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  • Savage & Whitten

    “The Sanderson system allows us to operate our business efficiently, accurately and in a very responsive manner.”

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Customers / Wholesale Distribution

Learn how grocery wholesaler Savage & Whitten used Swords software to develop online ordering.

Wholesale Case Study – Savage & Whitten


Savage & Whitten is Ireland’s fastest growing independent wholesaler and has enjoyed a surge in sales in recent years, trebling turnover. Managing growth of this scale and speed calls for an innovative IT solution and Savage & Whitten has achieved that with the Sanderson delivered wholesales solution, Swords.

The business brief:

The company has used Swords, the specialist delivered wholesale system from Sanderson for many years and more recently the technology has been used extensively to support the company’s expanded business activities. “We run our entire business on Swords, from order placement to final accounts,” says Managing Director, Mark Windebank.


“The Sanderson system allows us to operate our business efficiently, accurately and in a very responsive manner.”

Our strategy:

The challenge was to develop the business and expand the reach of our service. Objectives focused on securing new business and growing the existing customer base, improving efficiency of internal operations to support growth – including warehouse productivity, and expanding our sales channels – online and in the field. “We had to invest in our sales capability to grow the business.

“We now have significant marketing activity and promotions too,” says Managing Director Mark Windebank.

“The Sanderson system has allowed us to reduce our internal operations costs in the warehouse. It’s also helped us to be so much more proactive in terms of sales.”

Windebank cites online ordering as a case in point: “Sanderson helped us to develop online ordering within Swords. From a standing start 18 months ago the web now accounts for 16% of our revenue – around £7.5m.”

Finding new customers is only part of the equation. Equally important is the ability to deliver the right service for each one of them: “It’s about getting the service right and making it easy for the customer. We offer every method for ordering and we work with the customer to find the best solution for them”. And it’s working – “The Sanderson system allows us to operate our business efficiently, accurately and in a very responsive manner.”

Savage & Whitten has continually added new system functionality as the business expanded. To make certain we were at the forefront of technology I wanted us to move to Voice Order Picking in the warehouse. Sanderson worked with Savage & Whitten to specify the solution and appropriate hardware. As a result productivity has gone sky high since the implementation. “Our picking rate went up by 35% last year – and we believe it can improve further this year,” says Windebank.

The installation of voice technology went hand-in-hand with an upgrade of the Swords stock and warehouse management module, which Windebank believes has driven more gains by making processes more streamlined.

“The warehouse management software has helped improve the overall running of our facility,” he states. “It has helped us to boost the in-full delivery rate, improving service levels by 2%.

This is not just because the picking activity is more efficient, but also because our control of stock is so much better. We now use Swords to manage every item of stock, giving us greater accuracy and full visibility.”

The results:

Summing up, Managing Director Mark Windebank said;

Savage & Whitten is using Swords to expand its service offering while retaining the one-to-one feel that customers really value. “Sanderson has helped us to give our customers the choice of ordering by whatever means they find most convenient: by telephone, online or in person. By using Swords to its full potential throughout our business, we’ve been able to drive a three-fold expansion while still retaining the first-class service we are renowned for,” says Windebank.

To learn more about the relationship between Savage & Whitten and Sanderson download the full case study here.

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