Pet products wholesaler, Pedigree Wholesale Ltd, reports that more than a fifth of its orders have moved online since it implemented BCP's Accord Web Ordering system to offer customers more flexibility in ordering, increase loyalty and reduce the costs associated with handling orders.
Based in Nottingham and founded over 40 years ago, Pedigree is one of the UK's key pet products wholesalers servicing the independent sector. The company has an annual turnover approaching £48 million and operates from a network of five strategically located depots, using its own 30 strong delivery fleet to service over 2000 accounts across England and Wales. Customers include pet shops, garden centres and specialist outlets.
BCP is one of the UK's top suppliers of specialist supply chain software to the wholesale industry. Clients include BWG, Musgrave, SPAR, Pets at Home, Fragrance Direct and ADM Londis.
A user of BCP's Accord wholesale distribution software for several years, Pedigree worked closely with BCP on the initial implementation of online ordering as they wanted the customer web ordering site to have the same look and feel as the main company website and to have the flexibility to reflect any future changes in the main site on the web ordering site.
Since its initial implementation the Web Ordering system has progressively evolved as Pedigree have collaborated with BCP to drive enhancements and tailor it to suit their particular requirements. It now offers a full electronic catalogue, real-time access to stock information, promotions and personalised pricing and 24 hour a day availability for ordering. Customers have the option to build on-line orders gradually as items run out of stock and access to a special 'viewing mode' which can be used to check stock and place orders in the presence of customers without allowing them to see sensitive information.
Recent enhancements have given customers access to financial information on line so they can view outstanding transactions and view, download or print invoices for the past 12 months while access to administration rights means customers can, for example, reset passwords without contacting Pedigree customer services – a real plus for customers and a cost saving for Pedigree.
When Accord was first implemented the majority of Pedigree's orders were generated by Telesales but today 20% come via the website as customers take advantage of the extra flexibility on line ordering provides.
"Customers find web ordering easy to use and like the flexibility and independence it gives them. If they want to order late at night or on a Sunday for next day delivery they can now do that. An increasing number of customers like to order in this way and it's really important that we're able to provide this service. The fact that taking orders in this way is also very efficient has allowed us to grow our sales without having to take on additional staff," says Chris Laud, Pedigree Financial Director.
Key to the success of the whole order taking process is close integration so that there is true transparency across the ordering operation. Telesales data, for example, is updated to show when an online order has been placed and planned calls rescheduled. "This is where the truly integrated nature of Accord comes into its own," says Laud. "Telesales operators have complete visibility of on line activity so they don't waste their time or customers' time calling when a customer has placed an order on line."
Chris Laud concludes: "Pedigree are delighted with the success of web ordering and the proportion of orders which now come through that route. We'll continue to work with BCP to further enhance the system for our customers and have several new developments in the pipeline."