About Frank Blakeley

Over 50 years in business, Frank Blakeley is a family-run company that’s become a one stop shop for local businesses and factories looking for tools, equipment, workwear and more. Starting out importing and exporting all metal components of a cotton shuttle during the boom of the cotton industry, the company then had to look at other industries when the cotton mills started to close in the UK. This is when Frank Blakeley changed direction to become the Engineers Merchants they’re known as today.

The family values that run throughout the business encourages all departments to work closely together to offer the best service they can to their customers whilst continuing to grow in a very difficult and competitive industry.

Did you know: Four generations of the family work for the business.  

Number of Employees: 45

Partnered with OGL since: 2013

Company Location: Lancashire

Company Website: www.frank-blakeley.com

Frank Blakeley reduces manual tasks and admin with OGL Software

Frank Blakeley, a successful engineers’ merchants in Lancashire, knew they had to reduce manual tasks in order to stay competitive in what is a challenging industry. Six years ago, they looked at OGL Software as the solution and “opportunity to move the business forward.” Previously on Charisma, the company still relied on a lot of manual processes to complete their sales orders, manage their purchasing and control stock.

A lack of visibility of their performance and too much time taken writing notes and storing things physically, Frank Blakeley wanted a system that could automate processes and improve efficiencies so they can process orders quicker and more accurately.

“OGL Software offered us the opportunity to move our business forward.”

We spoke to Frank Blakeley’s Financial Director, who explained, “OGL Software has made a lot of our processes more efficient, leaving less room for error. We did not have a CRM prior to OGL Software which we have found to be a huge benefit within all areas of our business.”

“The CRM is used by our sales team, both internal and external, to enter orders / quotes and chase up quotes. It’s also used by our credit control team and is an excellent tool for this process.”

OGL’s ERP solution is used to connect all areas of the business to ensure all team members are using the same, accurate data, helping to improve control and visibility. “The CRM allows the management team and board to see exactly who is doing what and when. The system provides easier reporting in all areas and the Business Intelligence module is a favourite features of ours” The reporting tools in prof.ITplus give management a clear view of performance to highlight successes and areas for improvement.

The competitiveness of the merchant industry allows little room for error, so having accurate data to show the company’s strong areas and potential places for improvements is key to driving the business forward. Winning sales, meeting customer demands and reducing overhead costs are made easy with an ERP software that gives you the tools to take control.

Removing the humble pen and paper from their daily operations was a requirement to enable Frank Blakeley to improve efficiencies and productivity. OGL Software is now used throughout the company to digitalise and automate, what otherwise would be, time-consuming tasks. “The system is used in 5 key areas of the business: Sales, Accounts, Warehouse, Trade Counter and Purchasing.

“The sales team can ensure that orders are processed in a timely manner though the CRM whilst staying on top of sales opportunities and chasing quotes to meet targets.

“Being able to access the same, up-to-date information regarding accounts and payment due dates in the CRM is key to keeping control of our finances. The system produces our invoices, credits, statements and makes it easier to chase overdue payments.

“We did not have a CRM prior to OGL Software which we have found to be a huge benefit within all areas of our business.”

“The system also manages our purchasing in a more efficient way and it’s a lot simpler and easier to train new staff to use. Raising purchasing enquiries so we can compare prices from multiple suppliers ensures we’re maximising margins and the purchasing report enables us to produce ‘overdue letters’ to batch send to suppliers for overdue goods. We no longer need to write any of this down so there is less risk of errors.

“Finally, the system gives us control over our order processing. We can easily allocate purchase orders to sales orders or stock, quickly dispatch orders and check stock levels. The electronic POD scanning and ability to attach to orders is probably one of our favourite features as this was previously done manually, then we’d file them numerically and search through boxes when POD’s were requested!”

Frank Blakeley has saved invaluable time removing the manual tasks and inevitably improved efficiencies and productivity along the way. The company invested in a system to drive the business to the next level and now they have OGL Software to support them and future-proof their business.

“OGL Software gives us control over our order processing. We can easily allocate purchase orders to sales order or stock, quickly dispatch orders and check stock levels.”

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