Savage & Whitten provide a ‘complete service’ for their customers and boost sales and productivity with Sanderson wholesale software

Posted by Jackie Taylor on Fri, Mar 23, 2018

Wholesalers who do not adapt and change with the times do so at their own risk. See how the Sanderson wholesale software, Swords, helped Savage & Whitten to thrive from technological developments.

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Award-winning Savage & Whitten didn’t establish themselves as Northern Ireland’s largest independent wholesaler by accident, they gained their status by constantly striving to improve levels of customer satisfaction. And with an operational infrastructure as complex as theirs, this was certainly no mean feat.

Always striving to keep ahead of the curve, Savage & Whitten knew of the sea changes stirring within the wider wholesale market, and that integrated IT solutions would soon have to become a key component of their organisation.

Wholesale industry changes and challenges

As technology continues to evolve across every industry, so do customer expectations and demands. Savage & Whitten commented on the latest challenges in the wholesale market, and said that wholesalers who do not move with the times do so at their own risk.

Following on, it was emphasised that today’s technology is about making life easy for customers, and ensuring that what they want is right at their fingertips, “the industry is changing its focus to provide a complete service”.

With two different country regulations to satisfy, two different currencies, two different customer price files for the today’s retail outlets and two different price files for consumers, Savage & Whitten were a complex customer – but Sanderson worked hard to successfully meet their challenges.

New ‘chilled and fresh’ operation

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Having incorporated their new ‘chilled & fresh’ operation into the Savage & Whitten website, web orders have grown to account for 65% of total sales. The ‘chilled and fresh’ development is the fastest growing area of the Savage & Whitten business. The company stated that they couldn’t have ventured into this area without Sanderson and its wholesale specific solution, Swords.

Sanderson wholesale solutions, such as web ordering and electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) systems, are integral to Savage & Whitten operations. Now Savage & Whitten can collect orders from customers, EDI transfer them to suppliers and then reverse the process when the goods come in.

Sales and customer convenience boosted

With this boom of web ordering also came improvements in sales figures and customer satisfaction, with feedback citing numerous benefits that made the experience as a whole feel much more convenient from the customer’s perspective.

Thanks to Sanderson web ordering, Savage & Whitten customers now have the ability to manage their own accounts online, check the latest promotions and choose their preferred time slots for delivery. The benefits aren’t just exclusive to customers, the system has also reduced the number of customer enquiry calls to the office, boosting overall productivity.

Savage & Whitten has also embraced Radio Frequency (RF) technology and benefited greatly from its ability to create a more efficient and productive working environment. RF can also be used at goods-in for checking stock as soon as it arrives, and has practical applications for forklift users, namely where the driver does not have to leave the cabin to scan stock barcodes.

Picking rate up from 90 to 200 per hour

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Dramatic increases in accuracy have been experienced by essentially every wholesaler that has used the voice-directed order picking system.

Savage & Whitten were no exception to this, more than doubling their picking rate from 90 picks per hour to over 200. The Savage & Whitten team stated that as the operator verbally validates order picks via the system, making mistakes is next to impossible.

Warehouse operatives also found it natural and easy to communicate with the system via a headset and microphone, allowing them to easily confirm the completion of pick instructions before moving on.

A satisfied customer

From the customer services and marketing office right through to the busy warehouse, the Sanderson solution is present at every stage. This has been pivotal in helping Savage & Whitten to launch new sales and customer service initiatives and improve productivity.

Once a customer web order is placed, the order is sent via EDI transfer to the supplier. The replenishment stock is then scanned via RF technology at the Savage & Whitten warehouse and later the customer order is picked by the voice-directed system.

Next, the ePOD system manages the delivery process from despatch, right up to checking the delivery with the customer and accepting their signature, which is immediately sent back to the office to confirm that the delivery was correct and received by a satisfied customer.

With access to the Sanderson specialist team and their in-depth knowledge of the wholesale distribution software, Swords, there is no determining where a progressive company like Savage & Whitten will venture next. But one thing is for sure, they will continue to provide a more than complete service for their customers.

Learn how you can take your business to the next level just like Savage & Whitten did with our eGuide: ‘Designed For You: How Wholesale-Specific Software Can Add Commercial Value

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Topics: Wholesale