Countrywide Healthcare Supplies began using OrderWise in 2011. We spoke to Managing Director John Spray who very kindly took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about Countrywide Healthcare Supplies and how they use OrderWise. As one of the UK’s largest distributors to the healthcare market, Countrywide Healthcare Supplies have over 6500 product lines ranging from nursing supplies and medical equipment to cleaning products, supplying a selection of market leading brands as well as their own branded products. Specialising in Care and Nursing Home supplies they also provide a full contract interiors service offering a one stop shop catering to all the needs of a care home.
Countrywide Healthcare Supplies had been using Sage line 50 and spreadsheets since the company was established in 1996; however they had outgrown the system. With a turnover likely to exceed £8 million during 2012/2013 and with around 70 staff and 30 users requiring access to the system at any one time, Sage 50 was unable to meet their user and data demands or provide the functionality needed over and above accounts. It was not only user access and speed issues that had led them to look for a new system. The visibility of information across departments made it difficult to maintain high customer service levels while the need to constantly re-key sales orders meant the potential for errors was increased. The functionality offered by Sage 50 limited the effectiveness of warehouse and despatch operations and the success of their contract interiors service highlighted further issues with limits on the number of line items per sales order they could process. Overall existing system capabilities were limiting business growth and with new contracts in the pipeline Countrywide Healthcare Supplies knew they needed to upgrade to a system which could cope with a continually increasing demand.
“Exceeding the recommended Sage 50 user and data levels had left us with an unsupported system.”
OrderWise provided the solution
Sales Order Processing
OrderWise has given immediate access for their required number of users with extensive scope for expansion, providing each staff member and departments with instant access to the relevant, accurate and up to date information required to perform their duties. As a Microsoft .net application running on a SQL database OrderWise is able to process large volumes of data and cope with high user demand with ease, this has been particularly evident within their sales force. The large Sales Team are now able to process orders whilst on the phone, a facility they never had with their previous system due to the slow running speed and limited functionality. Sales staff can now quickly find customer and order information and manage the complex VAT exemption requirements. With full visibility of related products and order history, the Sales Team are able to actively up and cross sell, making a significant increase to the revenue of the company.
“OrderWise has easily handled our existing workload along with the increase from the additional £1.5 million turnover added since implementation.”
Online Sales Channel Integration
Countrywide Healthcare Supplies had found that as they tendered for larger contracts many companies stated the provision of an online ordering facility was essential to their selection criteria. The OrderWise eCommerce module has meant they were able to integrate their new magento website, online marketplace sales channels and manage their EDI needs. Now with around 50% of orders taken via their online sales channels, these are now integrated and orders are automatically downloaded, removing the need to rekey orders manually and saving them considerable time.
“The integration of online orders through OrderWise has enabled us to increase sales order volumes without recruiting additional staff.”
Purchase Order Processing
Around 4000 of their 6500 product lines are held in stock and the remainder are direct orders, which is where goods are shipped directly from the supplier to the customer. OrderWise Purchasing has given them control over this process and has enabled them to rapidly expand their direct delivery product offering and helped grow their contract interiors business.
Warehouse management has been greatly improved and led to an increased pick efficiency. OrderWise has allowed Countrywide Healthcare Supplies to focus on order promised dates, consolidate multiple customer orders including any back orders, improve stock management and visibility along with manage routing of their fleet of 7 delivery vehicles. This has led to more efficient picking and packing along with the fulfilment of more orders on first pass which has lead to a reduction in both packing and delivery costs. Add to this the instant visibility of new sales orders within despatch, it has meant a much faster reaction to the addition of late orders and a significant extension to order cut off times. With many of their competitors only providing 3 day delivery, Countrywide Healthcare Supplies can now provide their customers with fast next day delivery, a key point of difference to their service offering. They also use couriers to despatch goods and have introduced the OrderWise Courier Integration Module to further streamline the despatch of goods through TNT.
“OrderWise has helped us set up, grow and properly manage a large warehouse department. The Despatch and Goods In Modules provide all the relevant information quickly and easily.”
Reporting & Business Intelligence
A feature Managing Director John Spray says is now becoming more important to them is the Reporting Module “As OrderWise has now streamlined our stock control, order processing, warehouse and despatch systems we have more time to focus on specific key areas of the business were improvements can help reduce costs, increase profit and improve customer service. Using the reports within OrderWise we will be focusing on data in areas such as up selling, average order value and average order lines to increase sales and profits along with looking at promised dates met to further improve customer service.”
“Being able to have OrderWise carry out custom development work has meant we can meet customer and business requirements.”
The Complete Package
John also told us that another of the features that they find particularly useful is the one click integration with Sage 50 Accounts, above all Countrywide Healthcare Supplies have found OrderWise to be flexible and easy to use. The improved operational efficiency and reduced administrative workload has enabled the company to grow whilst greatly reducing their ratio of staff to turnover. You can visit Countrywide Healthcare Supplies at www.countrywidehealthcare.co.uk