L&G Tools reports that Skynamo has helped to speed up and reduce errors in their ordering process.
Six or so years ago, when L&G Tools was looking to streamline its ordering processes, someone pointed them towards Skynamo – then known as Honeybee – and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Everything revolves around ‘just in time’, and ‘simpler, better, quicker,” says Sales Director Richard Sawkins. “So we were looking for a system that could help us to complete the sales process as quickly as possible. We were using traditional systems – the guys used order books, cell phones, telephones, telex and fax at various times. We needed something that could speed things up and meet our customers’ growing service expectations.”
Established in 1977, L&G Tools is a wholesale distributor of tools, machinery, hardware, home, garden, and automotive products. Their distribution centre is in KwaZulu-Natal and supplies customers in more than 13 different regions across Africa.
The company’s customer base is diverse: “It includes chain stores, like Game, Builders Warehouse, Makro, Chamberlains, and Leroy Merlin, independent hardware groups like, Mica, Essential, Powerbuild and EST stores, industrial customers and wholesalers,” he explains.
Richard says the most notable difference Skynamo has introduced, is the speed at which they can complete their sales process. “In the past, sales reps would ask the customer if they could fax their orders through, or they’d wait until they were home in the evening, or back at their hotel before processing the order. This resulted in unnecessary delays in the customers receiving their stock.
"Six or so years ago, when L&G Tools was looking to streamline its ordering processes, someone pointed them towards Skynamo – then known as Honeybee – and the rest, as they say, is history. “Everything revolves around ‘just in time’, and ‘simpler, better, quicker.”
“Now the orders are instantaneous. It’s incredible. The reps can be anywhere, and they can capture that order. There might be no connectivity, but as soon as they come close to an area where there is connectivity, the order comes through.
He says they have integrated the Skynamo ordering system with their warehouse management system: “So it’s a seamless transaction,” he says. “As the orders come in, they go into our warehouse and become a picking slip, which saves a huge amount of clerical time. The whole pipeline has been improved.”
Richard says when they first implemented Skynamo it was quite a hard sell. “We had several training sessions to make sure that the team understood its benefits and that they were fully compliant. Today, when a sales rep switches his tablet on and it doesn’t work, we get a telephone call. They simply cannot operate without Skynamo: it has revolutionised our lives.”
Tracey Wright, the company’s sales supervisor, says it’s also helped with queries and ordering errors. “If the reps have queries, they can log it as a comment and we see it straight away on the form,” she says. “It’s also helped to reduce errors when orders are captured. There were always errors – pricing, codes, that sort of thing. Now they capture the order with the price. And that’s also eliminated a lot of credits and returns.”
Richard says it’s helpful from a managerial point of view to have visibility into reps’ call history. He says their sales team are very relaxed about the fact that managers can see where they are thanks to the app’s GPS mapping. “Initially, they had heard from others that it is a tracking device, but I think it depends how you sell the product to the sales rep” says Richard. “Once they saw how they could benefit, they forgot about the tracking.
“I think Skynamo is a tool all professional salespeople should use.”