to find generic product and safety information on our various products online was of great advantage. Putting account services online was the next logical step. We now provide tailored information, specific to each customer. Individual discount pricing structures, order tracking histories and account information is all available online."
Customers register with Sealey and are then provided with sign-in details. Once logged on, customers can access their own information and can see stock availability of items across the catalogue. Furthermore, Sealey is able to target individual customers with personalised product promotions based upon their preferences and buying history.
Whitmore adds, "This is more than just a catalogue-based e-commerce site. It is more of a portal through which each customer can access tailored information and then place orders which are seamlessly passed through to our finance and despatch departments. There is minimal human intervention. This automation reduces the scope for error and makes the handling of inbound orders faster and much more efficient."
Tim Thompson, Commercial Director at Sealey Power Products, adds, "Since deploying Web Sales, we have seen a reduction in the number of inbound calls to place orders and request basic product information. Customers have migrated to our online site where they can pick up this information and place orders instantaneously. Our sales team now has more time for other value-adding tasks such as providing technical assistance to customers."
Sealey has also seen that the 24-hour availability of the website has been of particular benefit to its customer base. Sealey customers can now submit orders at any time of day, at their convenience. Whitmore explains, "This 24-hour accessibility has been of prime importance to our smaller scale customers, who are now able to place and track orders or check stock availability in their own time, without having to be reliant on our staff being on the end of a phone."
Whitmore adds, "Indeed, we are considering extending our logistical capabilities so that should an order arrive with us after our standard hours, we are still able to guarantee next day delivery an ability that will set us apart from our competition."
Whitmore concludes, "By extending our core ERP technology from Solarsoft onto the web, we are able to deliver consistent pricing, delivery and product information over the Internet or via the phone. This seamless integration means that we can offer customers a broader product choice and better service. The Solarsoft system is very flexible, easy to use and cost-effective, and we also receive an excellent level of support from Solarsoft's consultants. The Solarsoft system has had a dramatic impact on the performance of our business."