Case Study: AL & CD Ashley

AL & CD Ashley is a major importer and distributor of high quality homeware and kitchenware products, including Bodum, Brabantia, Scanpan and many more.

The Challenge

AL & CD Ashley needed to streamline their workflow, automate their customer and inventory data and make their order fulfillment more efficient. Because they have such a broad customer base, updating inventory with individual customers was time-consuming and open to errors. Order fulfillment was also open to human errors. They needed to integrate their existing ERP (Sage Pastel Partner) into a new e-commerce presence (Shopify).

The Goals

  • Streamline workflow and sync data
  • Custom build a consumer-facing website
  • Create a B2B ordering platform
  • Automate sales channel updates
  • Simplify order fulfillment

The Solutions

Stock2Shop worked with AL & CD Ashley to create the most efficient solutions to their workflow and inventory challenges. After figuring out exactly how the business currently works, we proposed the following solutions:

Streamline workflow and sync data

  • AL & CD Ashley’s broad customer base includes traditional homeware groups, supermarket groups, department stores, hotels, catering supply businesses, hardware stores, independent home and appliance stores, and direct online customers. With all these different kinds of customers, the staff found it time-consuming and difficult to update their retailers with availability and pricing, at any given time. The answer? Automation. Stock2Shop integrated with Sage Pastel Partner so that AL & CD Ashley can now manage their inventory from one central place (their existing ERP).
  • Instead of manually responding to customer requests about price lists and stock updates, Stock2Shop syncs the data automatically. When price or availability changes for any customers, it is updated near real time. No room for human error, no time-consuming delays.
  • Another problem was making sure the warehouse and inventory systems could speak to each other. Stock2Shop automated order fulfillment with Aramex to speed up order processing and shipping, and eliminate potential human error.

Custom build a consumer-facing website

  • AL & CD Ashley wanted a consumer-facing (B2C) website with up-to-date information on the brands and products they sell. The website serves as a catalogue for customers, to showcase their products, but does not sell directly to customers.
  • They also wanted to incorporate a wholesale B2B ordering platform into this website, with a simple registration process for retailers and business customers to sign up with AL & CD Ashley.
  • Stock2Shop custom-built them a fully integrated Shopify e-commerce website, tailored to their specific needs (with the ordering functionality removed). Sage Pastel Partner (AL & CD Ashley’s ERP) is integrated into Shopify, various Magento sales channels and marketplaces, such as Yuppiechef.
  • This integration saves staff several hours a week by automating repetitive manual tasks like updating inventory levels, product images and descriptions. Automatically updating inventory data also removes the possibility of human error.
  • The website is based on the Shopify e-commerce platform. Stock2Shop integrated with Shopify: we automatically sync data from the AL & CD Ashley Sage Pastel Partner system and tell Shopify what products to display, based on availability. We also update all inventory data (product images and descriptions) automatically with Shopify.
  • The whole process was efficient and simple, with a quick turnaround time.

Create a B2B ordering platform

  • AL & CD Ashley needed a simple solution for B2B ordering: to save their staff time and increase accuracy by automating product, inventory and sales order creation.
  • The B2B ordering platform lets clients order directly from AL & CD Ashley’s website. Sales orders are then created automatically in their Sage Pastel Partner ERP.
  • Different client accounts can be created, based on the Sage Pastel Partner client accounts. This means that clients only see the products available to them – and their custom pricing.
  • Stock2Shop updates all the inventory data – product prices, stock levels, product descriptions and images – near real time.
  • No risk of human error, no chance of incorrect inventory data. It’s business as usual, just better.

Automate sales channel updates

  • Because AL & CD Ashley have so many customers, they sell through a number of different sales channels: each of which have different products and prices available to them. Stock2Shop automated the updates to these multiple sales channels.
  • AL & CD Ashley also sell through multiple marketplaces and through customer branded websites, like Brabantia. Stock2Shop integrated these websites with Magento to create a central hub, with AL & CD Ashley’s ERP system (Sage Pastel Partner) at the core.
  • Stock2Shop also built some of these Magento websites, such as Global Knives.
  • Orders are raised directly into Sage Pastel Partner, and then fulfilled.
  • Stock2Shop’s integration means that all of AL & CD Ashley’s customers have up-to-date stock information so that they never order a product that is out of stock.

Simplify order fulfillment

  • With so many customers and sales channels, efficient order fulfillment is an integral part of AL & CD Ashley’s improved workflow.
  • Stock2Shop developed a bespoke solution that integrates AL & CD Ashley’s Sage Pastel product with their warehousing and logistics partner, Aramex.
  • As soon as an order is placed, the order information is sent to their ERP, Sage Pastel Partner. An order is then created, and invoices are sent to customers.
  • Automatic outbound fulfillment notifications are then sent to Aramex to ensure orders are quickly and correctly dispatched. This is done via the Aramex EDI gateway for fulfillment.
  • This is particularly important on large orders where data capture issues are more of a risk. It’s a huge time saver for staff, as it eliminates the need to manually capture each order twice. Now there’s no manual capture at all – and no room for human error.

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