When you think of Canterbury/South Island businesses, there are a couple that have not only been around for many years but to some degree are part of the fabric in the region.
One of those is McKenzie and Willis, an enduring business with locations scattered right throughout the South Island.
The brand McKenzie and Willis stands for quality and service. And it’s that aim for the ultimate in service that lead them to approach Digital Fusion, to see if some clever technology could offer them a better service to their clients.
The problem for McKenzie and Willis centred around the very manual and slow process that their consultants needed to go through to measure, quote, and make curtains and blinds.
The previous process exacerbates the need for paperwork meaning that for every day spent with customers, a day was needed writing it up, calculating costs and preparing quotes.
For this solution our key objectives were:
While the manual process was proven and effective the opportunity was there to improve the speed of turn around, and ensure accuracy and consistency, by using an electronic solution without getting in the way of consultants “personal touch.”
In terms of the scope for this project there were essentially two functional aspects: the mobile solution that consultants use on their iPads when onsite, and a central repository of products and pricing of quotes.
The final solutions for this project were a perfect combination of FileMaker Go for the iPads and FileMaker Pro for the central repository.
The FileMaker Go solution is a real achievement, the level of data that needs to be captured while visiting a client is quite amazing.
From client details, window measurements, fabric type, hardware, installation, it all soon adds up into making the workflow of the solution incredibility vital. The end result takes a consultant through a 'sales call process’ from the point of them walking through the front door to being able to supply a quote at the other end, it’s a seamless experience.
Over 100 pieces of data are typically collected and analyzed. The solution also contains data on over 15000 fabrics and components that go into the finished product.
One consideration we needed to take into account was the likelihood that the consultants could easily be out of 3G/4G range for most of the day. The solution needs to work entirely offline, with the ability to synchronise by sending email and data when back at the consultants home or the office.
The central database holds all their product details and pricing for approx 15000 fabrics (across 15 different brands), 1000 trims, 200 tracks and rods, 15 linings, 3 interlinings, 25 headings, 15 brackets, 20 tiebacks, 70 finials, roman, london and soft shade blinds and the Luxaflex range of blinds and components.
And finally the plan is to integrate the solution with the financial package Navision, streamlining the business processes that exist at McKenzie and Willis.
As you can see this has been a big project for both McKenzie and Willis and Digital Fusion, but the collaboration between the two companies has been excellent.
The final result is one that is tailor-made to the requirements for McKenzie and Willis, something that is not always possible with off the shelf software.