Johnston Sweepers makes investment in e-commerce

Published:  21 March, 2012

After consulting its customers on the availability of spare parts, Johnston Sweepers turned words into actions and invested £1.4 million in its spare parts department. The result is a brand new e-shop, which offers availability of spare parts 24/7.

Graham Howlett, Marketing Director for Johnston Sweepers, explains that the company has been heavily investing in its customer service department since 2010. “The department has undergone a continuous improvement programme aiming to achieve “best in class” to the municipal markets.”

The strategy was initiated by a Parts Forum, which was attended by municipal customers from across the UK. The outcomes of the forum were followed up by a complete restructuring of the Johnston Parts Department, an increased investment of £1.4million of additional parts on the shelf in Dorking. For increased effectiveness a double-shift was introduced and a new logistics program was implemented.

“These actions have allowed us to achieve the 95% first pick rate on customer parts requirements, hitting the first target of our “Best in Class program. Orders can now be placed right up to 5pm and will still be packed and shipped the same day for next day delivery free of charge anywhere in mainland UK,” continues Graham.

“Many companies would stop there and accept that 95% pick and 5pm ordering was as good as it gets in parts, but our objective is to be class leading.”

John Halley, Customer Service Manager for Johnston was instrumental to the improvements, and came up with strong suggestion on how to make the performance even better. He explains: “Many of our customers stated that when their sweeper breaks down, one of their biggest frustrations that there is information available to them at a suitable time, as much sweeping operations are carried out outside normal office hours, from 5am to 11pm. Often at that time in the morning there is nobody available to contact directly.”

To overcome this issue, Johnston has turned to e-commerce for the solution with its new e-Shop coming on-line in spring 2012. The system is fed from the SAP (inventory management system) system and provides customers with accurate information of availability of current stock. Customers select from the parts catalogues or just type in their equipment number to find a list of parts for their specific Johnston sweeper model.

This system will allow the user to see if a part is in stock, enable the immediate purchase the part then have it shipped the same day for next day delivery. The E-shop is available 24/7 through the Johnston websites.

“The flexibility and visibility of this system moves Johnston's service provision ahead of current offerings in the sweeper industry. In addition with a nationwide support network of six service branches across the UK, our aftermarket sales support provide our customers with the best back possible,” concludes Graham Howlett.

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