From 1983 to 1989 Chris Illsley and Caroline Birkin organised the highly successful Lincoln Grand Prix series of road races, which at their peak attracted over 12,000 runners to their 4 annual events.
It was through organising these events that they identified the need for a specialised supplier for event organisers, from whom they could purchase all of the essential items for their events. Their search for this supplier drew a blank, so in 1988 they created Running Imp.
Running Imp created a brochure which brought together all of the different products which Chris and Caroline had purchased from various companies in their organisation of the Lincoln Grand Prix Series; they marketed it as the ‘one-stop-shop’ for an event organiser.
Fast-forward 22 years to today and Running Imp has grown to become the industry leader, holding a 65% share of the market and recording its highest-ever sales figures to date.
“OrderWise software plays a key role within the core of our business. We promise our customers the most efficient and proactive service when ordering with us, and this software is crucial in helping us provide that. We are also now using OrderWise to produce timed and targeted marketing campaigns, so there’s no doubt that this software will play a key part in our future.”
Chris Illsley, Managing Director
Working within the running events industry brings many logistical challenges to a company like Running Imp. Just one event can require thousands of finisher’s medals, competitor’s numbers and promotional items. Each of these items must be manufactured bespoke to that event from suppliers based all over the world.
For an event organiser, timing is everything. Running Imp must constantly work towards different deadlines, scheduling shipments of goods from as far as China and delivering them right to the start line for event day.
“Our OrderWise software enables our sales team to provide the prompt and informed sales service that has become our trademark within the marketplace”
Faye Yarwood, Operations Director
Using OrderWise has enabled Running Imp to keep a strong hold over its supply chain systems.Hundreds of orders are processed each day, with all the picking and packing done in the Warehouse at the company’s base at Millennium House in Lincoln. The accurate stock figures provided by OrderWise are essential to Running Imp, and allows the company’s Sales and Warehouse staff to be able to respond efficiently to orders from a customer base that varies from local fun runs to international marathons.
With a product range of over 700 different items, which all need to be regularly updated with new prices and catalogue codes, the different Import features within OrderWise have been invaluable in saving time for the Data Inputting staff at Running Imp.
Last year the company recorded its highest-ever yearly sales figures, an achievement recognised with the firm scooping the ‘Lincolnshire Bites Back Award’ at the Lincolnshire Media Business Awards.
Behind these sales figures was an aggressive marketing campaign, which featured investment in new direct marketing materials and promotions. Orderwise was used to build a marketing database which now holds the details of over 10,000 customers and an additional 28,000 prospects.
As our business has grown and grown, we’ve needed to become more efficient. OrderWise has played an integral role in helping us keep our supply chain systems streamlined, from the factory shelf to the customer’s door.”
Faye Yarwood, Operations Director
Responses to marketing activity and any feedback from sales calls are all logged onto the Contact Manager facility in OrderWise. This allows the company to not only monitor the success rates of its different promotions but also maintain its successful customer oriented approach to an ever-increasing market.
Running Imp makes a promise to supply event organisers with the best service, advice, choice and value in the marketplace, and OrderWise plays a key role at the heart of that promise. This year the company is looking to build on last year’s record breaking sales figures and will be continuing to use OrderWise software to achieve those goals.
Many thanks to Faye Yarwood, Chris Illsley and Chris Cheesman at Running Imp for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk to us.
Visit Running Imp at www.runningimp.co.uk