Working with Smart Garden: their experiences with Aspin

There are a lot of order processing tools on the market. Why did you stop at Aspin?

iPad ordering was a very natural and intuitive choice for Smart Garden, whereas we took our time with the decision on a web portal. The relationship with Aspin is longstanding and successful – this was a factor in deciding to put in a trade website, and we placed our trust in Aspin as both a software provider and innovator within our industry. We also arrived at the conclusion that an existing integration for PixSell would serve our workload well during the InterSell implementation, negating the duplication of an integration having to be written. This was not necessarily always the case, as each piece of software needs its own integration with a combination of common factors and individual characteristics, but the groundwork had been done before. Certainly, choosing Aspin sits as a very sound decision and despite various obstacles, tricky decisions, and hard graft, we are pleased to have Aspin as a partner.

PixSell was “…certainly a very sound decision…if I marked PixSell out of 10, it would be a 9”.

Key business benefits and success of PixSell and InterSell?

The most contentious aspect that PixSell has addressed within our business is the ‘smoothing’ out of the admin process. Capturing orders electronically has reduced salesperson and head office intervention thus saving considerable amounts of time. In addition to this, the sales team were in desperate need of accurate and locked in trade pricing to help them sell at the correct price, along with yes/no stock levels and the images to support the selling. These have all been achieved, with an additional surprise benefit with photo quotes for Christmas orders. The ability to create a quote for a customer on the iPad, along with product images and the ability to email it to them for their perusal has been a real boon for the sales team.

For InterSell, we had some figure-based objectives which included a year one target of InterSell being responsible for 10% of the trade orders coming in. Pleasingly, this target was smashed – however, these figures must keep rising to justify InterSell’s existence. We both understand and appreciate the need to keep nurturing and maintaining the website to encourage success.

Future projects include using PixSell for pre-season orders. This would certainly contribute to us reaching our target of 35% yield and possibly beyond.

Smart Garden Finance Director, Richard Browne

How have you found the integrations for iPad and web ordering?

Electronic orders [as opposed to paper] are important in keeping the mobile sales team working within the correct manner and the consistent process laid out by Smart Garden. As a result of PixSell, our salespeople are unable to manipulate orders in the way that you might with a paper-based order. Historically, there has been a tendency for Smart Garden salespeople to want to manage the customer service and ordering process themselves, and PixSell has helped us reduce this autonomy for the good of the business.

Feedback from sales team and head office staff?

The overriding view of PixSell for the sales team is that they could not work without it, and that to remove PixSell would shatter productivity and team morale. From a head office point of view, there is a lot more functionality we could provide to the team in the future – to further engage the sales team and increase their productivity. Our goal for PixSell is to harvest 35% of orders and we are currently at a 25% yield. For InterSell, we have tackled any potential concern from the sales team by ensuring that any customer orders taken via the website are still commissionable.

How could 35% be achieved?

Future projects include using PixSell for pre-season orders. This would certainly contribute to us reaching our target of 35% yield and possibly beyond. The current hurdle is the sheer volume of these pre-season orders, the nature in which salespeople create these orders, and how we successfully migrate these from spreadsheet to PixSell.

Additionally, we need to look at how PixSell can be used from an account management point of view to further cement the customer’s relationship with the salesperson and the brands that we distribute. This will hopefully lead to more orders via PixSell.

“We have tackled any potential concern from the sales team by ensuring that any customer orders taken via the website are still commissionable.”

How do you rate Aspin Service Desk and what do you use it for?

The level of support we receive from Aspin is high and the need/volume is moderate. Aspin Service Desk assists with knowledge gaps we may have when setting up new products, users and parameter groups. Importantly, the product rarely ‘goes wrong’ or causes an issue for our business so calls to the Service desk and collaborative rather than contentious.

What is next for Smart Garden, PixSell and InterSell?

For PixSell, we have a range of Christmas products in a showroom and would like to be able to use PixSell to take orders for this setup. We just need to consider how this would work with the new products and type of customer. With regards to the web portal, we would like to use the UK implementation as a huge lesson in implementation, cost and potential success to help us decide whether this is something we could roll out to Europe.

Finally, we need to deliver our value proposition to customers – every day! The sales team are key to helping us do this and our mantra is consistency and determination. We need to utilise our internal marketing team and work on some campaigns to continuously advertise our website to remind and encourage customers and see our ROI rise.