Chris Brierley, Director of Cotswold RAW (CR), signed up for Worcestershire County Council’s Elevate digital programme because of the potential £4,000 grant for digital solutions and to seek advice on how to optimise their e-commerce website. Instead, three months later, the company chose to invest in a stock management system that will transform the company’s pick, pack and dispatch system. Chris is grateful it didn’t work out as planned.
“I went in for the capital, but found the real value was in the consultancy,” explained Chris. “The level of advice and expertise we received would have cost far more than the grant and it was very helpful – and we received it at no cost.”
Cotswold RAW is an independent, family-run company producing high quality raw food for dogs and cats in their facilities in the pretty little village of Weston-Subedge in Gloucestershire. Even though the company has grown considerably, they still work with the same manual and paper-driven method of fulfilling orders that they have used since their inception in 2014. While Brierley knew the fulfilment system needed to be changed, it never became a priority.
Cotswold RAW was assigned to work with Winning Moves’ business adviser Chris Gough through Elevate. Chris has an extensive background in technology and programme management both in the private and public sectors, including 31 years with Hewlett Packard.
Digital Transformation Framework
Using Winning Moves’ Digital Transformation Framework, advisers can effectively and efficiently assess their clients’ current digital position and accelerate their goals of digital adoption. Developed in partnership with Aston University Business School and based on rigorous research, the framework underpins our Digital Maturity Assessment Tool, which benchmarks how effectively a business’ current practices are driving their performance, and our Digital Road Map, which helps clients reach their technology goals by taking them through four distinct phases: discover, define, develop and deliver.
Once the digital assessment was complete, it became clear that the weakest link in Cotswold RAW’s operations was not the ecommerce site as Brierly had first thought, but their warehouse management system. The Digital Road Map is designed to prioritise the areas where digital tech can have the greatest impact and narrow down options to those that are right for the business, both in terms of being the right solution and providing value for money. Together, the two Chrises determined that the integration of a new stock management system offered “the biggest bang for the buck” for RAW. Gough then focused on helping to find options to fit RAW’s needs.
“While it would have been very easy to select lots of systems to evaluate, I chose a subset to offer a limited choice of the best options and to focus on what exactly was needed,” explained Gough. “The main objective was to provide Chris with some alternatives and see what the art of the possible was.”
Tailored technology advice
Gough met with the RAW team and sat in on the demonstrations. Afterwards, he provided a view of the two leading suppliers, listing the pros and cons of each, focusing on the technology and the business impact through savings and ROI.
“Chris was fantastic at organising our time and effort; he was very efficient and direct – in a positive way,” Brierley said. “The whole process was streamlined, and he made sure I hit the targets.”
Cotswold RAW was entitled to 15 hours of 121 adviser support through Elevate, which they completed in 5 weeks.
“Chris was a great client,” said Gough. “Any IT implementation is more about process and operation rather than just technology; it’s about making the business more efficient and increasing the quality of the process.”
Cotswold Raw is now finalising plans for its new stock management system which they will install in the coming months.
“I am grateful for the opportunity. We would have gotten there eventually, but it would have taken much longer and much more of my time”, said Brierley. “It is so easy to get distracted by the day-to-day.”
Winning Moves provides digital consulting to businesses and the organisations that support them. Through local governments, we have supported thousands of businesses across the UK to grow through digital. Our provision, which includes 121 advice, instructional webinars, research and evaluation, and bespoke software solutions, has proven to make businesses more productive and profitable.