A worldwide distributor of office supplies and workplace products, which was founded over 90 years ago. In 2018 UK turnover figures were over £250 million. PFW Labels have supplied labels to this company for 25 years.
Aside from catalogue product lines, the company has a very large Specials Department. They are responsible for sourcing and pricing anything outside of the standard product range. There is a label category within that department.
The challenge came following years of healthy, steady growth in the label category. In 2018 it stalled despite a forecasted increase. It quickly became apparent that there was a great need for the Specials Department to work closer with PFW to find out what had gone wrong and turn this around.
The first & most important step PFW takes when working with customers is to allocate a dedicated Account Manager so they have one point of contact, to ensure the service they receive is consistent.
As a dedicated partner, PFW sat down with the head buyer of self-adhesive labels for the day to enable us to learn in more detail their;
- Company ethos
- Way of working
- Internal targets
- End to end procurement processes.
Once we had a better understanding of the above and we had explained the stages of our sales process, we were able to suggest ways that we could work smarter together.
The following changes were implemented as a result of our meeting:
- Shorter quote response time. Response times have a direct connection with the quote to order ratio.
- When Labels is just one of thousands of products a company is selling each day it’s difficult for the Specials team to ask the right questions. Staff education and tools were provided to ensure the correct item is quoted first time every time. Without this, time is wasted & a lot of frustration is caused for both the team & their customers.
- Changing our reference numbers to match the customers enquiry number. A small change that proved valuable.
- Website support as set out in more detail below…
New Website Project
The company were working on the launch of a specials web shop for customers to order non-catalogue items.
This in itself was a major challenge as analysis of the newly launched website showed that it didn’t have the correct information about the label products. It is important to ensure that the information displayed online is accurate & meaningful. Without this, customers were struggling to find the correct product and if they did they wouldn’t have been able to make an informed choice on its suitability. This, in turn, meant our customer was losing many potential online sales.
The team at PFW put together a website upload for all 600+ products to ensure that the descriptions & images were informative and relevant. We understand that customers can find the world of labels daunting as there are more options than would be expected. We ensured that all SKU’s had clear and easy to understand yet informative descriptions. An example of this is shown below:
As a result of the training and extra support, the specials team were much more knowledgeable, confident, and happy as they had the right tools and were saving time by working smarter with all their label enquiries.
Overall, it resulted in…
- An increase in their quote to order conversion
- Sales in five new label categories due to the website update
- A 23% Increase in sales of Label products for the Specials Department versus the previous year.