Tighter stock levels with real-time updates

“Our previous system relied on overnight updates to keep the front end and back end in tandem, which obviously meant that the stock level information got out of date during the day.

“Junari’s solution provides us with a fully integrated, dynamic e-commerce system that spans the whole of the operation from website shop through to purchasing, stock management and links to Xero accounting.

“All the information is now available in real-time, at our fingertips, without having to navigate through multiple screens on different systems to patch things together. Better visibility of our stock makes it easier to manage stock levels. We can also share this data with our customers.

“We have a practical approach to uploading supplier information such as product descriptions and pricing into Junari. In the future we’ll be able to move to just-in-time stock, and we are well-placed to have a fully streamlined supply chain system when possible in our industry.”

Swifter order confirmation and payment

“We used to run the risk of orders being cancelled after they’d been picked and packed if the customer didn’t like the carriage charge.

“Since the Junari system went live on 1 July 2021 we’ve been able to provide shipping information from our carriers at the point of ordering, as well as take pre-authorised electronic payments up-front.

“To achieve this, Junari built an API for shipping calculations, using an app called ShipEngine, which links with our carriers such as DPD and Royal Mail. They also built an API to Stripe, the online payment portal.

“As a result, orders are being processed more efficiently and revenue is being generated more quickly.”

Easy access from anywhere

“During the pandemic the demand for crafting supplies went through the roof, so we never got to the point of furloughing staff or working from home.

“Nevertheless the importance of being able to access company information over the internet became clear.

“Our legacy systems were all server-based, relying on specific devices for access. With Junari we have the flexibility to access the system securely over multiple devices remotely. This is a significant evolution in our IT capability.”

Better Management Information and strategic insights

“The Management Information we get out of Junari’s solution is unlike anything we have ever seen before.

“It’s all presented in dashboard format, and it provides us with answers to questions we haven’t even thought of asking!

“The traffic light system alerts us to issues that would have previously been invisible, so now we can manage things more efficiently and proactively and engage staff in more strategic decision-making.

“We are looking forward to having greater insights in the future into customer behaviour and demand. Junari is opening up a whole world of data that can be analysed and turned into Information.”

User friendly

“People at every level in the business are benefitting straightaway as the system has taken away a lot of their laborious tasks.

“It’s easy to use, consistent and looks nice too, which we’re sure will help with staff retention and with on-boarding new staff in the future.”

Agile approach

“Junari were great in helping us understand their development process, which delivers functionality in bite-size chunks, called sprints.

“Within a couple of sprints we were talking their language and the business was benefitting from a dynamic and fully integrated platform very quickly.

“Junari were able to flex their development approach to make the process as cost-effective and productive for our team as possible. This made the experience of working with Junari really positive, and we’re continuing to develop more functionality with them as a result.”

Eye-opening new possibilities

“Junari allowed us to think outside the box and match the tool’s capabilities to our existing operation as well as introduce some very straightforward enhancements.

“For example we now have the capability to offer a retail service through our website, whereas previously we only catered for wholesale customers.

“And with the scope of management information that is now available we can understand purchasing demand and stock levels in ways that weren’t possible previously.”

Responsive and cooperative

“Whenever there is an issue, whether internally or with our customers’ experience of the new e-commerce environment, Junari work hard to put it right.

“They always respond very well and maintain excellent levels of communication.

“There is never any negativity, and the team are always open to compromise. We are delighted to have them as our IT partner.”

The brief

The E M Richford Group began life in 1878 in East London, manufacturing rubber stamps for commercial and office use. That business continues to this day, trading as Richford’s Rubber Stamps.

In 1995 the Group branched out into the wholesale supply of craft materials, becoming the leading UK distributor for papercrafts and mixed media used in card-making and scrapbooking, under the name Personal Impressions. A further division, Country Love Crafts, specialises in ready-to-decorate ceramics, papier-mâché and wood products.
With their last big IT project completing in 2007, E M Richford Group have managed to trade steadily with a small team working hard behind the scenes to make sure the front-end web-shop kept in sync with the back-end enterprise processing.

This worked satisfactorily for the Group – until their service provider’s prices went up and their provision went down!

“In 2019 we felt forced to look for a new ERP system,” says Group CEO Ray Napper.
Here Ray and Production and IT Manager Matt Rulten describe their experience of working with Junari to deliver a 21st century system for an enterprise almost a century and a half old.