AFORD AWARDS

Workhorse is the True Business Trophy for Aford Awards

Based in Maidstone, Kent, Aford Awards is one of the leading trophy retailers in the UK selling over 250,000 trophies per year.  Formerly a family company, Aford Awards’ buy-out and subsequent investment for growth over the past 4 years meant they needed a business software that would help them work more efficiently and save time, in order to gain greater growth.

Order and inventory management are key for a business that sells over multiple channels with each order having its own bespoke requirements. Approximately 10% of orders come via the website, 60% via email and the remainder via telephone or sales people on the road, or at exhibitions.  The key challenge for the business was the number of orders and avoiding errors.

“We were using Sage50,” said Rob Ferguson, Sales & Marketing Manager, “it’s a very detailed and complex system but it just wasn’t working for us.  There are too many ways you can make an error when logging sales.   Then, there was the shortfall button.  It wasn’t that it didn’t work, it’s just that with 30,000 orders on the system, 25,000 products and 3000 customers, Sage was very, very slow at analysing the stock levels to give you answer.  It wasted a lot of time.”

On discovering Workhorse, Rob initially thought the system would be too good to be true as Aford Awards is not a simple business, the results however, speak for themselves.

Aford Awards’ Workhorse Pro system comprises
order management, quoting, inventory & shortfall, dynamic purchase orders, reporting and all sales are funnelled through into Xero’s accounts payable for invoicing.

The speed of the system saves an average of 2 admin days per person/month

Immediate improvements were gained in the order management system; “when you enter an order on Workhorse, it walks you through the exact process you need to follow and flags up when something is wrong.  The potential for error has been vastly reduced and the speed of order processing increased,” explains Rob.  “Then there’s the stock shortfall calculation, with Workhorse it takes just half a second to run, where previously we were probably wasting an hour a day per person.”

Workhorse makes the whole process more efficient

Other benefits were felt too.  Overall the Workhorse system has proved to be much more user-friendly than its Sage50 counterpart.  Faster shortfall checks mean that Aford Awards can make sure stock levels are kept steady with dynamic, automated purchase ordering when stock levels fall below a set point.  By implementing Workhorse, the business has been able to improve manual processes as well.  The days of printing out orders and putting job slips in an in-tray in another room, will soon be gone. Customer orders are now automatically funnelled out via Workhorse, to the separate engraving teams as soon as they are entered.  Engraving teams can see clearly what needs to be done and when and all staff can see in real-time where a job is in the production line and when it is completed, giving far more transparency in the business.

“We’re really excited about how Workhorse has improved our business,” added Rob, “from designing it around what we needed, to the speed of implementation and support being there when we needed it, we couldn’t be happier.  I would definitely recommend Workhorse to other businesses.”