The company started out selling bikes, parts and accessories but their product range has since grown to include scooters, swim products and equipment for fishing and other outdoor pursuits. The business keeps around 2,400 SKU lines in stock and receives up to 12,000 orders per month. They trade worldwide, predominantly via online sales and have stores on both Amazon and eBay, with stock being sourced from the UK and the Far East.
They have been using OrderWise since 2016 and here one of the Founding Directors of SDJ Sports, Steve Gill, tells us more about the business and their experience of using OrderWise.
Working with only a small product range early on meant that stock management was not too much of a complicated issue. However, the growth experienced by the business soon showed the disadvantages of their current system and its limited range of stock management functionality.
The business was also suffering from an issue that affects businesses in a variety of sectors: the lack of an integrated system. SDJ were finding that this was creating inefficiencies through the rekeying of information, reduced stock visibility and inaccurate data. As Steve points out, “We had different systems before and we had to mesh them together to get the best out of it. Our old system allowed for human error and as anyone doing mail order knows, you don’t really want human error.”
These limitations and issues led the company to consider a new business management software solution. Looking back at earlier management of their operations, Steve recalls that, “Our previous system just wasn’t in-depth enough.”
Choosing A Solution
When choosing a software solution to manage business operations, there was a wide range of functionality to be considered. A key requirement for SDJ Sports was comprehensive courier integration and a system that provided clear stock visibility and accuracy, together with features to enhance their despatch process.
Having seen such a growth in the business in terms of products stocked and orders despatched, Steve points out that, “We needed something that was a little bit more complicated and a little bit more thorough [than our previous system], which is why we brought in OrderWise.”
In terms of the reasons for deciding to actually choose OrderWise as their preferred software partner, Steve simply says, “The system did everything that we wanted.” He also commented that:
“UK based support was quite important and actually seeing their premises was useful in making the decision.”
Implementing & Using OrderWise
For any business, implementing new software and hardware systems is a big undertaking and can be problematic. In terms of getting up and running with OrderWise, Steve recalls that, “Having the Implementation Team come down for a week and put everything in was good, it was smooth and hassle-free. We weren’t left on our own and it went well.”
Having previously used differing, disconnected systems and seeing the inefficiencies caused, Steve feels that the business is now reaping the benefits of using an integrated system:
“Now we’ve just got one system which is saving us labour costs and improving our accuracy. OrderWise has all the integrations with all the carriers and it’s a lot more transparent and that’s made a big difference to us, knowing where all the stock is in the warehouse. All the orders can pool into one place and we could go paperless using the Handheld Terminals, so it was just really to streamline that process.”
Considering their daily operations since implementing OrderWise, Steve notes that, “Stock accuracy is greater, the despatch process is smoother and the amount of time it takes to despatch all the products is less. We require less staff and it’s less problematic. Although we didn’t have a lot of human error, OrderWise helps eradicate any we encounter.”
Steve also says that the business really values the relationship with their Project Manager from OrderWise and in terms of technical support says that, “My colleague Dave can contact the OrderWise Support Team when it’s gone 4pm and they get back to him the same day.”
In summarising back to Steve some of the key benefits of OrderWise that he mentioned, such as “visibility and accuracy; smoother, faster despatch; more streamlined, less problematic operations and completely integrating all aspects of the business”, Steve simply commented, “You’ve nailed it!”
In terms of supporting a company’s future growth, one of the key attributes of OrderWise is that it’s a modular, scalable system that can grow and develop with a business. In terms of the company’s upcoming plans, Steve said:
“Everything that we’re going to do for the future, we’ve put this system in, based on that. We wouldn’t necessarily need that system today, although it has been very helpful, but three or four years down the line we definitely will need it and it would have been much harder to integrate it at that point – simply put, we’ve front-loaded up.”
Now building on the company’s integrated back end system, SDJ Sports have commissioned OrderWise to develop a responsive website which will be the final piece of a system that fully integrates both their front and back end systems.
OrderWise looks forward to further supporting SDJ Sports as they develop and grow their business, and we’d like to thank Steve Gill for taking the time to talk to us.
More information on SDJ Sports can be found at: www.sdjsports.co.uk