Founded in 1930 and based in Leicestershire, Happy Pet Products design, manufacture and distribute their own range of pet products to a worldwide customer base. With around 2500 products on offer, Happy Pet Products provide everything for the pet trade including toys, treats, bedding, housing, travel gear, collars, leads, clothing, food supplements, grooming products, hygiene products and much more. Selling through their sales team on the road, EDI, fax, and telephone, Happy Pet Products take thousands of orders a month with up to 1500 lines per order. Happy Pet began using OrderWise in May 2014. We spoke to Andrew Ewens, Inventory Controller at Happy Pet Products, who took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about his experience using OrderWise and how it has helped Happy Pet to improve their daily operations.
Before starting with OrderWise, Happy Pet were originally using Access Dimensions to manage their business. However with the company rapidly expanding, it was clear that Access Dimensions was no longer providing Happy Pet with the level of control over stock and warehouse efficiency that they required.
“Because we are a very fast-growing company, we were finding it more and more inflexible and inefficient – an awful lot of time was being spent on administration that could have been better spent elsewhere”
One area in particular that was causing Happy Pet problems was the impracticality of the sales order processing. With Happy Pet taking large volumes of orders, Andrew explained how entering these orders on their old system became a real struggle.
“When you were in a sales order if a customer rang on the phone, the only way to get information for that customer was to close down the sales order which was quite time consuming, and then you had to remember to go back into the order afterwards”
Another key area of the business where inefficiencies were preventing the company from operating effectively was within the warehouse. Andrew highlighted Happy Pet’s despatch process as one area in particular where it was clear that improvements needed to be made.
“We were sending pickers off to places where there was no stock so when it went back to the warehouse admin team, they had to manually mark it as nil on the system – it was just creating an unnecessary workload”
With Happy Pet continuing to grow, it was clear that new methods of handling their warehouse management and sales order processing were needed, as well as a more comprehensive system in general that was going to increase efficiency across all areas of their business.
Whilst looking around for a replacement for their existing system, Andrew explained how OrderWise was the only the system that looked as though it was able to fulfil all the needs that they had set out for Happy Pet.
“It needed to be capable of integrating with Access Dimensions as we didn’t want to move the accountancy and we needed one that was going to create efficiencies, be easy-to-use, flexible, adaptable, affordable and grow with our business with bolt-on modules – OrderWise demonstrated to us that it could fulfil that shopping list of requirements”
With OrderWise able to offer Happy Pet their ideal software solution, the decision was made in early 2014 to introduce OrderWise into the business. Andrew stated how impressed he was with the whole implementation process and how the expert knowledge of the OrderWise trainers enabled Happy Pet to tailor the system to work in the best way suited to how their business operates on a daily basis.
“It was very logical and straight forward, as our understanding developed we could quickly see the way the information was populated could be changed, which for us that was great, you weren’t tied into “Set it up like this, this is how you must use it” – there’s no set way of using the system and the trainers worked with us to find the most logical way for us to work with OrderWise and our data”
The OrderWise Solution
With their previous system, Happy Pet Products were finding it difficult to balance handling a customer enquiry whilst raising a sales order for another customer. Thanks to OrderWise, the Happy Pet Products sales team are now able to effortlessly manage both tasks with the ability to have multiple screens open at once.
“Sales administrators can now deal with customer queries whilst in sales orders and can access previous order history and previous pricing very easily – with OrderWise you can have umpteen screens open at a time and have all the information at your fingertips which is one of the major pluses for us”
By using OrderWise, Happy Pet have seen a dramatic improvement in the overall efficiency of their operation. One area in particular where Andrew has noticed OrderWise has really made a difference is the speed at which information is now transferred through their EDI.
“It’s delivering efficiencies on a daily basis to us and that’s very easy to see, for instance the EDI imports used to take 3-4 hours to appear on our old system, with OrderWise it’s a matter of two minutes – we can now be picking those orders pretty much the minute we start work in the morning whereas previously we had to wait until nearly the afternoon, so we’ve gained half a day”
However it is not just on the sales order entry side where day-to-day processing has improved for Happy Pet but the on the warehouse side of the business as well. Andrew explained that the problem they were experiencing with pickers going to stock locations where there is no stock available is no longer an issue for him and his colleagues.
“In the warehouse efficiencies and stock accuracy has massively improved, it’s great for us because it only puts on the pick note what’s in stock whereas previously all our out of stock items used to appear – you can track your orders through the system a lot easier, at any one time I know who’s picking what order, how many orders are awaiting picking, how many orders we’ve despatched today, you just get that overall visibility of what your business is doing”
As well as greater business visibility within OrderWise, Andrew gave credit to the reporting facilities that enable him to get the information he needs out of the system quicker and easier than he was able to on Happy Pet’s previous system.
“KPI Dashboards are very useful for monitoring the performance of the team and getting data out of the system is very straight forward with the standard reports – I’m doing between 10 and 20 exports a day from OrderWise into Excel and I used to spend hours every day putting various bits of data together to get the information I needed whereas now it’s so much quicker”
As manufacturers, Happy Pet were keen to gain structured management over their BOM, numerous revisions and component stock. Andrew explained how by using the OrderWise Manufacturing Module, Happy Pet have been able to dramatically increase the productivity of their manufacturing processes and gain better control over their stock.
“Previously we were having to manually adjust all our stock components every time we built something and that was probably several hundred transactions every day that somebody was keying, now it can be done with a click of a button – the works orders have made us much more efficient and saved us an awful lot of time”
Andrew also mentioned how Happy Pet were pleased with the level of care and expert advice that is offered by the OrderWise Support Team, no matter how urgent or complicated the issue.
“The support is first class, can’t fault that at all – the staff are always very prompt, courteous and will even help with the silly questions that come up from time to time”
What’s Next For Happy Pet Products?
So with OrderWise able to provide Happy Pet with the increased level of control and efficiency that their business requires, solve the problems they were facing with their previous system as well as vastly improve their daily operations, the question is what’s next for OrderWise and Happy Pet?
“We plan to continue growing our business and we certainly see OrderWise playing a key role in that – we want to put more efficiencies particularly into our warehousing side so we will be looking at Returns and Replenishments over the coming year and were going to be rolling out CRM in the coming months as well”
For more information on Happy Pet Products, visit their website www.happypet.co.uk