Committed to continual improvement
Quickslide’s managing director Ben Weber explains how the fabricator’s latest investments have delivered enhanced lead generation, and have helped to improve levels of efficiency and customer service.
If you ever need an example of how dedication to constant improvement can transform the fortunes of an organisation, then look no further than British Cycling.
For nearly 100 years, British Cycling could be described as average at best but in 2003, Dave Brailsford arrived on the scene. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Five years later, the British Cycling team took 60% of the gold medals available at the Beijing Olympics, followed by nine Olympic records and seven world records in London. This was followed by the domination of Team Sky, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the Tour de France, a combination that delivered five victories in six years.
This was achieved by assessing in forensic detail every aspect of the team that could be improved, from equipment to the riders themselves, and striving for small improvements across a multitude of areas. And it is a strategy for success that applies not just to sport, but to business as well, especially where manufacturing is concerned.
Quickslide’s drive to succeed can be attributed not just to the quality of its products and the strength of its service, but also to an ongoing commitment of continual improvement.
In 2019, we initiated a two-year, £2 million investment programme that began with the introduction of a raft of new products, including the launch of our flagship Legacy VS, a window that set new standards of authenticity and quality for PVCU vertical sliders.
By the start of 2020, we had bolstered our infrastructure with double shift patterns throughout our factories and had detailed six figure sums on machinery, delivery vehicles and site improvements.
Our most important asset, our workforce, benefited from upgraded HR, training and development initiatives, including a mental health and wellbeing service that is available 24 hours, should they need it.
And now, as we approach the end of one of the most challenging years in living memory for the industry, Quickslide has rolled out the latest phase of its investment, with new digital tools to help generate an increase in homeowner leads for our trade customers, and a business management system that has allowed for much greater efficiency in the processing, manufacture, transport and delivery of products.
We’ve always had a system in place to pass on sales leads to our customers, but we wanted to be able to do this more effectively. Our latest online leadgen facility now gives homeowners a much more convenient platform with which to purchase our products, and through a simple postcode search they are also now directed to their nearest installer, who in turn is notified of their interest.
This is backed up with continued investment in SEO and a marketing portal that gives installers access to samples, brochures, pull-up banners, posters and drop cards, all of which can be personalised with individual company branding.
This is already producing substantial new sales leads for our trade partners, and our new business management system, which is powered by EvoNET software from Business Micros, has helped to transform the way those orders are processed and delivered.
Thanks to bar code scanning, each and every order that we receive is now tracked. We now know exactly where it is, whether it’s on the factory floor, if it has been loaded on to the lorry or it’s whereabouts on the delivery route. It gives us more visibility, and introduces another level of quality control, but it also improves our service levels because our customers can also access the status of their order online.
This – combined with automated email and text message alerts to let them know when an order will arrive – gives them increased confidence to manage their own workloads more effectively.
EvoNET automatically generates orders into delivery runs, and can even integrate with our drivers’ sat nav systems to work out the best delivery route for them, arranging drops into the most efficient order.
The bar code scanning will also alert drivers if anything has been missed off the load before leaving the factory, or left on the truck between stops, which enables us to avoid costly errors, not just improving our customer service but helping our installer partners to win more business as well.
EvoNET can automatically send and archive digital invoices, sales orders and delivery notes, which means we are freeing up time and resources in office admin.
Furthermore, we are doing our bit for the planet by significantly reducing the amount of paper and ink we use.
The ethos at Quickslide is that there’s always more that can be done to improve. This is why we regularly review our processes with all senior management, from factory team leaders to customer care, to identify ways in which we can enhance our standards and the quality of our products.
It’s an on-going challenge, but one that we are absolutely committed to.