Blinds retailer to save 1m with mobile deployment to salesforce

Blinds retailer Hillarys expects to make annual savings of more than 1m by equipping its 1,000-strong salesforce with smartphones.

Blinds retailer Hillarys expects to make annual savings of more than 1m by equipping its 1,000-strong salesforce with smartphones.

Hillarys, which sells directly to people in their own homes, can now transfer orders onto its back-office system in real time; a process that took four days before the introduction of smartphones.

The company has also reduced the number of customer queries on orders from 12% to zero for those using the smartphones according to IT director, David Lewis.

The smartphone deployment began earlier this year. Lewis said, "We expect to get to 80% penetration by September, and around 90% penetration overall."

Hillarys is deploying Vodafone VPX smartphones running a custom-built application, Fujitsu's Sales Adviser Mobilisation (SAM).

The firm's salespeople are all self-employed, so Hillarys had to convince them that the handsets would generate enough extra commission to justify their investment. The salespeople get cut-price line rental, voice calls and data from Vodafone, although they have to sign a two-year contract.

Lewis said, "The project sits within the top three priorities for the business for the year."

The introduction of mobile technology has allowed Hillarys to drive through manufacturing efficiencies, streamline its supply chain and reduce over-ordering.

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