Newcastle-based digital transformation specialist, Cypher IQ, has brought Hunter Valley lumberyard business, Sweetmans Timber into the digital age through automating their sales order processes.
Sweetmans has been operating since 1921 and supplies thousands of products and made-to-measure cut timber to a range of clients.
Up until now, it relied on the traditional pen and paper system to relay information across the business, which could sometimes pass through five different places - leaving it wide open for errors to creep in. At any one time, it can be running up to 200 orders through its hand-written system.
Cyber IQ was brought on board to help automate their sales order process, provide live sales and production management; increase its order fulfilment capabilities, and thereby improve sales invoicing and manage delivery processes.
Sweetmans Timber General Manager Luke Crump said until the introduction of its new fully scalable and customised order process, it had never done product coding within its mill.
“The new process has radically improved our ability to more easily search for and source products,” Crump said.
“With the digital system, everyone works with the same information, which minimises errors and improved efficiencies. Updates are now in real time, we’ve eliminated any lag involved in relaying information between different employees, as everyone is working off the same data.
“We can also clearly see the status of every order and keep tabs on where it’s at, and relay that to the customer.”
Not only that, but the link between mill and office has also been enhanced along with order process transparency and tracking. The company has also managed to reduce time spent on paperwork, improving its overall documentation processes.
“We just load everything into the system, along with all drawings, purchase orders or other relevant docs. That enables everything to be fully visible to everybody at any time. Nothing gets lost or misplaced, and there’s no longer any need for complicated filing systems or time-consuming admin,” he said.
Going forward, Crump is considering tighter integration with both customers and suppliers, and further automating more processes such as integrating customer communications into its workflows, and allow customers to digitally sign quotes.
“Our aim is to further improve customer interaction to give them even greater access to the system. Ultimately, they won’t even need to call us for updates, but will be given a link to directly access the status of their own order,” he said.
“We’re also doing a lot more with SMS connections. Business to Consumer SMS communications can provide updates on order process, delivery of order, as well as links to documents for signing and marketing opportunities. Plus, we are also looking at linking our quoting in with that system, so that customers can digitally sign and accept our quotes without needing to print or scan them first.”