A well known UK distance shopping retailer, selling over 40,000 product lines through a series of hard copy catalogues and online websites.
The field sales team (comprising c.300 staff) faced significant issues in collecting personal information to enable central credit checking, before acceptance of first orders.
Customer information was collected on handwritten A5 paper forms and sent in batches to the Head Office by post for manual keying onto a fulfilment system.
Significant numbers of forms were not processed due to poor handwriting, inaccurate information and non-receipt of forms, which collectively accounted for up to 15% of work by volume.
Furthermore lead-times on processes forms resulted in significant first order cancellations, which inflated the cost of the field sales operation.
Ruggedised hand held terminals were introduced to the Field Sales Teams enabling customer details to be captured electronically and signature to be obtained.
The software checked and validated addresses before sending details wirelessly, as form were completed improving data accuracy.
Paper was eliminated and shorter process was created, resulting in the elimination of mail costs, whilst administrative and storage costs were drastically reduced.
Data security was tightened through device encryption, ensuring information processed was safe and secure.
Catalogue fulfilment reduced from 12 to 2 days.
Data accuracy significantly improved.
Operational costs reduced by £0.7m.
Indirect costs reduced by £0.8m.
15 administrative staff were reassigned to other functions.
Lost records problem eliminated.
First orders increased by 16% in volume.
‘The project has transformed the way we do business by simplifying and speeding up the entire selling process. The result has been a marked reduction in recruiting costs and happier customers’. Marketing Operations Manager