Case Study: Benchmark Retail Services

benchmark company logoBespoke Software Creates Efficiencies at Benchmark Retail Services Ltd

Benchmark Retail Services Ltd are a leading service provider to suppliers and retailers predominantly in the DIY and homewares sector. They contacted LeadingEdge in 2015 requesting a bespoke software solution that would optimise their data capture administration and create efficiencies through cost and time savings.

The Challenge

One of Benchmark’s biggest clients is multisite retailer estate, Wilkinson. Every month Benchmark provides product availability audits for 370 stores, covering over 500 products. This results in huge data capture which is time consuming and costly to consolidate manually. What they needed was a reliable IT solution to provide a faster, more streamlined, and user friendly service that could deliver the high volume of product information to Wilkinson stores for a lower cost.

The Solution

LeadingEdge experts met with Benchmark retail Services management to explore ways of upgrading their current product availability system to an electronic version. This allowed us to plan the development of a software solution completely bespoke to Benchmark’s requirements – and that of their clients.

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Strategy & Audit

In a workshop-style scenario, LeadingEdge carried out a full assessment of Benchmark’s current processes – reviewing the company’s raw data (provided in Excel format) and the product availability information delivered to Wilkinson stores. By mapping this against Benchmark’s business aims, LeadingEdge was able to identify an opportunity for additional technology investment and improvement.

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Design & Software Development

LeadingEdge provided a comprehensive wireframe and brief for the Business Intelligent product, designed to deliver information in a dashboard format. This was delivered for approval by both the Benchmark team and their clients. Supported by a team of developers, two of our technical experts oversaw the build of the bespoke software solution in-house.

Consultancy

Benchmark were keen for LeadingEdge consultants to work with their ‘non-technical’ people throughout the design and development process. This approach allowed us to deliver a smooth user experience for Wilkinson and ensure continuity throughout.

Project Management

In a project of this nature, small changes may pop up throughout the development process, but it’s crucial that these do not impact the budget or deadline. To ensure the project was delivered on time and to the highest standard, a LeadingEdge project manager was in charge of managing the changes effectively and making any necessary adjustments. Adam Weldon-Ming was a key point of contact with Benchmark throughout the process.

Support

LeadingEdge provides ongoing IT support to Benchmark. This involves the continuous monitoring of the key elements of their bespoke software solution to ensure it runs smoothly and efficiently at all times.

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The Outcome

Mark Alexander Benchmark Retail Managing DirectorSince the database was launched, Benchmark and Wilkinson have seen impressive results in the efficiency of their product availability system. The final solution brought an end to all manual administration, which has lead to an 80% reduction in man hours. All the data is now delivered in analytics, and this has resulted in a saving of £18,000 per annum.

Benchmark are now considering offering the bespoke product to all of their clients. The online database and user interface gives them a new edge over competitors and is a great USP for the business.

Describing the IT support delivered by LeadingEdge, Mark Alexander explains:

From brief to delivery, their support never wavered, despite our client making frequent and not always logical twists to the brief, Leading Edge continually adjusted and worked with the team to deliver on time and in full the software package we use today.

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