09 Jun Case study: Arrow County Supplies
Arrow County Supplies provides cleaning and hygiene supplies to a wide ranging audience that includes public sector organisations and businesses in education, healthcare, facilities management, and food processing.
Based in Shrewsbury, the company aims to inspire cleaning professionals to rethink traditional approaches. Through the “Arrow Way” of working, it enables its customers to deliver higher standards, improved team performance, regulatory compliance and sustainable working.
The “Arrow Way” is about doing things differently. The company provides exceptional, personal customer support and service, and also an insight-led approach that ensures it understands its customers’ specific needs and objectives. Arrow helps cleaning professionals find new and improved ways of working, helps them source better-performing products and supports them in their drive for improvement. Company employees take time to conduct detailed investigations of current operations to help identify potential alternative ways of working or tooling. This helps companies deliver on their business objectives for cost reduction and operational efficiency improvements, whilst helping them to deliver improvements in hygiene standards. Arrow works hard to ensure that its responsive and knowledgeable teams provide high quality, dependable customer service and this approach means that customers come back time after time.
The customer-centric operations are supported by the right tools, processes and systems to make sure Arrow provides a consistently high and dependable service. Arrow has more than 40 years’ experience within the cleaning and janitorial industry and always strives to be different. The focus is to put customers at the heart of everything the company does and to deliver great products, insightful and valuable advice and an unrivalled personal service.
Problems due to lack of live stock reporting
Arrow was growing and was increasing the number of products it held. It needed a warehouse management system (WMS) that would support what it was already doing, but which would also grow with the company and continue to support its activities as the company changed.
Says Marc Bailey, Head of Customer Fulfilment. “Due to continued growth, we decided that to fully support and streamline our warehousing function, we needed to invest in a WMS system that not only delivered immediate efficiency improvements, but also supported our growth plans.”
Arrow was already running SAP Business One, which had been implemented by, and was being supported by another SAP partner. Arrow was using the functionality in the software’s Pick and Pack Manager to run its warehousing function. But the system did not give live information on stock, including precisely where the physical stock was located in the business.
From an operational point of view, this was fine, but it made accurate stock taking impossible. Only when all the orders had been picked and shipped from the system could the company see its true stock levels.
Arrow sought an enhanced WMS solution to meet these needs and began the tender process. They particularly wanted a system that had core, off the shelf functionality, but which was also capable of being adapted to their specific requirements and their future plans.
Arrow carefully scoped out the project to ensure that their requirements gathering was sound and that they ultimately got the right system and development partner.
Explains Marc, “Throughout the tender process, Balloon One gave us confidence that they could deliver what we needed from the system. Our discussions with them gave us the assurances that the project could successfully be implemented and delivered on time and to specification. They had a proven track record with other SAP Business One users and this was key to us as we needed to know that the system we installed could be delivered seamlessly and with minimal business disruption.”
Arrow had specific requirements from the system. Continues Marc, “Balloon One understood our business and carefully scoped out the project. They also arranged a site visit to an existing user with similar requirements, which allowed us to see how the implementation worked for them and how it could also work for us.”
Accellos One WMS gives accurate, real-time information
Balloon One’s recommendation was to implement Accellos One WMS, a customisable and scalable warehouse management system that gives real-time stock information and which integrates well with SAP Business One.
Balloon One worked alongside another SAP Business One partner – the company that had already supplied Arrow with their SAP Business One package – so that the implementation of the WMS software could be effected as seamlessly as possible. Despite being competitors in the supply of ERP, Balloon and the other SAP partner enjoyed a successful working relationship. The two companies’ knowledge and expertise combined successfully for the benefit of the customer. And Arrow fully supported and fostered the arrangement, recognising the contribution that each company could make.
Acknowledges Marc, “Our project leader at Balloon One did a fantastic job of fully understanding what we needed. We spent time as a project team to understand and agree all the plans and key actions that needed to be delivered.”
The entire project was completed from scoping to implementation in under two months. The biggest challenge was to do with units of measure, but the Accellos system was able to accommodate numerous selling unit details and pack sizes.
Marc commends the Balloon One team’s productivity and efforts. “Balloon One understood our requirements from scope and delivered the right solution on time and to budget. Furthermore, the project caused no service disruption for our customers“, he reveals.
Better stock visibility, improved efficiency and reduced admin
The project implementation has resulted in better visibility of stock in a live environment. Arrow is now able to track and trace almost every element or action that a user undertakes in a working day and can also fully track the history and journey of a product.
Comments Marc, “We have also realised some improvements in our efficiency. And we are continuing to look at further developments from the system to support this.”
Arrow has been able to integrate the Accellos system with its selected carriers, which has brought a welcome reduction in its administration work load.
Continues Marc , “We continue to work with Balloon One on further Accellos One developments that we want to roll out. We’re looking to optimise our supply operations and to bring about further distribution centre efficiency improvements.”
If you would like to learn more about Accellos One WMS (now HighJump WMS) that has helped Arrow County Supplies achieve better stock visibility and improved efficiency, please call us for a free demonstration on 020 8819 9071 or contact us using the website form.Contact us