5 minute read • published in partnership with Flow56
Case Study: “Oxygen for our business” – How Flow56’s Order Management System breathed new life into Fitted Mirrors and Glass
Off the back of impressive growth, Fitted Mirrors and Glass faced the challenge of managing increased demand while enhancing the customer experience. Enter Flow56’s bespoke Order Management System, a transformative solution that streamlined business operations and laid the foundation for future growth.
In the fast-moving world of consumer goods, companies often reach a point where manual processes become a bottleneck to growth. Fitted Mirrors and Glass, a London-based company specialising in made-to-order flat glass, mirrors and custom glass products, faced precisely this challenge.
Initially focused on large commercial projects, Fitted Mirrors and Glass recently shifted its focus to a more consumer-centric approach. This pivot resulted in a substantial increase in order volume, presenting a unique set of challenges.
Each product in its extensive portfolio offers customers up to 40 different purchasing options, creating millions of possible variations. This high level of customisation adds a layer of complexity to manufacturing and delivery that became unsustainable as order volumes skyrocketed.
The company needed to find a way to scale operations efficiently while maintaining control, visibility and its industry-leading customer service. The decision to adopt a new order management system (OMS) wasn’t just a technology upgrade, it was a strategic move to meet the demands of a rapidly growing company.
Drowning in paperwork
The company’s previous order tracking system relied on a colour-coded spreadsheet, where the unique specifications for each order were logged manually. As orders to the website increased, updating the spreadsheet became a time-consuming task, and with so many potential combinations, the risk of data entry errors loomed large.
“As your business grows, managing individual orders becomes increasingly challenging. The demands escalate, and it becomes clear that relying solely on manual oversight is no longer feasible. Automation and efficiency become critical to your survival,” explains James Blake, Co-Owner of Fitted Mirrors and Glass.
Recognising the need for change, James explored the limited range of off-the-shelf order management systems designed for glass companies. Being unsatisfied with the outdated, inflexible and costly options available prompted him to find a solution that offered insights and capabilities beyond what traditional systems could provide.
His journey led him to a bespoke OMS built and delivered by Flow56; a solution that proved not only more cost-effective but also highly flexible. The ability to customise features and expand capabilities set Flow56’s solution apart, providing a platform that could adapt and grow with James’ evolving needs.
“The possibilities with Flow56’s powerful solution are almost limitless,” says James. “This isn’t just about future-proofing our business; this is redefining what an order management system can achieve.”
The ‘Holy Grail’ of business
The development and integration by Flow56’s team of experts took less than six months, during which the system was fine-tuned to align with Fitted Mirrors and Glass’s specific requirements. Real-time data, KPI reporting and automated record-keeping have now replaced hours of tedious, manual work.
Prior to the system, significant time was spent tracking down and updating information in order to respond to customer enquiries. Now, all the customer notes, queries, manufacturing progress and delivery information are accessible and available to the whole team at the click of a button.
Additionally, the company has introduced handheld scanning devices loaded with a custom-built app. Order paperwork is scanned and uploaded to the OMS where records are seamlessly updated. Innovations such as these are crucial for a company like Fitted Mirrors and Glass which prides itself on responsiveness and delivering exceptional customer service.
In short, the company has managed to achieve what all companies are striving for – a single version of the truth, providing real-time visibility and transparency to the entire team.
“We haven’t simply replaced manual processes with a more automated, streamlined system. We’ve been given a platform that can be used in any number of ways to improve overall business operations,” says James. “The system is so ingrained in our daily operations to the point where it’s irreplaceable. It’s like oxygen, it allows the business to breathe.”
A necessity, not a choice
Order management systems are playing an ever-more critical role in the success of companies, especially those selling directly to consumers. According to James, a clear divide is emerging between glass companies equipped with an OMS and those without, predicting that the latter may struggle to remain competitive.
“The crucial advantages order management systems provide, such as streamlined workflows, efficiency and automation, simplifying complexity, real-time data visibility and reporting capabilities, are essential in today’s world,” he notes. “Bespoke systems, such as those developed by Flow56, amplify the transformative impact of OMS through additional strategic benefits like flexibility, adaptability and continuous innovation.”
As Fitted Mirrors and Glass plans for future expansion, Flow56’s OMS is poised to play a central role in the company’s evolving long-term strategy. The development plan includes using the system for customer-facing communications, introducing another layer of functionality to further boost customer engagement and satisfaction.
Reflecting on the partnerships with Flow56, James concludes; “Flow56 isn’t just a service provider; they’ve become an integral part of our team. Their flexibility, quick issue resolution and pragmatic approach have significantly contributed to our operational efficiency.
“It’s been a straightforward and effective collaboration that has perfectly aligned with our business goals. I can honestly say that the order management system they’ve crafted has surpassed what we ever thought possible. It hasn’t just enabled our present success; it will act as our platform for growth for many years to come.”
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