Safeaid was founded in 1976 by Roger Bowen and his wife Jill after identifying a gap in the market for safety products following the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1976.
The company is based in Waterlooville, near Portsmouth and employs 20 people in the manufacture and sale of high quality, fully compliant, fit for purpose, personal protective equipment (PPE).
Four decades of experience and a reputation for knowledge, integrity and a “can do” approach has been the cornerstone of the company’s success. Add to the mix, an entrepreneurial and ambitious mind set and the result is their latest project, the launch of Mi365 (a bespoke PPE web based management system) developed exclusively for Safeaid customers.
In addition to manufacturing, the company also sources products from the UK and abroad and stocks around 12,000 products in total. The business handles high volumes of orders from a diverse range of sectors, with specialist knowledge and technical expertise in the Rail industry.
Safeaid has been using OrderWise since 2012 and here, Marketing Manager Janet Glackin tells us more about how the business is using OrderWise to manage its operations. She notes that, “In 2011, Safeaid launched their own brand of PPE and workwear – Signal – which in the intervening years has become synonymous with quality, comfort and safety.”
“The move from supplier to supplier/manufacturer was bold and exciting, but heightened the business’s need for a multi-channel software package. One that could integrate the different departments and provide clear, concise data to aid decision making. In short, the company’s existing software could no longer cope with the multi-faceted demands of the business or the pace of growth experienced by the Company.”
Janet tells us that, “It was paramount that any system we considered would be scalable and adjust as our business grew. We needed a system that could easily handle a large number of transactions, support the management of our differing functions and provided integration with external providers. OrderWise was recommended to us and it became apparent early on that it met all of our requirements.”
The OrderWise Solution
Being a modular and scalable software system, OrderWise was able to tailor a solution to Safeaid’s needs. Powerful stock control features meant that the company could benefit from enhanced product management and intuitive reporting to provide the clear data needed. As Janet notes, “OrderWise allows us to make intelligent and fast decisions based on factual data. It’s a dexterous and comprehensive system that’s user friendly and very searchable, providing clear visibility across the business.”
She continued, “It has some really simple but quite brilliant features like the ‘chase report’ which does just that. It’s like having your own PA in a way, reminding you of what needs to be followed up, as and when you need it.”
“For a business like ours, the suite of features from purchase to warehouse and to sales quite simply streamlines our business. Maximum productivity and efficiency enables us to deliver on our 5 point Customer Promise” (https://safeaidsupplies.com/about-us/).
“From a purchasing perspective, the ability to input orders in different currencies saves us a huge amount of time and, particularly post-Brexit, that has been very useful for us.”
Giving an overall view of the company’s OrderWise solution, Janet comments, “OrderWise covers every aspect of the business. It is an essential tool for our sales function, purchasing, warehousing and customer services. It’s one integrated system that helps us manage our business really effectively.”
Building A Complete End-To-End Solution
Janet comments that, “Innovation has become an overused buzz word these days, achieving almost mythical status. The difference is innovators who do something genuinely creative in business and actually implement their ideas and the ones that merely talk about it. Our Managing Director, Richard Bowen is ambitious and resourceful and encourages a similar mind set in his team. The net result? A host of ideas on how to do “it” better and smarter. During one of these sessions in 2016, the idea behind Mi365 was born.”
“Could bespoke functionality of our new website enable our customers to manage their PPE more efficiently? We believed it was possible and so our search for a web developer began.”
Janet recalls that, “We already had a successful working relationship with OrderWise, and liked their company ethos. To have a website, designed to our very precise specification, which integrated with all of our management software was too appealing to ignore. We knew exactly what we wanted and were uncompromising in our specification. Intuitive functionality, a user-friendly interface and great reporting was the starting point. Many of our customers work on rail and building sites, with little or no access to computers and so our website had to be fully responsive.”
In terms of the overall project Janet notes that, “Any business, irrespective of size, that launches a new website expects it to be a huge undertaking, which it certainly was. Our own project team worked very closely with the Project Manager from OrderWise and the relationship, over time, deepened into one of mutual trust, respect and support. We shared a common goal with a publicised deadline – 14th February – and worked very well together to achieve it.”
Janet refers to the determination of both Safeaid and OrderWise as being key to the project’s success, and now that it’s complete she tells us that, “We’re delighted with the end product. Even after just two days of the new website being live, our customers are extremely enthused about the possibilities of Mi365.”
In terms of the future, Safeaid aims to continue to grow the business, expand product ranges and potentially source larger premises. OrderWise looks forward to supporting the company going forward and we’d like to thank Janet Glackin for taking the time to talk to us.
More information on Safeaid can be found at: http://safeaidsupplies.com