Case Study

Meet James at H&B Supplies

With custom software and apps, we helped James speed up all warehouse processes and reduce temp staff requirements over busy periods.

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James heads up one of the UK’s largest distributors of fine fragrance and skincare products. James’s company supplies large retail organisations, independents, wholesalers and online retailers. Established over 30 years, the business is expanding across Europe and worldwide.

When James first approached us in 2006, he wanted a way to move stock in and out of his warehouse with his own system. He needed to reduce error-prone manual processes and simplify things for his staff. James wanted to move away from a paper-based system and maintain stock integrity.

Inspired by double-entry financial accounting systems, we helped James with custom software. We created an inventory management system, warehouse apps and an e-commerce site. These allow James to maintain high stock turnover and maximise warehouse efficiency. Resulting in more revenue for H&B Supplies.

  • Apps
  • Inventory management
  • Ecommerce
  • ...and more

What could we do for you?

Before Switchplane...

James was like you.

His wholesale distribution business was going from strength to strength. He was receiving orders, but the sales team were processing these manually. Their processes meant duplicating work by inputting details into Microsoft Navision. James was also having to hire more warehouse staff to manage the turnaround of stock. He knew things could be more efficient.

Off-the-shelf software existed at that time. But James wanted something to suit H&B Supplies' workflows and to talk to Microsoft Navision. He wanted a real-time solution that worked for his office teams and the staff in the warehouse.

So he got in touch with Switchplane.

Working with us

We built what James wanted.

We started out tackling his major pain point: stock tracking. This enabled the H&B team to have a quick return on investment by knowing what was going on in the warehouse.

We then expanded this out to cover everything that James needed. A full inventory system. Ability to generate sales orders and purchase orders. An e-commerce website with trade accounts. Apps for picking, packing, replenishment, and goods in.

A comprehensive system to make the business run smoother. Which would allow James to turn his warehouse around quicker. Making him more money.

Everything in its rightful place

To ensure stock movement is as easy as possible

With the inventory system, James’s teams can see stock movement within the warehouse.

The browser-based inventory system, usable on any device, allows staff to see locations and stock quantities on site. The system allows for full traceability.

The system flags items requiring pallet drops and also considers box and shelf sizes. This ensures the team is always using the greatest warehouse capacity possible. This is vital in busy periods such as the lead-up to Christmas.

Apps for all the key warehouse actions

To allow staff to move around the warehouse freely

Specific apps for specific roles. We created apps that warehouse staff can use to maximise their efficiency. Staff have clear workflows to follow and it's easy to train temp staff during peak periods.

The picking and packing app directs the team to the best stock locations and tells them how many boxes to pick. Once picked, the packing workflow lets staff verify and prepare orders for shipping.

The replenishment app's workflows ensure that picking locations remain fully stocked.

The goods-in app simplifies and speeds up the putting away of newly-arrived stock. Staff create purchase orders within the inventory system. When goods arrive, staff can select what to put away and link them to specific purchase orders. Once the goods are away, they are ready for sale. This app speeds up and completes the cycle of stock in the warehouse.

The information gathered within each app feeds back to office staff. They can check live movements of stock at the touch of a button. With full reporting capabilities.

B2B sales made easy

To ensure a smooth flow of orders

We created James a custom, B2B brochure website, available in ten languages.

Buyers can create trade accounts, log in to view the latest stock and prices, and place orders.

Trade users can download price lists to add to their own systems. They are also able to set up an automatic feed of prices into their own software. This helps James to ensure repeat custom, thanks to a frictionless sales process.

Now, how can we help you?

Are you like James?

We can help you make efficiencies in your business and keep your finger on the pulse.