Transforming a business with a stock management system

Every business needs to move with the times if it wants to stay competitive. Daniel Puddick, managing director of the Sunglasses Shop, says the technology that transformed his business was a stock management system.

‘It allows us to report on the history of particular products and set a required minimum level of how many we should carry and will then automatically order more if we are running low. When you’ve got thousands of different products, that’s just not something you can do through an Excel spreadsheet.’

For Puddick the software, which only cost £1,000, has gone hand-in-hand with the company’s growth, which amounted to a 34 per cent increase in revenue last year. ‘You have to be ahead of the rest of the market. And this has enabled us to stay on top of different trends,’ he says.

Will Tyler, owner of design company Octink, takes the view that a large spend is not always necessary. Tyler attributes the company’s recent growth to its internet monitoring device, which costs £1,500 a year and flags up exactly who has been browsing the site.

‘Without wishing to sound too Big Brother like, we can get in touch with customers straight after they’ve been looking at our pages and when it’s still hot. It’s given a real impetus to our sales team, which traditionally has been quite technophobic.’

Since using the technology the company has increased its monthly revenue by £40,000. ‘It’s not something we hide from customers. We’re upfront about how we get their details, otherwise if we called two minutes after they were on the site they may be a bit spooked,’ says Tyler. ‘Using this technology has not put anyone off to date. If there’s a genuine interest, then it’s quite natural to have that conversation.’


There are bright sparks out there who can bring their IT requirements up to date through in-house know-how. Jamie Turner, IT director for address management company Postcode Anywhere, says: ‘About two years ago we reassessed what we needed from our CRM [customer relationship management] system as it was getting to the stage where it wasn’t fulfilling our requirements. A piece of software that worked well for ten people didn’t work well for 30.

‘So we built our new CRM system ourselves because we thought it would be better for us in the long run to start from scratch. We now have much better information about what’s happening around us and can be smarter in targeting resources.’

Not everyone will be blessed with such ingenuity. Matthew Poyiadgi, European vice-president of CompTIA, the global IT trade association, states that while investment in technology is vital for growing business, it is often useless without the appropriate level of training. Poyiadgi says: ‘Making the most of IT investment can only be achieved through training IT staff in the latest technology and best practices.’

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