Turning custom apps into affordable reality
The Shed Shop are a well-established business delivering custom garden sheds all over the North Island. With recent expansions highlighting risks and inefficiencies in their paper-based system, they reached out to Teal Software for a digital solution.
While there were off-the-shelf cloud-based ordering systems available that could have done the job for The Shed Shop, they offered too much functionality – and a hefty monthly fee. There were also limits to refining the features to exactly fit requirements for shed customisation, manufacture and delivery. It became obvious a custom solution was the only way to best meet The Shed Shop’s needs AND budget.
In a previous life …
The Shed Shop managed all enquiries and orders manually through paper files and spreadsheets. Order and enquiry forms were completed by hand, scanned and saved to DropBox, while hard copies were stored at the Tauranga facility. The business owner didn’t live in Tauranga so a lot of communication was expended just keeping everyone up to date.
It wasn’t just about going paperless
There were other factors that could benefit from a digital solution. For instance, processes were effective, but the risks and impact of paperwork not updated correctly increased as the business grew. There was a reliance on staff to be diligent in keeping manual files up to date.
As each shed build is different, there can be a lot of communication back and forth between the business and customers before specifications are finalised. This meant there was a risk that some chargeable items could be missed off quotes and invoices as specs changed.
The Shed Shop delivers sheds all over the North Island, so planning deliveries to maximise use of both staff time and delivery vehicles was an essential consideration.
Sheds are manufactured a few days before delivery, so production planning is based around delivery schedule. Manually scheduling deliveries involved laying out the paper shed orders, arranging based on location and shed/installation characteristics and jumping in and out of Google Maps to check addresses.
A considerable amount of information was (and still is) Excel spreadsheet based, meaning the launch into a new system would need to be a staggered change rather than a swift all-in-one replacement.
Microsoft Power Platform solution – ShedHQ
Teal Software took all these considerations into account and used the Microsoft Power Platform to create ShedHQ – a centralised platform to manage all the ‘paperwork’ that comes with every order – client details, customisations, manufacture schedule and delivery.
With ShedHQ, The Shed Shop now has:
- real-time access to the order book from anywhere.
- quotes automatically generated based on shed configurations.
- a mapped view of shed delivery locations.
- detailed statistical reporting.
- an easily accessible history of contact with customers.
- more professionally presented correspondence.
- automated SMS reminders to customers regarding deliveries.
Where to from here?
While the initial implementation of ShedHQ has delivered amazing benefits, The Shed Shop are still on a journey towards digital transformation. The low-code app, using Microsoft’s pre-built components, is an ideal introduction to ensure team buy-in and uptake. It’s a deliberate step-by-step approach to build just what they need, get it up and running, then add on other features over time.
This method is also ideal for businesses to spread out development and upgrade costs to get full ROI without terrifying the finance team.
By asking for expert advice from Teal Software, The Shed Shop maximised the capabilities cloud technology offers small to medium businesses. They now have a custom solution that does just what they need – and only that – while having the ability to adapt and grow with the business.
Download or read the full case study to find out how The Shed Shop are also getting more value from their existing Microsoft 365 subscription.
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