Banyarns have always been a great friend of ours here at the UKQU website and were one of the first companies to offer their support to our regular competitions with prizes and rewards, so when we started to see mention of problems happening, missed orders and more, we decided to investigate on behalf of everyone. At first, we were unable to get in touch direct but the exhibition season was drawing to an end, and having been to the warehouse we knew at that whilst the exhibition team would be away for a fair time, that the orders would still be being expedited – so what was going on. Then this appeared:
On 1st November we had an issue with a major system upgrade that massively impacted our despatch times through our busiest period and overwhelmed our customer support team.
The company has never had such a challenging set of circumstances to deal with. It has been an awful situation that has affected us badly, but the system is now running smoothly and we are working through individual issues.
Clearly, something had gone wrong, but mitigating the impact is one of the first things any good company should do when something like this happens; rather than try and hide things under the carpet Callum and the rest of the team took a brave step and let everyone know right away what they were up against. But more than that, we started to hear stories of personal phone calls from the company explaining the situation to their customers .. that’s great customer service!
We spoke to them to ask what was going on, and Callum explained it was a small IT failure [anyone in IT will recognise what chaos that can bring] leaving them needing to push their orders through manually for a very short while, but that it was all sorted and back on track well in time to get the Christmas orders fulfilled. So, just what does their new system look like and how does it work we asked.
Callum explained that in 2017, Barnyarns commissioned the work of a brand new computer software, aimed to enhance the customer service experience and improve efficiency across the whole network. It took them 14 months of hard work to integrate the new software with the outdated predecessor – and after a few teething issues in the transition period [which caused the hiccup mentioned already], is now proving an overwhelming success. Whilst being able to take a full control on stock levels, this tracks low stock quantities and avoids part/None Fulfilled order situations far more effectively than ever before. Which is great for the customer!
With this new system, they have ‘refreshed’ the outdated appearance of their website, that has been operative for nearly 25 years! It was time for a change, not only improving the visual look, but working hard to improve the customer journey. They achieved this by introducing a bespoke Search Tool, allowing for a simpler search with more targeted results, making it easier for their customers to find what they were looking for. This, along with enhanced product pages and menus, has allowed for a seamless shopping experience.
Approaching 2019, they tell us they have all sorts of exciting things in the pipeline – Video Tutorials and Blogs being the most sought after! We at UKQU.co.uk will partner with them to help create an immersive quilting and embroidery experience for everyone involved, linking the tutorials, reviews and experiences across both platforms. Our own Bloggerati will be working to develop honest and innovative ways of testing products — exciting times for everyone involved.
Here’s a sneak peak at how the Barnyarns order process works:
Orders are placed on their Sales Platform and automatically pulled down straight onto the centralised Order processing Platform.
All orders are allocated according to the available stock status and shine green as soon as they are ready to be sent to a hand scanner to pick.
Any orders that are awaiting a supplier delivery will shine amber, and be held until the relevant goods come in – in turn then changing colour accordingly. Similarly, if a product is temporarily out of stock or has discontinued by the supplier – it will shine Red! A traffic light system that works.
The orders are allocated via the allocation manager – who filters the orders requiring picking based on customers shipping preferences. Once a picker receives their ‘Pick List’, they are instructed on the most time effective route to take through our warehouse, and follow this route whilst scanning the required products into the Tote via the Handheld Barcode device. This tote tends to be an amalgamated pick with a number of orders in – once more to improve efficiency and increase picks numbers.
Once a pick has been completed on the device, it is sent to the Packing station – where a packer will scan a product onto his desk. The display will advise him whether that order has then been fulfilled, or if more products are required from that tote. This process allows for a higher level of traceability and minimises any picking/packing errors.
Once all items have been fulfilled on the packers desk, he is then given the ‘Go’ ahead to pack the goods and send them via the appropriate courier and en route to you, the customer.
Phew, that’s all there is to it.
Did you know you can visit the warehouse in North Yorkshire to pick up your own supplies too?
You can visit the new Barnyarns website here