Sequel School & Office Supplies is one of those beautiful mom-and-dad businesses that have managed to survive for half a century. Established in the 1970’s and passed on to the next generation, Anna and her brother Dan have not only kept Sequel School & Office Supplies alive but have transformed it into a thriving business through technology.
Today, Sequel School & Office Supplies have a growing ecommerce arm of the business that distributes stationary supplies and books to schools and offices. With Neto, they have been able to focus on growth and have plans of opening up retail stores and pop-up satellite warehouses.
"Before Neto, we didn’t have time to focus on growth. We now have the time to focus on strategic thinking and feel like we have no limitations. If COVID-19 had happened on our old system, we would not have made it through due to costs and the inability to work from home.”
The Challenge: Inability to Focus on Growth and Compete in a Cloud-Based World Using Legacy IT
As Anna and Dan became more involved with the day-to-day operations of the business, they started to realise it was being held back by the old technology they were relying on.
While the AS400 platform they were using was a solid platform in its time, it struggled to innovate and adapt; effectively reducing the ability to compete in a cloud-based world.
Inefficiencies in Inventory Management and Order Fulfilment
Anna and Dan were spending a lot of their time on manual inventory management and fulfilment. On peak months, they had to hire additional labour and warehouses and spend up to two weeks sorting packaging and arranging shipping.
“Pallets on pallets on pallets of inventory to sort through. We used to hire additional warehouses and labour to finish packing for a school. This process took two weeks to sort, label and arrange shipping".
It’s safe to say the old IT system was slow, inefficient and “horrendously expensive to maintain.” Any changes to the system had to go back through the original supplier which meant delays on all fronts.
Aside from that, it was difficult to build customised reports and the owners couldn’t rely on the data from the system and use it to make purchasing decisions.
Transforming the way Sequel School & Office Supplies Managed Inventory Management & Order Fulfilment with Neto
“Now, our entire process has been streamlined and reduced the workload from 2 weeks to one day; order is packed, shipping label stuck on, wheeled to front and then shipped.”
Aside from the remarkable reduction in Sequel School & Office Supplies order processing times, they now have total clarity on their inventory management and tracking systems, which has given them confidence that they are able to deliver.
This has allowed them to be fully transparent with their customers and show them what they are capable of supplying. With Neto, they now “feel confident to take on larger competitors” and find they are often “winning business from them.”
Growing the Business through Online Exposure Facilitated by Neto
“Neto has given us massive online exposure despite our limited marketing.”
Prior to Neto, Sequel School & Office Supplies had a negligible online presence as they weren’t doing anything to actively market their business. Although they still aren’t heavily marketing their business, they’ve seen a massive increase in their online presence.
In one word; SEO. When businesses move to Neto, they often benefit from the fact that their data will be structured in a way that is optimised for SEO, driving traffic to their site through one of the greatest channels; search.
Neto as a Partner
“The team at Neto were extremely flexible in working with us and offered several solutions and alternatives. They were always open to hearing our needs and adaptable.”
Changing the entire backbone of a business' system can be a huge, time-sucking operational headache. But it doesn’t have to be.
Neto helps onboard merchants seamlessly and ensures businesses making the switch don’t lose a day of sales.
“The switch to Neto was much more seamless than expected. We were impressed by the speed in which the switch occurred.”
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Neto saved us from COVID-19, without Neto we do not believe we would still have our 40 year old family business