BasketsGalore is currently in the process of upgrading its technology systems and we are trying to improve communications between the office and warehouse to further streamline all processes in time for Christmas 2014.
Because of this we have made a few high-tech purchases lately. The IT Team said they feel like it is Christmas again with all these new toys! We are not flash or big spenders by any means. In the past we have made do with old PC's and printers that constantly broke down (much to the annoyance of the IT boys who we constantly pestered to come and fix them!) However, we felt the time had come to invest in the IT infrastructure as this will allow us to become even more efficient.
We have written a bit before about the sales and ordering processes in BasketsGalore, but for those of you who aren't familiar with what goes on here is a quick overview:
We receive the majority of our orders online. Customers are able to select a basket or hamper for the recipient on the website and enter all their billing and delivery details during the secure checkout process. Their order then comes through to the Admin Team who print it out and add it to the list of dispatches for the warehouse to start assembling. The Admin Team have to check all details on the order are correct and produce the gift card and shipping label, while the warehouse are busy assembling the basket based on the packing list of contents.
Once the paperwork has been prepared it is sent out to the warehouse to be matched up with the correct gift basket. The gift basket is assembled, gift wrapped, decorated, boxed and matched with its paperwork. Once matched the package is forward to the correct area of the warehouse based on the courier it is being shipped with. The packages are scanned and collected by the relevant courier and then the paperwork comes back into the office. The Admin Team then inform each customer via email that their order has been shipped & provides them with a tracking code.
This system works well throughout the year, however at Christmas time the number of orders multiplies exponentially and so the paperwork and assembly cannot be produced on the day. We need to plan further ahead & so this is where the new technology comes in.
We have also found that at Christmas time a lot of our customers need to change things with their baskets, whether it’s the address, contact number or even if they have selected a wrong item for their basket. Logistically it is very difficult to locate exact orders in the warehouse at this extremely busy time of year as there are thousands being dispatched each day - morning and night. Our new system is going to designate each order an internal order status and warehouse location to make this easier.
The warehouse and office teams are going to be able to see orders in real time on the new plasma screens and the warehouse team members will use tablets to update each order. These tablets are loaded with the software used by the office to tie the two sections together and improve communications.
After many years of gradually improving our systems we are excited to be building our own unique system in-house and are hoping to begin trialling it over the summers months. Come October, when things start to heat up for Christmas, we will be dab hands!