Environmental Street Furniture – Flowlens Case Study

Environmental Street Furniture – Flowlens Case Study


My name’s Alan Lowry, I’m Managing Director
of Environmental Street Furniture. We design and supply
street furniture products, including solar products
and themed products, and we currently export
to 22 countries around the world. All of our staff are employed to sell, so by having people
tied up in doing administration, it’s not really what we want to be about. Flowlens has allowed us
to reduce the amount of administration, both in terms of staff
and also in terms of the time the other staff have
to take to do administration. Thirty percent less time
is spent on administration now than it would have been
before we introduced the Flowlens system. ESF’s been trading now
for just over five-and-a-half years. The first couple of years we spent
concentrating on our home market. From year three we started developing
a very detailed export policy. What’s happened since then is
we’ve been able to coordinate all of the projects in Flowlens, and last year we increased
our sales by 36%, just through being able
to manage the process better. It’s also meant we’ve been able
to employ more staff to look after the sales side, but thankfully not needed
for administration because the Flowlens
looks after most of that for us. Before we introduced the Flowlens system, we had great difficulty
in following through quotations on projects that we would quote. Basically every individual team member
worked on their own, and that meant that there was
no way of sharing information easily to be able to follow up projects. We also have issues
with time zones, as well, where we work
in so many different time zones. We export as far away as Australia, as well as to the West Coast in America, so basically it’s a 20-hour day. What Flowlens allowed us to do
is to look at it remotely, from our iPads or from our iPhones, and be able to pull
that information up at any time so that we could respond
to the customers’ needs. I think before we introduced Flowlens, a lot of the decisions we made were very sort of stick your finger in the air
and hope for the best. Now what we’ve got is
we’ve got very detailed reporting with regards to the amount
of projects we’ve quoted, and it allows us to focus a lot more
on where our success can be. There’s no point in just being busy fools and running around
after a lot of stuff that’s quoted that’s never going to be ordered. I think when we introduced
the CRM system I was very skeptical. I’ve had a lot of experiences
in large and small companies in the past with very onerous CRM systems that require you to put in
a lot of information and don’t give you a lot back. The beauty about
the Flowlens system, for us, was that we were able
to categorize through projects, not just through customers, so it allowed us to search
if we had a number of different customers looking to quote the same project– we could actually search
by the project name rather than the customer. That made it a lot easier
for us to choose Flowlens over a lot of the other options
in the market. Everyone can access it, and even whenever we start new staff, it’s really simple for them
to jump right on board and be able to start following up projects
we’ve already quoted. Because we’re very much export-focused,
I travel extensively. I’m usually away two
to three weeks every month, traveling all over the world. And the beauty of the Flowlens system, it allows me to take it
in my pocket with me. So whether I have it on my iPhone
or whether I have it on my iPad, I can look in every day
to see the jobs that we’ve quoted, what we’ve been successful in, what we haven’t been successful in, and then interrogate that system
to find out exactly why. That gives us much more opportunity
for success in the future. Every day, each of our salespeople
will produce a report from Flowlens on what they’ve been doing that day. It allows us to direct
our efforts a lot better with regards to who we follow up,
and how quickly we follow things up. What Flowlens allows us to do
is to identify that by looking at patterns and trends
that come through various customers on various product lines, so it means that the sales staff
can be very much defined with regards to who they’re following up and the success rate
they’ll get from that. When we put the Flowlens system in, it was great to be able to work
with Rich and the rest of the team. It’s great to know that they’re
at the end of a phone line or at the end of an email. So we would thoroughly recommend
using Flowlens and working with the guys there. ♪ (music) ♪

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