“We’re a retailer of high-value niche products and that’s where we have to compete. Any point of customer contact with us has to be an easy, pleasurable experience. With Greentree, we have a system that enables us to do just that.”
Ed Sturgess is General Manager at Edwards & Godding, a supplier of top-quality cookers, including the renowned AGA brand, to customers in southern England.
It’s a family business with a 200-year history, which has revolutionised its customer service with the help of Greentree.Edwards & Godding was established as an ironmonger in the late 18th century. In the 1930s it became one of the first five authorised distributors of AGA cookers. Edwards & Godding has branched out and now supplies range cookers, refrigeration, kitchen appliances and accessories to both retail and trade customers.
“It’s a very competitive business,” says Ed. “The margins are forever getting squeezed because everybody wants to compete on price. I think we out-perform our bigger competitors because we’re family-owned and flexible. Our product knowledge and our open, honest approach are what set us apart.”
However, knowledge and honesty couldn’t deal with the problems Edwards & Godding was facing with its business systems.Sage was used for financial management, and a program developed by a one-man software business was handling basic customer services.
“We were essentially booking service appointments on paper,” Ed says. “The CRM program had no financial information and it was very difficult to manipulate data. We were filling folders with quotes, delivery notes, etc and stuffing them into all these filing cabinets – it was just a nightmare, particularly if you had to chase a query from six months before. Then if you exported data from CRM into Sage you couldn’t drill down into it. Everything took absolutely ages, and accuracy suffered also.”
Data analysis was seldom attempted because it was too difficult, so the company had little notion of which product lines were returning the best margins. Four people were working overtime in the sales department, just manually entering screens of product codes and prices.
Something had to change.Ed did a lot of web research on replacement systems that could deliver financials, CRM and reporting all in one package. Edwards & Godding was put off the likes of SAP, Sage and Microsoft Dynamics NAV because of the cost – and another factor: bolt-ons.
“Every solution we looked at had something that was bolted on, whether it was CRM or automation or something else. To get what we wanted would have cost thousands extra. In each case they said it was joined up, but it wasn’t really.”
Ed’s research finally led him to Greentree.
“At the demonstration it became clear that Greentree was different from the others. We got excited because we saw it could do everything we wanted. Then when we saw what we could do with the desktops, we were convinced. They’ve been a revelation.”Greentree has also brought the benefit of putting proper processes in place.
“Instead of everyone just fudging their own way around things, they’ve now got to do it correctly,” Ed says. “The beauty of that is, when you come to analyse your business, you’ve got the information there.”
As Ed already mentioned, Greentree’s Workflow live desktops have made a huge difference.
“They’re brilliant – I can see what anybody is doing throughout the business. The walls are coming down between the departments because everyone has that visibility.
“Getting the information we want is so easy and straightforward. I can now get very early indicators of what items are selling, so we can plan our showroom displays better. With Greentree we’ve got a firmer grasp on where we are and where we need to concentrate our efforts.”Service calls have been streamlined, with Greentree’s CRM system able to handle multiple appointments and quickly reschedule if the customer wants a change. Engineers’ job sheets are entered straight into the system and invoices are automatically generated, saving time and getting payments in more promptly. The status of jobs, including the availability of parts, can be checked with a click of a button – another customer frustration point eliminated.
Edwards & Godding regards its Greentree system as an investment that will keep on delivering, whatever the future holds.
“I haven’t yet come across anything that it can’t do,” Ed says, “and I can’t think of anywhere in the business where Greentree won’t play a part.
“With Greentree, if we want to do it, we know that it’s possible.”