Layby Services Australia doubles shopping revenue, slashes manual processes with new enterprise systems

June 24, 2009 by SAP News 0

Australian start up selects SAP and Lodestone to boost customer service and drive commercial success

Sydney, AustraliaLayby Services Australia (Layby) has doubled its operating revenue and slashed manual processes by up to 95% with the roll-out of new enterprise software systems from SAP and partner Lodestone to support its catalogue/ web-based business.

The Australian start-up offers consumers a unique proposition designed to change the way Australians shop. Looking to boost customer service and commercial success, Layby selected Lodestone to implement a range of SAP Business All-in-One applications including Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions to support the growth of the business.

Layby owns and operates catalogue/online retail company Hamper King, which offers a wide range of gifts, groceries, toys and seasonal products. Customers save via direct debit towards the purchase via a catalogue, products that are then delivered directly to them in a hamper.

Layby has a direct business-to-consumer operating model which cuts out the middleman. Customers organise payment and delivery themselves. With a huge existing and potential customer base and a unique business model, Layby required a customised solution which would help their five staff members with the day-to-day running of the business, including managing and processing customer orders and payments at the close of each business day.

“For our business, the biggest limit to growth was technology,” said Toby Poulson, CFO, Layby. “Our new technology platform from SAP has given Layby a huge competitive advantage and we started to see the results after the first few weeks.”

Layby inherited outdated legacy systems which were inefficient, providing staff with only limited access to applications and company information. This hampered the company’s ability to respond to customer requests quickly and slowed overall business operations. Layby required a new software platform with automated processes to meet international guidelines on information storage and also to eliminate delays for customers.

“The functionality the SAP Software provided had to be largely automated and linked, so minimal manual intervention was required. Automation was in fact a key requirement for the project,” added Poulson.

To minimise disruption time during implementation, SAP and Lodestone set themselves a deadline of just 13 weeks to convert more than 40,000 customers, 120,000 prospects and leads, 2,000 materials and over 60,000 sales orders to the new SAP system.

“We were able to eliminate 90-95% of manual processes which can cause mistakes and delays for customers. This has resulted in a significant and direct return on investment,” said Poulson.

Lodestone was supported by SAP to customise and then implement SAP Business All-in-One software suite to meet Layby’s needs. Working within a very tight timeframe, the new SAP CRM and ERP functionality was implemented within 13 weeks, followed by a new web-based Business Intelligence (BI) solution in 10 weeks.

“Achieving this timeframe was remarkable and we enjoyed a very smooth transition,” said Poulson. “I have 12 years experience in using and implementing SAP and have never known a project to be so short and so smooth.”

Layby’s new CRM solution allows 40 call centre representatives to quickly and easily access and manage customers’ order and payment plans. It also has an automated payment interface, directly linking Layby to its bank, which allows for direct debit, credit card, and manual cheque payments, refunds and dishonours to be calculated, scheduled and cleared daily without manual work.

“The solution provides our customers with the ability to change their own payment schedule and offer them any time layby plans, giving customers the flexibility to choose their own end date,” said Poulson.

Layby’s new BI solution has simplified reporting for sales and forecasting and customer segmentation and has allowed Layby to further integrate its internal operations with outsourcers and optimise overall efficiency. The solution is used by the board of Directors and management to access daily web-based financial scorecards of every customer transaction, analysing who buys what, when, how often, and how much they spend. It provides transparency across the business and the ability to react quickly to any anomalies.

“This new BI solution and reporting system has provided Layby with a key competitive advantage. Ultimately, we are keeping our finger on the pulse and achieving the best return on our marketing investment. With this, we know how to develop future campaigns and scorecards,” said Poulson.

About Layby Services Australia

Layby Services Australia provides consumers with the facility to save a little each week for Christmas or special items such as hampers. It gives customers the broadest range of choice on the market and an easy shopping experience. Customers are able to order online and have their order delivered to their door.

About Lodestone

Lodestone is a global management consultancy, committed to designing and delivering solutions that enable international companies to thrive in today’s complex business environment. We help our clients to define the measurable business benefits that we will achieve together, using our teams of client-focused consultants, who combine a passion for excellence with strong process and SAP skills and deep experience of transformational change in their industry.

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