Chris Dear, MD of Absolute Alignment shares his experience of rolling out Flowlens CRM, Stock Management and Service tools integrated with Xero during lockdown, and the business benefits this has created. (Scroll down for video).
Absolute Alignment sells and services equipment to the motoring industry across the UK, employing 10 people across sales, service and admin. Prior to Flowlens, sales, inventory management and service processes were handled with a variety of emails, manual forms, spreadsheets and Xero cloud accounting.
This created several problems:
- constant phone calls across the team to check on stock levels, tasks status, customer account status etc
- ineffective stock management, having too much or too little of items
- constant focus on the day to day meant no time for ‘big picture’ planning
Chris contacted Flowlens having received a recommendation from a competitor at the start of the UK lock down period. Following a demo to check for requirements fit, Chris spent two weeks trialling Flowlens…
“I actually set up the system myself which was nice an intuitive to get it all working. It allowed me to actually understand what the system could do, and working with the team at Flowlens of how best to use their software, in order to make the system work for us.”
As Chris’ team came back to work after lockdown, he was able to introduce the new Flowlens system to each person, helping them see how it would simplify their role, and save them time.
Four months on, and Chris says the business is now transformed, operating remotely and paperless. Key benefits include
- remote working, with all sales, customer, stock and service job information, plus management reports accessible anywhere
- integration with Xero accounting software simplifies information flow
- effective control over stock holding across two warehouses, reducing unnecessary stock holding whilst planning inventory levels to satisfy demand faster
- team is self-sufficient because the stock, sales, customer and invoicing information they needs is accessible without interrupting others
- paperless servicing – customers can sign a tablet, engineers can send quotes one the go, and Flowlens tasks ensure that the next actions is captured
Chris continues “The main benefit for me, it allows me to trust the staff are doing their job properly, and just checking on the figures I need each day.
It has also allowed me to spend this time that has been freed up, to look at the next stage for the company, preparing for brexit, and it has just allowed me to work on the business, rather than in it.”
Chris’ advice for rolling out Flowlens – “Don’t try to roll it out in one go, take it in steps, but do understand the overall business process from start to finish, and what parts are important to your business.”