Stock Taking Goes Remote
After over a century of trading, James Coles and Sons (Nurseries) Ltd. is now the largest grower of trees and shrubs for the amenity market in the UK. Spanning multiple sites across the East Midlands and potting around two million plants a year, stock takes were becoming a very lengthy process.
Stocktaking was conducted on all sites using a printed stock-list, clipboard and pencil, before then returning to the office and updating the computer database line by line, effectively duplicating the workload.
After several years of research into alternate, more efficient stock taking methods, and having already spent eight successful years using the Wintree database, Coles Nurseries were keen to work with TSD to develop software that would enable stock takes to be completed remotely. Over the past two years Coles and TSD have worked closely together, building remote stock software that has helped to reduce the time taken to complete a stock take by 50%. Using handheld tablets that can be taken to each nursery site, data can be entered remotely, before being uploaded back onto the main database at head office.
Now, some ten months after first going live with the tablet and remote software, the benefits and improvements in efficiency of stock takes and order processing are evident – although there is still progress to be made in refining the system. In time Coles hope to have a tablet for each of their main production sites, and the possibility of stock data being transferred wirelessly, via email from site to head office, is currently being explored.