The Hire Supply Company (HSC) is a leading distributor of commercial and industrial equipment to the UK tool hire industry. Founded in 2001, HSC sources and supplies world-class products covering portable heating, cooling and drying, lifting and handling, concrete preparation, including fire safety solutions. Based in Nottingham, with a depot in London, HSCoffer UK-wide coverage and is successfully competing with global brands. Focused on growth and delivering exceptional service to both new and existing customers, HSC has recently invested in its technology platform to further fuel its success.
Recognising the role of technology in supporting growth, HSC set out a plan to digitalise. As an established user of Sage 200 Professional, HSC turned to its long-term Sage partner, CPiO, to help modernise its operations. The company took the decision to move its Sage 200 solution to the CPiO Cloud to provide its users with a stable platform on which to build, improve user experience and offer greater levels of security. John McGhee, HSC’s Group Marketing Manager comments, “CPiO Cloud is one of the arteries of our business from which we have built out better communication, improved the day-to-day experience of our employees and customers, and which has given us the confidence to push on and adopt more technology.”
As part of their move to the CPiO Cloud, the HSC team adopted Office 365, benefiting from the collaboration and productivity enhancements of tools such as Teams and OneDrive.
In a drive to increase sales revenues without adding additional order processing or fulfilment costs, HSC embarked on integrating their existing Magento-based webstore with Sage 200 via CPiO’s Sage eCommerce solution, Intellisell. Using the Intellisell API, HSC was able to improve the flow of data to and from the website. “Intellisell really has opened our eyes to what can be achieved online. Whatever product information we hold in Sage can be automatically loaded up to our website giving our customers greater access to their custom pricing, stock availability and special offers in real time; it’s made a real difference to the customer experience on our site”.
Intellisell integration has eliminated much of the manual data handling that pervades most organisations, allowing staff to focus on supporting other sales channels. In just six months website revenue has gone from 8% to over 30% of our total.
To support these growth plans the company also invested in the extension of its Sage 200 system through a modern warehousing solution and courier integration.
Richard Nash, Intellisell Product Manager at CPiO comments, “Intellisell created a two way integration to connect HSC’s Magento ecommerce platform to its Sage 200 back office. HSC use Magento to connect to various channels and marketplaces. This automated the online order process through its ERP system and on to its warehouse. We also connected to the carriers and couriers and pass the tracking information back through to the customer. Our two way integration posts stock availability and pricing through to Magento and pulls all online orders into Sage; a full end-to-end automated solution.”
On reflection, HSC has learnt valuable lessons from this wide-reaching digital project. Highlighting the imperative of properly scoping and documenting requirements upfront and the need for strong project management from all sides, HSC and CPiO have strengthened their partnership for future projects.
“CPiO has worked collaboratively with us here at HSC and the wider Sage 200 complementary solution ecosystem. The relevant subject matter experts have spent the time discussing what we are trying to achieve, mapping technology to meet our needs and our future ambitions. Whilst there are inevitable bumps in the road in every project, we always felt CPiO was a safe pair of hands. We trusted them to get on with the job and they kept us informed throughout, responding quickly to our requests ”, comments John McGhee.
In looking to the future, the company now wants to derive real value from all the data it is collecting. “We want to innovate with the products we bring to market and the service we offer our customers. Using tools such as Power BI, our next project, will give our leadership team and our sales team powerful insights to drive decision-making."
HSC also plan to extend the scope of the Sage-Magento integration via Intellisell, to deliver a comprehensive self-service portal to their existing clients. “The Intellisell API has opened a world of opportunity for us. We will be engaging with CPiO to ensure that the wealth of data we are now sitting on is used to drive new customer offerings. HSC is now making data-driven plans.“