J A Russell

J.A. Russell sparks up supply chain

The electrical wholesaler has left the competition behind by integrating its supply chain with Flow Software, promoting customer loyalty and improving customer service.

J. A. Russell, New Zealand’s largest electrical and data wholesaler, operates some 55 stores from Kaitaia in the North Island to Invercargill in the South, where it operates under the Radcliffe Electrical brand.

Family-owned, J. A. Russell offers electrical, lighting, data and technology products and services to a wide customer base – from one-man domestic electricians, to large industrial and commercial trade contractors right through to national organisations and construction projects.

As part of its efforts to enhance its national presence and improve customer service, J. A. Russell realised the need to update its technology offering and automate its supply chain.

“Ours is a relationship-based business,” says Adam Parker, information systems manager for J. A. Russell. “Superior customer service is a focus for all projects we look to implement, and while we wanted to use new technology we didn’t want to lose the personal contact we have with our customers. We needed a new B2B e-commerce website but it had to be tightly integrated to our bricks and mortar branches and the systems supporting those for a seamless experience for our customers. The opportunity was there for us to make considerable improvements, and to provide a service and environment that better reflects our brand.”

After reviewing the products and solutions in the market, J. A. Russell chose Flow Software to integrate the largest suppliers exchange of data automatically via EDI.

Customer service is important to J. A. Russell and Flow Software’s vision of end-to-end business automation matched J. A. Russell’s requirements by tightly integrating J. A. Russell’s ERP system and automating its supply chain.

Being a company with a national presence and major corporate contracts to fulfil, J. A. Russell needed to meet EDI requirements which it had not previously been equipped to deliver. The solution has meant J. A. Russell has been able to meet all EDI requirements and increase customer service levels, generating customer loyalty through EDI engagement and investment on the supplier and customer end.

J. A. Russell’s former processes involved manual input almost exclusively, requiring teams of people internally and on the supplier side.

Now, with many of the processes automated, J. A. Russell is in a position to grow its business without having to grow its staff numbers.

“This has been a massive step forward for us as a business, and there is always more to do,” predicts Parker. “We see this EDI and website project as a work-in-progress. We want to keep adding value and bringing new innovations and services to our customers, allowing them more efficiencies and productivity in their own businesses.”

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