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Box & Seal

“We reached a point in our business development when we recognised that we couldn’t go on indefinitely using spreadsheets to quote and process orders. We needed to be able to speed up our internal processes which is what led us to OrderlineBOX.”

Established in 2000, Box and Seal is a relative newcomer to the packaging industry but they have gone from strength to strength in the South West of England where they supply a growing base of customers with corrugated packaging and packaging materials. From their original site in Kemble, Gloucestershire they moved to Royal Wootton Bassett near Swindon where they have successfully expanded so that from modest beginnings their annual turnover has now reached £3M.

Always looking to the future, within the last year they have been able to establish a second site in Avonmouth from which they can provide a quick and efficient service to their steadily increasing customer base in the Bristol area. Their recent purchase of OrderlineBOX was the next step to ensure they were prepared for their continued expansion.

Director Raimon Hartley describes how the company has expanded, “Within a 12 year period we’ve gone from nothing to having everything we need in the way of machinery. At the beginning, we were only running 2 to 3 jobs a day. We started with just the essential machinery and then built the business up gradually financing it as we went. Now we supply everything in the way of packaging to a wide variety of customers from the food, manufacturing, distribution and shopfitting industries.

Typical of many sheet plants in the UK, the Box and Seal business has a very local client base as high fuel costs impact on price and the ability to keep delivery lead times as short as possible. Raimon explains “With an estimated 400 sheet plants in the UK, all competing fiercely on price and service, we tend to keep our business local. Most of our customers are located within a 70 mile radius of our factory. That way we can respond to them and service them quickly. “

An expanding customer base with differing needs

Box and Seal are clear on the importance of having a diverse customer base and offering a total packaging service including all the peripheral packaging materials which their clients want. Raimon explains, “ We offer the complete service and supply everything to everybody. That way we haven’t got all our eggs in one basket. In fact I would say that we haven’t got any customers that are more than 6 or 7% of our turnover. “

Their diverse client base and extended product range certainly has its advantages in spreading any risk but Raimon admits that having large numbers of customers with differing requirements does present its own challenges. “It means that we are dealing with a lot of small orders every day and often up to 30 enquiries a day, not to mention revisiting existing quotes to revise customer requirements. We realised we needed to look at replacing our spreadsheet systems.”

The problem with spreadsheets

Raimon explains some of the problems they were facing which led them to purchase OrderlineBOX. “We were using various spreadsheets to produce quotes and send out to customers. We used Excel to order materials and create purchase orders, we had customer specs on spreadsheets and were doing a lot of double entry of data. On a fairly frequent basis sales orders were going out at the wrong prices, for example when a customer had been quoted a price for particular quantity and then ended up ordering a different quantity. We were losing money because of the errors and we wanted to speed up the whole quote to manufacturing process.”

The challenge of progressing the business to the next stage

Raimon explains, “We reached a point in our business development when we recognised that we couldn’t go on indefinitely using spreadsheets to quote and process orders. We’d been expanding all the time and getting slightly bigger, it was the next step in progression for us and we wanted to increase efficiency. We needed to be able speed up our internal processes in order to maintain and improve on our customer service and that is what led us to look at OrderlineBOX.”

A speedy response wins the order

Raimon is very clear on what his customers expect, and that’s a quick response, a competitive price and a quick delivery. He says “When customers phone, they don’t want to wait a day for a quote, they want somebody to get back quickly. We typically respond within 30 minutes to an hour with a price to the customer. We find that wins us a lot more work. We find that if we can turn a quote around quickly and get a price on the customer’s desk before anyone else, we can generally get an order placed and delivered before they’ve even got a price back from other suppliers. Even when they do get a price back from other plants, often they come back and put the business with us because they like the fact that we can turn things around really quickly. ”

The search for a solution at an affordable price

When asked what Box and Seal were looking to achieve when they started searching for a software solution, Raimon explains, “We were looking for something that integrated the whole process from quote through to invoice. We were very keen that it interfaced with Sage for accounts purposes. We didn’t want to have to change our accounts package. We’re happy with what we’ve got and didn’t want the additional expense. We did look at other systems but found that they came with their own accounts packages and were far too expensive. We couldn’t warrant spending that amount of money. Now that we’re using OrderlineBOX, I really don’t see what the other system does that OrderlineBOX doesn’t do. It meets all our needs at a fraction of the cost.”

