What started as a small family business has grown into fifteen stores offering a wide range of fresh produce, meat, dairy and groceries. The company is part of the Galati Group of companies.
Spudshed manages most of their supply chain themselves, through their own distribution centers, market operations, manufacturing facilities and owned farms. “This gives our group the control and ability to react rapidly to market trends and conditions,” says Kelly French, Head of Technology at Galati Group. Today, the majority of the produce they sell is still grown in the Galati farms.
For years, the company has set as its goal to better engage with their customers. They decided to start running their retail business on the LS Central platform to further promote the status of the Spudshed brand.
Prior to moving to LS Central, Spudshed was using disconnected software solutions. The company lacked centralized control and did not get the full view required to build efficiencies and scale.
“Operationally, our teams were working in silos, data was disconnected, and we didn’t know if our store sales actually aligned to our financial systems,” says French. “The old system lacked flexibility and did not provide the functionality we needed to engage effectively with our valued customers and grow our business,” he adds.
Support was the other key driver for change. Spudshed operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so they needed a partner that could provide this coverage and actively manage any issues that may arise before the stores even notice.
The company spent extensive time and energy reviewing several local and global solutions. “We were close to committing to a well-known tier-one solution when we noticed that other large grocery groups had already deployed the LS Retail software solution with great success,“ explains French.
With unified commerce software system LS Central, retailers can manage their operations efficiently from head office to POS terminals. LS Central also offers grocery-specific functionality, from management of fresh produce, to tracking of expiry dates, to integration to scales and electronic shelf labels.
Spudshed became confident LS Central could be deployed faster and more cost effectively than other solutions.
The software was implemented by Canary Technology Solutions, an LS Retail partner in Australia.
“I believe we actually set a record with our implementation, from project kickoff we had head office and our first store live in only seven weeks,” says French. “This could not have been possible without our partner Canary Technology Solutions and the dedication of our highly competent internal teams.”
As is advisable with an ERP deployment, the company had to tackle data migration and data cleansing. They took it as an opportunity to do a reset not only on products, prices, and promotions, but also in the core finance structure.
Kelly French is a strong believer of the power of investing in the right technology. He shared with us the following advice for any retail businesses undertaking the deployment of an ERP solution: “Don’t label this as an IT project or even a retail project, but drive it as a business improvement project.”
Since deploying LS Central, Spudshed has a single source of truth which they can rely on to evaluate profitability and performance of their stores, warehouses, merchandising and finance divisions.
The new system has given Spudshed the improvements the company was looking for. They have been able to:
- Automate processes – “We have removed the need for the majority of the manual input into day-to-day processes within the business,” says French. “This has freed up resources to manage outcomes in the business and increase efficiency further.”
- Eliminate errors and save time – “The automation of invoice management will reduce the risk of human error and will allow us to focus resources on meaningful tasks that will deliver value for the business.”
- Get a centralized, holistic view of their business – “We now have the ability to see the retail business performance, but also our market and production operations and link these divisions together for supply chain efficiency,” says French.
- Engage better with customers – The company’s fully integrated loyalty app has seen great adoption. “Our app was in the top 20 in the Apple App Store in the first month.”
- Increase customer retention – The company can track their customers’ preferences and create personalized promotions and discounts that appeal to them.
The group now plans to expand on their current loyalty platform and customer engagement model. “We now have a wealth of data that will further enable us to target specific customer groups and demographics to personalize offers and promotions,” says French.
Spudshed has recently launched a home delivery offering on the Uber Eats platform which has been hugely successful both from a customer and business perspective. “This further demonstrates the flexibility and capability of LS Central,” concludes French.