Vadals Butcher SuppliesWith over 10,000 items, Vadals required a system to streamline their field sales and warehouse management.
- Required a system that could keep track of more than 10,000 items
- Integrated Attaché with an iPad app which is now being sold onto other companies saving at least three hours a day
An evolution to market leadership
Vadals’ commitment to employing technology for business improvement has seen them extend the power of their Attaché accounting database to create their own iPad app for sales reps.
The app has proven so successful it is being sold to other companies, and has encouraged Vadals to begin a two-year program working with Attaché to make their business “paperless”.
The company’s Administration Manager, Tina Kulla, a former MYOB consultant, says that the company’s current leadership position simply would not have been possible without the power of Attaché.
“It’s all about the value of having a powerful system as opposed to a children’s one,” Tina said.
Prior to introducing Attaché, Vadals’ sales representatives were using PC tablets that were slow, crashed frequently and would lock up the data. They simply couldn’t keep track of more than 10,000 stock items and only slightly sped up the process of getting orders back into the system.
The then Operations Manager, John Beesley, was familiar with Attaché and had worked both in the field and in the warehouse of Vadals. He knew Attaché had enormous database power and saw an iPad app as the ideal way to access that information.
“Once I started the process I was amazed to discover how much data Attaché really had. The more I dug into it, the more there was,” he said.
Leveraging technology for a paperless office
While John worked on drawing up the structure of the app, their Attaché consultant helped to redesign Vadals’ back-end system and added an application to not only extract data from Attaché, but import the file back in. Then it was just a matter of sending the app off to a coder to come up with a finished product.
The finished product organises data by sales reps and by customers on a daily basis. It provides account information, stock levels and the last four invoices.
“But the real beauty of it is that once they input the order into their iPad, they don’t have to worry about sending it. It all happens in the background,” John said.
“Previously the reps would wait until they had seen five or six customers before transmitting an order. Now the order automatically drops straight into Attaché and three minutes after it has been taken it is sitting on the server in the warehouse waiting to be picked.
“When it was first launched we figured it would save us at least three hours a day, and it’s easily saving that and probably more,” John said.
John and Tina agree that Attaché has made their jobs far easier.
“There are more checks and balances in Attaché. It minimises mistakes that can occur at the data input stage,” Tina said.
For John it’s all about the power of sales analysis. On a daily basis John has his dashboard set up to analyse sales and debtors, particularly the bigger customers, and also payment terms and notes.
John said that the system had proved particularly useful for proving or disproving hunches regarding sales trends. He said that the power of graphical data representation was of immense benefit.
“Just examining the suppliers we are spending money with will give a good idea of what is selling. A lot of the time we used to focus on certain things that were not actually what the market was buying. Now we know exactly what we should be selling,” he said.
Simplified pricing adjustments and clever stock control
One very real benefit for both Vadals and its clients has been Attaché’s handling of price increases.
Prior to introducing Attaché, price increases were only incorporated annually because it was a two-week process to go through six hundred to seven hundred products and five hundred customers receiving a range of contract discounts.
“We could lose quite a bit of money between prices going up and our yearly rises. And, naturally, a hefty annual slug was never popular.
“Now it’s a simple matter to apply the increases monthly as they arise. Attaché uploads the prices then shows us the cost and all relevant information by customer so we can see the margins and ensure that they are maintained.
“Once you’re happy with the result, you hit a button and it creates an import file,” John said.
Asked how he would describe the Attaché benefits to a contemporary, John did not hesitate.
“The amount of data it has and the power it has. A smart businessman wants to know about his stock, wants to control it better and has to know what is selling and what is not selling rather than rely on gut instinct.
“The GM and I run reports regularly on groups of products and we’re often surprised that the conventional knowledge on the product is not correct.”
About Vadals Butcher Supplies
- Distributor of butcher supplies throughout Queensland, serving the meat industry for 25 years
- Broad range of products including machinery, packaging, marinades and cutlery
- Business philosophy is to provide innovative, high quality products and professional service
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