Forgefix is a specialist distributor of fixings, fastenings and associated products. Formed in 1991, the business has grown over the last two and half decades to become a market leader in its field, supplying a customer base that includes NMBS members and the wider builder’s merchant sector.
Today, Forgefix operates from two large depots in the north of England and offers customers across the UK access to over 3,000 product lines backed by impressive stock holding and the highest levels of service.
Number of Employees: 47
Partnered with OGL since: 2000
Company Location: Whaley Bridge, Stockport
Company Website: www.forgefix.co.uk
Forgefix combines the power of prof.ITplus and ecommerce
Forgefix is a long-standing customer of OGL Computer who has been using prof.ITplus since 2008 when they upgraded from its predecessor, Prof.IT. The upgrade came about following Forgefix’s recognition that it needed a new business software system to accommodate and manage its business growth and improve its efficiency. Furthermore, the company’s expanding product range, increasing quantity of stock, plus the need for rapid turnaround times, also demanded it.
During the time that prof.ITplus has been in place, it has brought about significant improvements for the company.
The Forgefix National Sales Manager explained: “Upgrading from Prof.IT to prof.ITplus has proven to be a highly beneficial commercial decision for Forgefix. In particular, the use of the warehouse management scanners combined with the stock management features in prof.ITplus has led to significant gains in efficiency as well as a marked reduction in costs.”
The warehouse management feature is one of the software’s most powerful features because, when deployed intelligently, it has the power to auto-manage stock levels so expensive stock is not being needlessly held whilst ensuring that popular lines are always at optimum stock levels, which is calculated by prof.ITplus using historical sales data. Another significant business benefit has been Forgefix’s ability to expand its sales whilst maintaining the same staffing levels, a considerable achievement bearing in mind the economic conditions experienced since 2008.
“We use the mobile scanner to confirm the picking list in our warehouse, which had previously been a manual job. In fact, it was a two-man job but now it’s achieved by one person, which saves important resources. It’s cut the cost in half and reduced mistakes made by human error, so scanning has made us more efficient and has further improved our customer service.”
The upgrade in 2008 also enabled Forgefix to take their business online for the first time by way of an ecommerce website where customers could browse products, place orders and pay for them online. Fast forward to 2015 and Forgefix is the proud new owner of a completely bespoke website that features the very latest in ecommerce technology together with full integration with prof.ITplus for excellence in online sales management.
2015: Forgefix continue with investment into prof.ITplus
“One of the reasons that we upgraded to prof.ITplus was that while we knew new features and enhancements to the system are released every other month and are included in the price, we also knew that we could commission our own development projects if we needed to. By 2014 we knew we needed to look at investing in our online presence. Technology and consumer expectations move on so quickly and we had to move with the times.”
Forgefix’s new website (www.forgefix.co.uk) was a prestigious project for OGL’s web developers because Forgefix demanded the very highest standards for their new online platform which gave the team the chance to showcase the power of eShop and prof.ITplus in all its glory.
Forgefix was very clear that the end result was to be far more than a simple shop window for their 3,000 product lines. It had to offer their customers a way to revolutionise how they purchase fixings and fastenings to make it quicker and simpler coupled with maximum levels of customer satisfaction.”
Dario Brenni, WebServices Manager at OGL, recalls: “Forgefix came to us with a very clear brief about what they wanted to achieve with their new website which was an excellent starting point for the project. We took this and added in our own ideas and were able to present them with a site plan which had vast functionality for the customer. In addition we showed them how all of this would be integrated seamlessly with prof.ITplus so that the website automatically reflects the data held in the system.”
Recognising the growing trend towards mobile internet usage, the new Forgefix website is also optimised for use across all browsing devices – including desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. This enables users to create and place orders on handheld devices as they walk through their premises or warehouses, checking stock levels as they go.
The Sales and Marketing Director at ForgeFix commented: “We worked closely with OGL to get the brief for the project exactly right. We had very strong ideas ourselves but it was down to the expertise of the web developers at OGL that these ideas could be made reality.
“The result is a site of which we’re immensely proud. We’re confident it will make a very real difference to the success of Forgefix. We looked at, and learnt from, some of the world’s biggest names in online retailing. We combined this with our own first hand experience of the specific needs and demands of those involved in selling or using fixings and fastenings to come up with a digital resource that we have every faith will propel us forward to the next level of business.”
In conclusion Forgefix added: “Innovation has always been central to Forgefix’s approach and this applies as much to our service and support as it does to the products we offer. The launch of our new website reflects that. It can inform and assist our customers at every stage – from product specification and ordering through to after-sales support.
“Thank you to OGL for delivering exactly what we wanted, and more.”
Website benefits for customers:
- Simple and easy to navigate even for the less tech-savvy.
- Offers the ability to not only place orders but to view and repeat past orders, to create lists of favourite products, to pay invoices and to view statements.
- View details of which Forgefix products are delivering the greatest sales.
- Create bespoke price lists complete with relevant imagery.
- Check stock availability at both of Forgefix’s depots.
- Start orders at work in the morning, save the basket and then finish it on a tablet or phone at home in the evening.
- Download technical specifications such as pull-out values, minimum hole depths, maximum fixing thicknesses, packaging dimensions, latest promotions and price breaks are also provided.
Website benefits for Forgefix:
- Boosted sales
- Increased profitability
- Increased efficiency
- Greater customer satisfaction
"We worked closely with OGL to get the brief for the project exactly right. We had very strong ideas ourselves but it was down to the expertise of the web developers at OGL that these ideas could be made reality. The result is a site of which we’re immensely proud. We’re confident it will make a very real difference to the success of Forgefix."