Speed and transparency

OrderlineBOX is designed to streamline and speed up the quote to delivery process, but delivers many additional benefits. Raimon explains how OrderlineBOX has helped their business so far. “OrderlineBOX has made it much easier to get prices out to customers. It gives the company much more transparency. I can personally monitor prices and keep a check on how much we are quoting and get a clearer picture of whether we are charging people enough or too much money. I can dip in and out and see what everybody is doing at any time. “

Improved communication and the removal of duplication of effort are typical benefits described by OrderlineBOX clients. Raimon says, “Nowadays when we put an order on the system, the spec and the quote is already there. Before I had to make a load of notes and spend time internally to make sure everybody knows exactly what is required. Now I can quote a job, leave it and know that if I’m away from the office somebody else will instantly be able to pick it up and process the order and get it delivered.” As well as saving time and speeding up communication, there have been other welcome improvements due to the new software. Raimon adds, “Human error did mean there were occasions when we produced incorrect jobs. Now those jobs that are incorrect happen much less often now.”

Staying ahead of the game

When asked what challenges Box and Seal are facing as a business and how OrderlineBOX has helped them, Raimon says, “Keeping our overheads down with every increasing fuel and energy costs, keeping our own operating costs down and charging enough for our product while fighting to remain competitive. Our customers tell us how we are doing and we benchmark ourselves against industry prices and tweak our margins to suit.” Here again Raimon comments on how OrderlineBOX has been valuable in this benchmarking process. “OrderlineBOX allows us to quickly report on margins by customer, by sales person, by all sorts of things and thanks to a number of customisations that Onesys have developed for us we can quickly tweak margins to respond to changes in business needs.”

A change for the better

Raimon explains how the system has affected their internal processes, “Before the system, the sales team had bits of paper all over their desk everywhere, and were working late at night to catch up. OrderlineBOX has freed up their time so that now they can look at other things which impact on profitability such as improving purchasing, so I think OrderlineBOX has had a real impact on increasing efficiency for us as a business.” He adds, “We’ve now got 8 or 9 people across the business using OrderlineBOX. Previously they would have been manually entering information for quotes, then processing that information again for orders, booking in stock and then raising invoices. There was a lot of duplication of effort. “

Describing some of the key benefits they have experienced, Raimon says “I would say the big changes are the speed at which we are able to get quotes out to customers, then having all the info on the quote that the customer’s needs, and the transparency all the way through the order to invoice process. Nowadays, as soon as the order is despatched we can immediately raise an invoice because all the data is already in the system, so we can get invoices out quicker. It’s also much easier to get large quotes out to customers especially where customers want a price for different quantities and die cuts. Whereas before we shied away from big tenders because you knew it was going to be a big exercise to get the quote done, now we can turn complex quotes around much quicker so we find we are more successful in winning that sort of business.”

The transition to a new system

As in many established businesses, nobody likes change, but when listening to the Box and Seal experience it’s clear that the transition to OrderlineBOX and adoption of the system internally was quick after initial modifications were in place. Raimon explains, “We decided on OrderlineBox because of the link with Sage and because of the flexibility of Onesys. The willingness of Onesys to customise the software meant that we could tailor the system to meet our needs exactly. The installation went smoothly even though a few tweaks were needed before go-live to make it work for our business. After that, we wanted to get stuck in and use the system. Within a month we were flying with it.”

If internal acceptance of a new software system is a measure of success, then OrderlineBOX has certainly proved a winner at Box and Seal. Raimon sums up how OrderlineBOX has been received, “Initially the team was like most people somewhat averse to change but that soon disappeared after the initial tweaks because they found the system so easy to use. The training for the team has been gradual and the support we get from Onesys is great. As and when we need anything, we just contact them and they dial in and are able to fix it quickly. We can raise specs extremely quickly; it streamlines the whole process from quote to invoice and makes everything easier. Everything is really transparent."

"Now it’s in, we wonder how we ever managed without it.”

Quick links

Onesys Limited
Systems House, Main Street,
Little Ouseburn, York
YO26 9TD, United Kingdom

Tel: 00 44 1423 330335
Fax: 00 44 1423 339517


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OrderlineBOX is a software solution designed for corrugated box manufacturers. It speeds up and streamlines business processes which leads to increased efficiency. It has proven benefits and helps corrugated box manufacturers win more business.This flexible software is professionally designed and affordable for both small and large sheet plants who manufacture corrugated boxes as well as integrated plants who want an ERP software solution designed for the corrugated box industry.

Company Registration Number in England: 2736089.
Registered Office: Systems House, Main Street, Little Ouseburn, York, YO26 9TD.

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