Bathroom manufacturer, Utopia Furniture Group has rolled out a new five-in-one cloud-based system that combines mobile apps - including electronic proofs of delivery (POD) and vehicle tracking - with a customer relationship management system (CRM).
Having already successfully implemented a real-time transport management system from BigChange, Utopia has now begun extending the system to improve back office and sales force automation.
Utopia Furniture Group manufactures bathroom suites, bathroom furniture and accessories, supplying an extensive network of more than 600 retailers across the UK and Ireland.
Managing director David Conn commented: “At Utopia, we found a niche in the market with fitted bathrooms and we have always strived to be the master of what we do. We have developed a unique build-to-order manufacture and logistics business, and that requires us to innovate and invest when it comes to technology. It’s that technology that ensures we retain a competitive advantage.”
Utopia has developed a bespoke enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to underpin the growing business but was in need of further automating logistics; particularly its transport operation. BigChange was initially introduced to provide electronic proof of delivery, replacing an existing system.
Mr Conn explained that a huge appeal of BigChange was the fact that it offered an end-to-end solution that would provide seamless integration of Utopia’s delivery services with its sales, manufacturing and business functions. “Previously we suffered from having disconnected silos of data and that was frustrating,” he said.
Utopia operates a 28-strong fleet, including drawer bar trailers and drop bodies, which make deliveries to retailers and trade customers across the UK from the company’s purpose-built manufacturing plant and head office in Wolverhampton.
Utopia drivers are now equipped with Zebra ultra-rugged enterprise touch computers that run the BigChange JobWatch app, which includes delivery and collection reporting, with line item fast scanning and electronic proof of delivery, timesheets, expenses and vehicle inspections.
Mr Conn added that, because the system can be easily customised, Utopia has been able to tailor it to meet what he describes as Utopia’s “fairly unique business process that involves literally thousands of different, often bespoke, items being loaded on each vehicle for delivery.”