Boosting efficiency and streamlining costs with Realtime Despatch’s OrderFlow
Having determined that its previous warehouse management system (WMS) delivered very few benefits and was generally unfit for purpose, streetwear clothing specialist Urban Industry has found its subsequent deployment of Realtime Despatch’s OrderFlow to be nothing short of revelatory.
Urban Industry is a growing independently owned streetwear and urban clothing store operator based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. “With an overall range that exceeds 3,500 different products across 90-plus brands, effective order processing and management are absolutely essential,” says Urban Industry Co-Owner Vicky King. An effective warehouse management system (WMS) can make all the different to a company that is seeking to process orders rapidly and efficiently, and in a fashion that reflects their changing requirements.
King is delighted with her company’s investment in Realtime Despatch’s OrderFlow system.
“OrderFlow has streamlined and optimised our existing business, it has the flexibility to respond to future requirements and the support we’ve had from Realtime Despatch has been second to none”, she says.
It wasn’t always like this.
Three years ago the company made a substantial investment in a well-known WMS – only to discover within the space of 12 months that it was not providing the required features or functionality. The software at the heart of the system had proven to be insufficient in several key regards, while the support offered by the WMS had also been found wanting.
The Urban Industry warehouse team realised that it had no alternative but to write-off the original WMS and invest in a brand-new system. “It was not an insignificant decision, but the existing system was actually hindering our efficiency and impeding our ability to respond to new requirements,” says Urban Industry Warehouse Manager Josh Buckwell.
“So we began to look around for a replacement – a process that fortunately turned out to be relatively brief as we soon encountered Realtime Despatch and its OrderFlow system. From the very first meeting it was evident that we could work effectively with their team, and that this was a company that could have a hugely positive impact on our warehouse operations.”
Realtime Despatch’s flagship product OrderFlow provides a flexible software platform for managing warehousing and fulfilment operations. Supported by regular updates to boost functionality and efficiency, OrderFlow controls the Urban Industry order processing, stock control, warehouse management, courier management, e-commerce integration and reporting.
As Josh Buckwell recalls,
the Realtime Despatch team “really took the time to explain the OrderFlow product and why it would provide a suitable solution for Urban Industry. They even organised a visit to the facilities of another customer so that we could obtain some third-party insight and take a look at the system in a live environment. Coupled with our positive impression of the Realtime Despatch team, this gave us the confidence we needed to move ahead with an investment in OrderFlow.”
To the satisfaction of both parties, this “positive impression” has continued ever since. The implementation process was “as straightforward as one could reasonably hope for,” says Buckwell, during which the Realtime Despatch team successfully integrated OrderFlow into an infrastructure that includes Magento, a leading e-commerce platform. The installation process – both on and off-site, and involving several days of intense testing – necessitated “some long days and nights”, but these were more than justified by an end result that quickly proved its worth to the entire Urban Industry team. Buckwell was impressed by the continued presence of Realtime Despatch staff during this time; “they started early with us and finished late with us. It got the job done in the shortest amount of time.”
“After a final sequence of tests we were ready to go live,” says Buckwell.
“Within a matter of weeks we had been able to optimise our processes in a number of key ways. For example, we altered our approach to picking and packing so that staff are walking in one direction – not back and forth – and can select batch types, trolley sizes and other key parameters. The upshot has been a substantial streamlining of our day-to-day operations, and a reduction in the number of warehouse staff required.”
Working in close conjunction with the Realtime Despatch team, Urban Industry continues to refine its set-up. One significant project involved the migration of the e-commerce platform from Magento onto Shopify. This was potentially high-risk but Realtime Despatch helped to ensure it went smoothly. A more recent innovation was to hook-up OrderFlow to Global-e to support international sales. “No matter what the need might be we can pick up the phone to the helpdesk and be certain of a quick response – and that is hugely reassuring,” says Buckwell.
“With Global-e now linked to OrderFlow, we have significantly expanded our sales beyond the EU” says Vicky King. “We are delighted to at last be working with a software provider that not only understands our business but also delivers on its commitments to us.”
Last word to Realtime Despatch Founder and Managing Director Charlie Armor, who says he is “delighted that Urban Industry has achieved such a dramatic improvement in their warehouse management processes. We look forward to helping them achieve further enhancements as their business continues to evolve.”
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