Principality Consulting Limited

Case Study

Sector: Construction, Wholesale
Client Requirement: Business Systems Review, eCommerce website, IT System Selection and Procurement Consultancy, Profit Improvement

Ecommerce system innovation within the construction sector

Principality Consulting client Hughes Glass, Bangor, North Wales

Hughes Glass is a business to business supplier of glass to the construction trade as well as supplying both single and double glazing panels to the general public.

Client’s Brief

Hughes Glass had a small online presence which didn’t allow any sales activity to take place. The company wanted to move forward with a website that could be rolled out to builder’s merchants to order glass whilst the customer is at the trade counter – something that has not been possible to do online previously. This service performance improvement would give a competitive advantage to the builder’s merchants as they do not normally supply glass due to the health & safety implications of handling the material. The glass would then be delivered to the end customer by Hughes Glass.


Findings

The concept of the web site was at a very high level at the beginning of the project, and Principality Consulting had to work with the client to quantify the idea in a clear specification.
It was necessary to work with Hughes Glass to ensure that their stock control would be able to work with a structured system such as a web site’s stock control database.


Recommendations

A database driven web site that linked to the Sage financial system was recommended, enabling the company to easily manage orders coming from the web site, and to be able to then invoice the builder’s merchants directly from a familiar toolset.


Outcome

Principality Consulting were engaged to help design & implement the web site for Hughes Glass. There were a number of challenges along the way – some technical and some human. The company is a busy business so time is at a premium. It was necessary to ensure that any milestones were clear, and that the testing work at each one was clear & achievable.
The technical challenge was an issue shared with the sheet metal industry – that of how to manage off-cuts. Glass arrives in large sheets, and is rarely needed in such a large area. Principality Consulting was able to design a process where the offcuts were reused for other customers with the system being able to manage the different sizes of glass in the warehouse easily and quickly.
Principality Consulting was able to design the whole process using Lean based principles so that orders were captured and processed on the web site, with the resulting information being passed automatically to the Sage accounting package as a sales order. Sage would then ensure that the customer was properly billed.
The whole project was managed by Principality Consulting, ensuring that Hughes Glass took receipt of the system that they needed and had envisioned at the beginning of the project


Quantifiable Benefits

A web portal whereby builder’s merchants are able to procure glass for their customers.
A simple web interface to manage the site’s stock control & integration settings
Integration into the Hughes Glass Sage system enabling sales orders to be created with no user intervention.

A new system to manage glass was introduced into the company so that offcuts were reused as saleable glass.


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