Giving a Warehouse Company A Competitive Advantage.
TASS provide warehouse storage, distribution centre and order fulfilment services. They were founded in 2007, and in 2010 moved to a newly refurbished 10,000 warehouse in Hertford.
Growing Pains for TASS
The growth of the business put a strain on the simple systems that had evolved to manage the stock in the ware house. Routine tasks such as the monthly invoices, based on the number of days each pallet is in storage, were taking more and more time. There were also problems for clients, who would occasionally over-order items, because they did not have correct stock figures.
The Solution: A Bespoke Web App
Clearly the way forward was to automate the stock control, ordering and invoicing process. Although off-the-shelf warehouse stock systems existed, they were expensive, and did not fully meet the needs of TASS and their clients. Instead TASS talked to Webuseful about developing a bespoke system.
Webuseful spent a lot of time talking to TASS in their warehouse, to make sure the processes were understood and documented. From this they wrote a specification of what the new system would do, and gave a fixed price for it’s implementation.
Webuseful implemented an online database holding all the stock details and transferred all the existing records to the new system. A simple web-based interface manages the whole workflow, from pallets of goods arriving, through ordering and despatch, to reports for invoicing and stock control. TASS’s customers can also access the system, to see up-to-the-minute stock levels, and place orders online.
Committed Clients, and Internal Efficencies
TASS’s clients quickly came to value the new system, and the time it saved them. It means they have a very strong incentive to stay with TASS. The accuracy and immediacy if the stock reports, and the fact it is not possible to over-order items, makes for a very good working relationship between TASS and the client.
TASS value the internal efficiencies the new system brings. They spend much less time answering queries from clients about stock levels, and trying to sort out orders that cannot be fulfilled. They also spend less time updating and checking stock levels. The monthly invoice process is more efficient, and also more accurate.
Winning More Clients
The system also helps TASS win new clients. Many prospects are entrepreneurs running small start-up businesses. They do not work 9 to 5, so quickly understand the value of having 24/7 access to a stock control system that gives them full visibility and control of their stock.
A Long Term Partnership
The system went live in January 2012. By October 2014 it had processed over 21,000 orders and 3,000 pallets. It has been enhanced to meet the changing needs of TASS and their clients.
For example, in April 2012 the Stock Holding report for clients was upgraded to highlight items where the stock holding was below a specific level. In June 2012 the system was enhanced to create Despatch notes for orders. In June 2014 an upgrade made it easier for clients to group together orders going to the same destinations, saving duplication of effort.
Easy to use and saves us a lot of time
Lynn Bound, MD of TASS, says :
“ The online database is easy to use and saves us a lot of time. It’s improved efficiency for use and, more importantly, for our clients. ”